Leeds Rhinos, St Helens & York dominate England squad as trio from Down Under are included

Ben Olawumi
Stuart Barrow, Georgia Roche, Jodie Cunningham

England Women head coach Stuart Barrow with Georgia Roche & Jodie Cunningham ahead of the mid-season international against France in 2023 - Alamy

Between them, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and the reigning Super League champions York Valkyrie account for 22 of the 27 players named in England women’s senior ‘National Performance Squad’.

Head coach Stuart Barrow has also included Wigan Warriors ace Anna Davies and Huddersfield Giants youngster Amelia Brown, alongside a trio from Down Under who currently ply their trade in the NRLW – Hollie-Mae Dodd (Canberra Raiders), Francesca Goldthorp (North Queensland Cowboys) & Georgia Roche (Newcastle Knights).

Barrow has so far taken charge of two games, the mid-season international against France in Warrington and an autumn friendly against Wales at Headingley.

Those two ended in 64-0 and 60-0 wins respectively, with the women still yet to concede a single point under his stewardship.

The 27-strong senior squad – which includes three players on the Diploma of Sporting Excellence (DiSE) pathway – will meet for a training session later this month.

In full alphabetically by their surname, that senior squad consists of: Caitlin Beevers (Leeds), Jasmine Bell (York), Keara Bennett (Leeds), Amelia Brown (Huddersfield), Leah Burke (St Helens), Caitlin Casey (Leeds), Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), Anna Davies (Wigan), Hollie-Mae Dodd (Canberra), Grace Field (Leeds), Fran Goldthorp (NQ Cowboys), Amy Hardcastle (Leeds), Georgie Hetherington (York), Zoe Hornby, Shona Hoyle (Leeds), Tara Jones, Katie Mottershead (St Helens), Lacey Owen, Eboni Partington, Sinead Peach, Tamzin Renouf (all York), Georgia Roche (Newcastle Knights), Emily Rudge (St Helens), Tara-Jane Stanley (York), Paige Travis, Vicky Whitfield (both St Helens), Liv Wood (York).

Leeds Rhinos, St Helens & York dominate England squad as trio from Down Under are included

A Knights Performance Squad has also been named, with eight new faces in a pack of 23 youngsters. Those eight include 18-year-old Wigan starlet Grace Banks, the half-back became a mainstay in the Warriors‘ side in 2023.

Elsewhere, former team-mate Beri Salihi is also included after her off-season move back to rivals St Helens.

Alphabetically by surname, in full, the Knights squad consists of: Emily Baggaley (Unattached), Grace Banks (Wigan), Chloe Billington (Featherstone Rovers), Mary Coleman (Wigan), Jasmine Cudjoe, Ruby Enright (both Leeds), Liv Gale (York), Phoebe Hook (St Helens), Eva Hunter, Molly Jones (both Wigan), Emma Kershaw (York), Lucy Murray, Izzy Northorp (Leeds), Beri Salihi, Lucie Sams (both St Helens), Jess Sharp (York), Georgia Sutherland, Erin Stott (both St Helens), Bella Sykes (Leeds), Amy Taylor (St Helens), Danielle Waters (Featherstone), Olivia Whitehead (Leeds), Megan Williams (St Helens).

Barrow told the RFL’s website: “I’m really pleased to be able to give some new players a chance in both the Knights and senior England set-up this year, and it’s especially exciting given that so many of them have been involved in both the Knights and DiSE programmes.

“The size and depth of each squad proves just how much the Women’s Super League is continuing to improve, and there are some fantastic young talents in this year’s Knights squad.

“I’m expecting these players to keep on developing and pushing for a place in the senior team as the season progresses.”

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