Nine St Helens women in England team to face France
England Women head coach Craig Richards has placed his faith in the all-conquering St Helens side for the international against France in Perpignan tomorrow (Saturday),which will be shown live on BBC 2 from noon.
Richards has named nine of the Saints' side, which won the Challenge Cup, League Leaders' Trophy and the Grand Final, in his match-day 17.
York City Knights flyer Savannah Andrade will also make her debut at centre after an impressive season, which included a memorable hat-trick in the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Castleford Tigers.
Rachael Woosey will also make her international debut after making the switch from Rugby Union to treble-winning St Helens earlier this season. Woosey crossed twice in St Helens’ 34-6 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup victory over York back in June.
Emily Rudge will captain the side and become England Women’s all-time appearance leader with 24 caps, after debuting back in 2008 against this weekend’s opponents, France.
Fran Goldthorp, Beth Stott, Hollie Dodd, and Paige Travis are all included after making their international debuts earlier this season in the 60-0 defeat of Wales at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Richards said: “It is great to have both Savannah and Rachael named to make their international debuts this weekend.
“Savannah has really worked hard to get herself this opportunity with her performances on the field and her attitude away from it.
“Rachael has impressed since signing for St Helens and is another player that has adapted really quickly to being in the England set up and has earned her place in the team this weekend.
“We are looking forward to going out there and testing ourselves against tough opposition in France and continuing to develop ahead of next year’s Rugby League World Cup.”
England Women v France:
Tara-Jane Stanley (Castleford Tigers)
Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos)
Savannah Andrade (York City Knights)
Amy Hardcastle (St Helens)
Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos)
Jodie Cunningham (St Helens)
Beth Stott (St Helens)
Grace Field (York City Knights)
Tara Jones (St Helens)
Chantelle Crowl (St Helens)
Emily Rudge (St Helens – captain)
Hollie Dodd (Castleford Tigers)
Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors)
Shona Hoyle (Huddersfield Giants)
Paige Travis (St Helens)
Vicky Whitfield (St Helens)
Rachael Woosey (St Helens)