Leeds Rhinos Women head coach Lois Forsell has revealed that two of their England internationals will miss the start of the new season.
Utility back Caitlin Beevers has had surgery on a shoulder injury, while hooker Keara Bennett has also had surgery to start the New Year which will see her miss the first few rounds of the upcoming campaign.
Forsell told Rhinos TV: “Caitlin had quite a few knocks last year and more or less just got through the season. There were times where she probably could have had surgery earlier, but it was one of those injuries she could get through to end of the season and have surgery in the close season.
“She’s been carrying a shoulder injury since Huddersfield away in round two, and it’s not been quite right since. She’s well into her rehab now, well on the mend and heading in the right direction.
“We’ll look forward to seeing Caitlin later in the season.
“Keara had surgery on January 2, she’s on with recovery now and might miss a couple of rounds at the start of the season.”
Beevers made 10 appearances for the Rhinos last season, culminating in the Grand Final defeat to York Valkyrie in October.
She featured for England in the 60-0 autumn international win over Wales in November at Headingley, a game that Bennett also started, with both players crossing for tries.
Leeds Rhinos reveal trio of injuries ahead of new season including pair of England internationals
In addition to the losses of Beevers and Bennett, Leeds have been handed a further injury blow with the news that back-rower Elle Frain has suffered an ACL injury which will rule her out for the foreseeable.
Forsell added: “Elle had some issues with her knee last year, but she picked up an ACL injury in training, which is gutting for us and gutting for Elle. It’s massively unfortunate.
“She’s had surgery and she’s on the mend again, so it’s still early days. It’s a nasty injury, so it’ll be long-term rehab for her.
“Elle’s usually full of beans, so she’s looking forward to hitting the challenge front on and making sure she does her rehab as well as she can to come out the other side a better version of herself. We’re looking forward to supporting her.”
The fixtures are yet to be released for the new Women’s Super League season, though the draw was made earlier this week for the group stages of the Challenge Cup.
Forsell’s side were grouped with Huddersfield Giants, Leigh Leopards and Hull KR in Group Four.
The teams play each other once in the group phase, which begins over the weekend of March 16/17, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals, for which the draw has also already been made.
If the Rhinos can top their group, they’ll face the runner-up from Group Three at the last-eight stage over the weekend of April 6/7. Group Three consists of St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Bradford Bulls and London Broncos.