Date: 9/10/17 (Picture Amy Hardcastle)

England Women Head Coach Chris Chapman has named a 23-strong squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup which takes place in Australia in November and December.

Date: 9/10/17 (Picture Amy Hardcastle)

England Women Head Coach Chris Chapman has named a 23-strong squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup which takes place in Australia in November and December.

Players from four different clubs are represented, with Women’s Super League Grand Final champions Bradford Bulls boasting 10 members, while runners-up Featherstone Rovers have five and seven players come from Thatto Heath – St Helens.

Goalkicking full-back Katie Hepworth is Castleford Tigers’ only player named in the squad and becomes the first women’s player to represent the club in a Rugby League World Cup.

Captain Andrea Dobson is set to make her fourth World Cup appearance alongside half-back Kirsty Moroney, hooker Lois Forsell, prop Emma Slowe and second row Emily Rudge.

Vice-Captain Jodie Cunningham is one of six recalls to the squad after missing the side’s tour to France earlier this year due to injury.

Head Coach Chris Chapman said, “It’s been extremely tough to select a squad of only 23 players to compete in this year’s World Cup as all players have worked hard throughout the season for England and their respective clubs.

“We appreciate it is a big challenge against experienced professional players and it is one we are all looking forward to.

“It is a task that we believe we can achieve and all the players and staff have been working hard to ensure we are the best prepared team.”

The squad will fly out to Australia on Friday, November 10 and will play three pool games at the Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney against Papua New Guinea Orchids, Australian Jillaroos and The Cook Islands.

All Women’s Rugby League World Cup games are staged as triple-headers and will be played on Thursday November 16, Sunday November 19 and Wednesday November 22.

Full England Women’s Squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2017:

Amy Hardcastle Bradford Bulls
Andrea Dobson Featherstone Rovers
Beth Sutcliffe Bradford Bulls
Charlotte Booth Bradford Bulls
Claire Garner Bradford Bulls
Danielle Bound Thatto Heath - St Helens
Danika Priim Bradford Bulls
Emily Rudge Thatto Heath - St Helens
Emma Slowe Featherstone Rovers
Faye Gaskin Thatto Heath - St Helens 
Jenny Welsby Thatto Heath - St Helens
Jessica Courtman Bradford Bulls
Jodie Cunningham Thatto Heath - St Helens
Katherine Hepworth Castleford Tigers
Kayleigh Bulman Featherstone Rovers
Kirsty Moroney Bradford Bulls
Lois Forsell Bradford Bulls
Rachel Thompson Thatto Heath - St Helens
Rhiannon Marshall Featherstone Rovers
Sarah Dunn Featherstone Rovers
Shona Hoyle Bradford Bulls
Stacey White Bradford Bulls
Tara-Jane Stanley Thatto Heath - St Helens

Fixtures for the tournament are as follows:

Round One – England v PNG. Thursday, November 16, 6.30pm kick-off (AEDT)

Round Two – Australia v England. Sunday, November 19, 1.45pm kick-off (AEDT)

Round Three – England v Cook Islands. Wednesday, November 22, 1.45pm kick-off (AEDT)

Semi-Finals – Sunday, November 26 at either 1.45pm or 4.00pm (AEDT)

All the above fixtures will be played at the Southern Cross Stadium.

This year will be the first time ever the women's and men's Rugby League World Cups will be played concurrently, with the women's World Cup final played as a curtain-raiser to the men's World Cup final at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on December 2.

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