Photo Credit: Ravens
The Canadian national women’s rugby league team the Ravens have released a worksheet for their preparations for the Rugby League World Cup later this year, and it includes a warm-up game against Ireland.
It will be the Ravens’ only international hit-out before the World Cup.
The game will be played in Wigan on Tuesday, October 25th, a week before Canada’s opening match of the RLWC against Papua New Guinea in Leeds.
“The Ireland game will give us an opportunity to see where we’re at against some good opposition before we kick off the tournament a week later and we’re really looking forward to that test,” Ravens head coach Mike Castle tells Rugby League Planet.
The Irish women have an unbeaten record when it comes to internationals having played two games and winning both. Ireland beat Wales 26-24 in October 2021 and were too good for Italy beating them 30-6 this past June in the women’s European B Championship.
In their only international game so far this year, the Ravens hosted the USA Redtails in what was the American team’s international debut. The Canadians won that one by 42-10 in Burnaby, British Columbia, in April.
There was supposed to have been a return match in June in the US, but that was shelved when the US Association of Rugby League (USARL) Inc. wrested control of the women’s program from the US Women’s Rugby League (USWRL) in May.
However, that didn’t seem to faze the Ravens with head coach Castle saying it actually worked in their favour.
“To be honest, as great as it would have been to have another game, not playing the second US match as planned probably helped our preparations for the World Cup,” he says.
“It gave us the chance to hold a camp in Toronto where we could focus on ourselves and our own development.”
He is referring to a four-day camp the team held in July which will go a long way towards nailing down Canada’s final 24-player roster for the RLWC.
“We were able to see some of our best players battle for places in our inter-squad game at the end of the camp. That was a really competitive game finishing in a 24-24 draw,” Castle continues.
“We’ll be announcing our squad straight after the East vs West game during the week of September 5th.”
The Ravens will be competing in Group A in the women’s division at #RLWC2021 alongside hosts England, Papua New Guinea and Brazil.