Leeds Rhinos’ Australia-born half-back Courtney Winfield-Hill has been called up to the England squad ahead of the end of year Women’s World Cup.
The 35-year-old moved to England in 2018 after playing cricket for Brisbane Heat’s Big Bash squad. She also represented Queensland at State of Origin level in cricket.
Winfield-Hill, who married England cricketer Lauren Winfield in 2020, qualifies to play for England under the residency rule.
Winfield-Hill played a key role in helping Leeds clinch the double in 2019. She was Super League’s Woman of Steel in the same year.
England coach Craig Richards said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring Courtney into the England women set-up after a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure it could happen.
“Courtney has consistently proven herself as one of the leading players in the Betfred Women’s Super League. She has been pivotal to Leeds Rhinos success.
“She gives us another impressive option in the halves as we prepare and will create even more competition for places as we head into the mid-season international with France and the Rugby League World Cup on home soil this autumn.”
England have also called up former footballer Caroline Collie. The former Arsenal and Chelsea goalkeeper becomes the first player from the Women’s Super League South, which was launched in 2021.
England have selected Collie after a strong season with Bedford Tigers. She has previously played rugby union for Bletchley and represented Scotland’s Sevens team.
England Women National Performance Squad
Dannielle Anderson, Caitlin Beevers, Keara Bennett, Fran Goldthorp, Amy Johnson, Chloe Kerrigan, Emma Lumley, Georgia Roche, Courtney Winfield-Hill (all Leeds), Savannah Andrade, Hollie Dodd, Kelsey Gentles, Tara Stanley, Olivia Wood (all York), Leah Burke, Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham, Amy Hardcastle, Tara Jones, Carrie Roberts, Emily Rudge, Beth Stott, Paige Travis, Vicky Whitfield, Naomi Williams, Rachael Woosey (all St Helens), Caroline Collie (Bedford Tigers), Rebecca Greenfield, Vicky Molyneux, Rachel Thompson, Georgia Wilson (all Wigan), Shona Hoyle (Huddersfield).
England will play France in a mid-season test at Warrington on Saturday, June 18. It will be part of a double-header alongside the men’s test against the Combined Nations All Stars.
They begin their World Cup campaign against Brazil at Headingley on November 1.