Ireland's Staunton, who moved to England a year ago, comes to Loughborough with a wide variety of experience behind her having not only played for Premier 15’s winners Saracens last season, but also Basketball, AFL and GAA at a high level in her home country.
As a qualified teacher, Staunton will balance training for Lightning with her part-time job as a maths teacher.
Speaking about the move, she said:
“The players and coaching staff have been incredibly welcoming, and I feel the club environment is a really good fit for me.
"Training in a world-class environment alongside the players and management team at Loughborough Lightning allows me to challenge myself, develop my skill set and to fulfil my potential as a rugby player.
"I’m exciting for the season ahead and to get back playing rugby again!”
Commenting on Staunton joining the Lightning set-up, Director of Rugby Rhys Edwards added:
“Aine played in the premiership last year for Saracens but comes to us from a varied background in terms of having played Gaelic football and for Muster back in Ireland.
"She is a player that will add a real competitive edge to our backline in terms of her physicality and work rate. Her style really compliments that way we like to play but will also give us a cutting edge in midfield and in the backline.”