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.