Wigan Warriors star, England legend to receive RFL award: ‘An inspiration to future generations’

Ben Olawumi
Vicky Molyneux

Vicky Molyneux in action for England in 2023 - Alamy

Wigan Warriors forward Vicky Molyneux will receive the RFL’s Presidents Award later this month in recognition of her service to the game as a ‘trailblazer’ in women’s rugby league.

The 35-year-old – who played in England’s very first international game back in 2007 – announced her retirement from the international game back in November, bringing the curtain down in a 6-0 win against Wales at Headingley.

Having also represented Lancashire, Molyneux continues to star for Wigan, scooping the ‘Warrior of the Year’ and ‘Coaches Player of the Year’ award at the end of the season just gone before being named in the club’s Hall of Fame, the first-ever woman to achieve that accolade.

She now has another award to make space for on the mantlepiece, set to receive the President’s award from Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP on January 13 at the RFL President’s Ball in Leeds. It will be the first time that Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, hands out the accolade.

Wigan Warriors star, England legend to receive RFL award: ‘An inspiration to future generations’

Introduced in 2019, The President’s Award recognises inspiring work to change lives and communities through rugby league, as well as achievements by players, coaches and volunteers which bring the sport to new audiences.

Lindsay Anfield, Reece Lyne, Dr Gemma Phillips, Mark Adams, Tracey Herd and Dr Richard Lawrence are the names to have won it so far, with Molyneux to become the seventh recipient.

Via the governing body’s website, RFL President Hoyle congratulated Molyneux, saying: “This award is in recognition of a true trailblazer for Women’s Rugby League – which has been one of the sport’s greatest success stories over the last decade or so.

“You were one of an historic group who played in the first England international in 2007, holding heritage number 3.

“That would be impressive enough, but to have returned as a mother to the international set-up in recent years, including in last year’s World Cup, is a truly remarkable achievement – and will be an inspiration to future generations, as it has already been to your team-mates.

“The praise you rightly received when you confirmed your international retirement after the game against Wales in November was a clear indication of the respect in which you are held.

“I was delighted that the Wigan club recognised your special contribution by elevating you into their Hall of Fame, but I know your contribution to the sport reaches beyond Wigan, with the coaching and development you have done at the Rochdale Mayfield community club.

“Through all of this, you have been a superb ambassador for the sport of rugby league as a whole, and for women’s and girls’ rugby league in particular.”

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