England World Cup stars Emily Rudge and Faye Gaskin have agreed to play for the new St Helens women’s team alongside Tara Jones, Dawn Taylor and Katie May.
They will link up with Head Coach Mark Brennan and his assistant Andrew Raines and start training straight away.
“Emily is a powerful and aggressive backrower with a tremendous work rate,” Mark said. “In the World Cup, despite coming off the bench against Papua New Guinea, she was top tackler. She was also named as England’s Best and Fairest player in the tournament.
“She joins Faye who is the current England standoff. Faye is a great organiser who will steer the team around the pitch and her attitude is fantastic.”
Tara Jones joins the Saints after being unlucky to miss out on the World Cup. She is a quality hooker who played her rugby at Thatto heath.
She is seen as one of the future stars of the game both as a player and a match official. She officiates at Scholarship and NCL level and should be promoted to Division 1 this season. She has also officiated in the Challenge Cup competition and at Wembley for the Championship Schools – the curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup Final.
Dawn Taylor is a police offer based in Runcorn who has played for Lancashire and England Lionesses. She was previously at Warrington Ladies before joining Thatto Heath. She is a forward who runs and tackles hard.
Teammate Katie May also played at Thatto Heath. She is a strong aggressive running centre who has represented Lancashire and England Lionesses.
The quintet are the first group of ladies to join St Helens Women this season with more to be announced shortly.
Mark added: “We are really looking forward working with these ladies and further developing their games. We are excited about the future for the Saints.”