England Women’s Squad named with Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and York City Knights represented heavily

England Women Head Coach Craig Richards has named a squad of 20 for Sunday’s Test Match against Wales at Cross Keys RFC, Newport – the first of two in consecutive weekends as the team step up their preparations for this autumn’s World Cup. 

Sunday’s game will be shown live on The Sportsman and will be followed by a home match against France at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday week, June 18 – part of a double header also including England’s Men facing the Combined Nations All Stars, with both games live on Sky Sports.

2019 Woman of Steel Courtney Winfield-Hill could make her England debut in Newport following her inclusion in the squad under the International Rugby League’s ‘residency’ eligibility rule. Winfield-Hill helped Leeds Rhinos to an historic treble back in 2019 and featured in this year’s Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final at Elland Road.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Caroline Collie becomes the first player from the Betfred Women’s Super League South to be selected for England after making an impressive start to the season scoring six tries in a recent victory over the Golden Ferns.

Elsewhere, there could be first international appearances for York City Knights forward Olivia Wood, St Helens halfback Zoe Harris and Huddersfield Giants’ Bethan Oates, all of whom have come into the National Performance Squad within the last 12 months.

Richards said: “It is brilliant to be able to introduce so many new and talented faces to the side ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wales.

“All of the potential debutants have impressed me in the early stages of the season and have earned the opportunity to show us what they can do on the international stage.

“There is a real competition for places amongst the squad now and players need to be performing consistently to wear the England shirt.

“The upcoming mid-season internationals against Wales and France will allow us to see where we are at as a squad and are pivotal in our continued preparations to the Rugby League World Cup later this year.”

England Women were 60-0 victors over Wales in last year’s mid-season international at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Following this weekend’s Test Match in Newport, England Women will return to Warrington to face France on Saturday 18 June as part of a double-header with England Men’s fixture against the Combined Nations All Stars.

England Women will begin their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Brazil at Headingley Stadium on Tuesday 1 November. They will face Canada at Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday 5 November before a final group stage fixture back in Leeds against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday 9 November.

Progression from the group could see the prospect of a Semi-Final at York’s LNER Community Stadium on Monday 14 November and a Women’s Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford – as part of a double-header with the Men’s Final – on Saturday 19 November.

England Women Squad v Wales

Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos)

Keara Bennett (Leeds Rhinos)

Leah Burke (St Helens)

Caroline Collie (Bedford Tigers)

Jodie Cunningham (St Helens)

Hollie Dodd (York City Knights)

Grace Field (York City Knights)

Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos)

Amy Hardcastle (St Helens)

Zoe Harris (St Helens)

Shona Hoyle (St Helens)

Bethan Oates (Huddersfield Giants)

Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos)

Emily Rudge © (St Helens)

Tara Stanley (York City Knights)

Paige Travis (St Helens)

Vicky Whitfield (St Helens)

Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors)

Courtney Winfield-Hill (Leeds Rhinos)

Olivia Wood (York City Knights)

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