Women's game can be 'spectacular success' says St Helens chairman

The profile of women's rugby league has gone through the roof this year, thanks in the main to the BBC TV coverage of the sport and the exploits of the all-conquering Saints' team.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:36 am
Carrie Roberts, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl and Victoria Whitfield celebrate after the Grand Final victory over Leeds. Picture: SWPix

Some may say it's long overdue but it shows the value of publicity and other avenues it opens - both in the men's and women's game.

It was a masterstroke by the BBC to feature live coverage of the top domestic games in women's rugby league, as well as the recent international against France in Perpignan.

There is no such thing as bad publicity and it's not surprising, as far as I'm concerned, to see young women country-wide now taking a genuine interest in either joining a team, or forming a club of their own.

Saints ladies, who won the Grand Slam (the Grand Final, the Challenge Cup and the League Leaders' Shield) this year, are a prime example of what can be achieved, especially with the full backing of the parent club.

Owner and chairman Eamonn McManus said: ''We have now got to start talking about ourselves as a club rather than a team but what I will say it has been a pleasure this season to watch the girls playing the brand of rugby we can identify with.

''They won all three trophies, which was a remarkable feat, and even went one better than the men in this regard.

''Players like Emily Rudge and Jodie Cunningham have also done a magnificent job as club ambassadors and long may their success continue.''

Mr McManus added: ''Two or three years ago, we decided in terms of policy that women's rugby league needed to be taken seriously and at the same time make sure we remain top of the tree in this respect.

''But this is just the tip of the iceberg and I believe the ladies' game can be a spectacular success in the years to come.''