St Helens forward Emily Rudge to captain England against Wales
Saints forward Emily Rudge will skipper the England team against Wales in the National Lottery mid-season international at Warrington on Friday night.
She will be joined by seven club mates in the 19-strong squad - Jodie Cunningham, Channy Crowl, Amy Hardcastle and Tara Jones, while Beth Stott and Paige Travis are also named and could be in line to make their international debuts, while Army sergeant, Carrie Roberts, could make her first international appearance since 2015 when she crossed for three tries in a two-game series against France.
Leeds Rhinos wing and 2019 Women’s Super League Grand Final hero Fran Goldthorp is named in the squad for the first time following an impressive start to the 2021 season.
Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors’ Vicky Molyneux has also been selected and could earn her first England cap since a 2007 victory over France.
Castleford Tigers pair Emma Lumley and Hollie Dodd, who made history featuring in the 2019 Women’s Challenge Cup Final at just 16 years old, have also been named.
England Women head coach Craig Richards said: “It’s been a tough process to pick the squad as I have been impressed with several players both in training and with their performances in the Women’s Super League.
“I’m delighted to have been able to select a handful of players who could all make their international debuts against Wales and I’m excited to see what some of these players can do on the big stage.
“This is a great opportunity for all of my players to put their best foot forward and show me they want to be in that squad ahead of the Rugby League World Cup later this year.”
Saints' women's head coach Derek Hardman has also been drafted into the England set-up as an assistant.
Hardman said: ''I am extremely honoured to be offered this role. I have been involved in the set-up for a few months and I am delighted to join the team in an official capacity.''
England women squad:Emily Rudge (St Helens captain), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham (both St Helens), Hollie Dodd (Castleford Tigers), Grace Field, Kelsey Gentles (both York City Knights), Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos), Amy Hardcastle (St Helens), Shona Hoyle (Castleford Tigers), Tara Jones (St Helens), Emma Lumley (Castleford Tigers), Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors), Carrie Roberts (St Helens), Georgia Roche (Castleford Tigers), Beth Stott (St Helens), Tara Stanley (Castleford Tigers), Paige Travis (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors).
Wales: Ffion Jones, Sara Jones, Eleri Michael (all Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons), Jess McAuley (British Army), Lauren Aitken, Leanne Burnell, Danyelle Dinapoli, Seren Gough-Walters, Charlie Mundy, Amberley Ruck, Rafiuke Taylor (all Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons), Emily Hughes, Kathryn Salter (both London Broncos), Shaunni Davies, Ffion Lewis, Lowri Norkett, Sara Prosser (all Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons), Keira McCosh (Warrington), Carys Marsh (Wigan).
A limited number of tickets for the England Women and Men double header at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this Friday remain available from Rugby League (rugby-league.com)