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Betfred Women's Super League to expand again in 2022


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I think that’s a pretty fair structure, hopefully the Giants can sign one or two more top players in addition to Shona Hoyle. They are a young side so a bit more experience would be handy.

Can’t wait to see how Erin Stott & Amelia Brown go next season.

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Everything under the sun is in tune

But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

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With groups of 6, that will probably mean 10 or 15 regular season games. Although it might be better to just decide on an optimum number rather than a multiple of 5. And spread the games out with plenty of byes to accommodate injuries and avert forfeits.

Will be an asset if Barrow can establish themselves in the second group and become a hub for Cumbrian and North Lancs women`s RL. Along with York this gives WSL a wider geographic footprint than MSL. At least in England.

There`s a related story on the RFL site about Hull KR. Their women`s team were promoted to the championship and will now become more closely aligned with the club rather than the Community Trust. Not sure what organisational difference this will make.

The pro club in Leigh could similarly assist Leigh Miners in WSL. Possibly play a few double-headers at LSV to promote the team.

Leigh Miners have a far stronger women and girls section than any community club in Wigan. It`s possible that Leigh could become a bigger club than Wigan in WSL. The female game might be able to reach into Bolton in ways that have never quite happened with the men`s game. Maybe try to grow girls RL in the schools. 

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A YouTube recommendation for anybody interested -

The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation channel have been posting a series of interviews to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the successful GB tour of Australia in 1996. We won the test series 2-1.

Tara Jones, Jane Banks (who went on that tour as an 18 year old), Emily Rudge and Jodie Cunningham, are some of those featured. The content is more beguiling than the stupefying banality we usually have foisted on us in UK RL.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 02/11/2021 at 21:12, unapologetic pedant said:

A YouTube recommendation for anybody interested -

The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation channel have been posting a series of interviews to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the successful GB tour of Australia in 1996. We won the test series 2-1.

On YouTube channel "Rabbitohs TV" there`s a highlights package of the deciding third test from the above series - result Australia 18 Great Britain 20. Must be there because the game was played at Redfern Oval. Some great moments in the game. We won the fashion stakes too. The Jillaroos` jersey was a green with gold W shocker.

That trip down under could provide great material for a mainstream TV documentary. I think I vaguely recall the RFL posted a short feature on their social media a little while back. Could be framed in the wider context of the history of women`s RL and the recent strong growth in female playing numbers. Would probably have to be made by one of the regional BBC outlets.

The back stories of the players and how the tour was put together would be more interesting to a general audience than any equivalents in men`s RL. It could also examine how we went from winning a series against the Aussies in 1996 to being comprehensively outplayed by them 38-0 at the 2017 WC.

Sky NZ produced a programme "We are the Kiwi Ferns" chronicling women`s RL in NZ.

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On 29/11/2021 at 19:35, BroncoFan said:

Leeds Rhinos are building a really strong squad with a lot of depth for 2022.

At the expense of Castleford, who are looking increasingly less like a top 5 club. No discernible developments at Wigan. The way recruitment is shaping for 2022, there`s a serious imbalance emerging between top 3 and Cas/Wigan.

I know Leeds had a number out through injury this year. And it probably cost them. But in the early part of next year, and throughout the season if they`re luckier with injuries, they could have several high-level players getting no game time whilst Cas will be struggling for numbers or throwing 16 year old girls in at the deep end.

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On 04/12/2021 at 10:58, unapologetic pedant said:

At the expense of Castleford, who are looking increasingly less like a top 5 club. No discernible developments at Wigan. The way recruitment is shaping for 2022, there`s a serious imbalance emerging between top 3 and Cas/Wigan.

I know Leeds had a number out through injury this year. And it probably cost them. But in the early part of next year, and throughout the season if they`re luckier with injuries, they could have several high-level players getting no game time whilst Cas will be struggling for numbers or throwing 16 year old girls in at the deep end.

Yeah I do worry about Cas and Wigan look stagnant. Huddersfield may actually do ok next year, I’d now expect them to finish above Cas

14 hours ago, BroncoFan said:

Agree and the 2nd tier of the Women’s SL is going the same way with Warrington & Fev Rovers making good signings and looking much stronger than their rivals.

Warrington do look strong I agree. I can see them replacing Cas in 23

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6 hours ago, DoubleD said:

Yeah I do worry about Cas and Wigan look stagnant. Huddersfield may actually do ok next year, I’d now expect them to finish above Cas

Warrington do look strong I agree. I can see them replacing Cas in 23

Lest anyone think otherwise, I regard all the fluctuations as mostly positive. Refreshing change from the predictability we often have in the men`s game.

It will be a great story if Huddersfield can go from utter no-hopers at the start of this year to the 4th of 5th best team in the competition next year. Likewise if Warrington keep pushing onwards and upwards.

The only caveat is the one I made on the other thread, that the RFL would do well to decide the composition of divisions closer to the start of the season when all the off-season movements and developments can be assessed and factored in. This linked to my point about young players, where it could be fraught with risk if a club who belong in the 2nd tier are placed in the first tier.

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4 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Lest anyone think otherwise, I regard all the fluctuations as mostly positive. Refreshing change from the predictability we often have in the men`s game.

It will be a great story if Huddersfield can go from utter no-hopers at the start of this year to the 4th of 5th best team in the competition next year. Likewise if Warrington keep pushing onwards and upwards.

The only caveat is the one I made on the other thread, that the RFL would do well to decide the composition of divisions closer to the start of the season when all the off-season movements and developments can be assessed and factored in. This linked to my point about young players, where it could be fraught with risk if a club who belong in the 2nd tier are placed in the first tier.

I agree with your general point, the developments at York, Huddersfield etc are really raising the bar and pushing others to up their game. Can only be a good thing. 

Not sure I agree on your last point though. Players, sponsors, and grounds need plenty of notice and certainty. They can’t wait at the whim of off season movements 

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8 hours ago, DoubleD said:

Not sure I agree on your last point though. Players, sponsors, and grounds need plenty of notice and certainty. They can’t wait at the whim of off season movements 

In the few years I`ve been following WSL, all the arrangements have had an ad hoc tone. Fixtures and venues are not listed too far in advance, and can be altered at short notice. Obviously Covid played a part this year, but it wasn`t that different in 2019.

I would guess most sponsorship money is for individual players. So it`s only secured when the player signs, whether that be six months or a few weeks before the start of the season.

I still think the benefits will outweigh the risks if the RFL leave decisions on structures till the latest practicable moment.

And worth remembering that they split the competition into two groups of five in mid-July this year. Only after that were the fixtures for August published.

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Next year`s women`s CC will be played in a Champions League format with 4 groups of 4, followed by quarters, semis, final.

The draw for the group stage is -

St Helens, Warrington, Barrow, Army.

Leeds, Huddersfield, Leigh Miners, Hull FC.

York, Wigan, Bradford, Widnes.

Castleford, Featherstone, Wakefield, Oulton.

I think this makes sense. Main advantage is a smaller discrepancy in the number of games played between the successful and the unsuccessful than in a straight knockout.

Main disadvantage is that the teams from the Championship (Hull, Widnes, Oulton) will probably incur more hidings.

First round of games scheduled for March 12-13. So an earlier start to the season than in previous years.

Haven`t yet seen any info relating to WSL fixtures. The RFL should remain circumspect about the women playing too many games.

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I don't get why Super League South clubs are excluded. I know the Army are there and have history in the Cup but they are not Champions. Cardiff Demons are and look to have been snubbed.

Edited by bird
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4 hours ago, bird said:

I don't get why Super League South clubs are excluded. I know the Army are there and have history in the Cup but they are not Champions. Cardiff Demons are and look to have been snubbed.

I would have liked to see Cardiff in the WCC, but all their players are primarily committed to RU. Which would be a problem in March.

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2 hours ago, RigbyLuger said:

Another signing coming in for York. 

 

28 minutes ago, BroncoFan said:

Any clues who it is ?

I assume it`s Jasmine Bell. Following Tara Stanley a few days ago. Another two from Cas. In addition to Sinead Peach, Kelsey Gentles, Grace Field, Rhiannon Marshall, Tamzin Renouf, Georgie Hetherington, from earlier this year.

In this off-season, Cas have also lost Shona Hoyle to Huddersfield, Lucy Eastwood to Warrington, and Georgia Roche, Jasmine Cudjoe, Emma Lumley to Leeds. All together that`s 13 first grade players.

The only signing for Cas so far is Dani Waters from Championship side Hull FC. Other than that, they`ve held an "open-access development and selection session". There may be plenty of good young local players coming along, but they can`t possibly be ready for top 6 WSL. 

2 hours ago, RigbyLuger said:

 Have they released any players they started 2021 with?

That`s a good question. Not just at York, but also other clubs who have been recruiting heavily like Leeds and Warrington. Some of the players lower down the pecking order in these squads need to consider other options and find their own level.

Edited by unapologetic pedant
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Not just about big signings at York ......

Introducing York City Knights Ladies Scouting Combine!

Ahead of the 2022 campaign, York City Knights Ladies are set to host a ground-breaking Combine event, the first-ever for a Betfred Women’s Super League team which, following the NFL model of identifying talent, will put any athlete through their paces.

With the aim of challenging any female over the age of sixteen to see if they have what it takes to play rugby league at the highest level, the afternoon will consist of a variety of physical testing, skill and game-related analysis.

The Combine is open to any athlete and no prior rugby league experience is required – just a desire to push yourself to see if you have the skills to play the toughest sport in the world!

Each participant will receive a print-out of their test scores and, with a comparison to the best in the Women’s Super League. Any performers who the coaches feel display the necessary attributes will be invited to York City Knights Ladies’ training the following week.

With a great 2021 season behind them, next year promises to be even better – could you be a part of it?

Come give it a try – Sunday 21st November, York St John Sports Park from 12:30pm.

To register your place on the event please complete the short questionnaire prior to attending by clicking here or for more information, please contact a.cuthbertson@yorkcityknights.com or a.prentis@yorkcityknights.com.

#WeAreYork

 

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York are taking their investment in the women's game VERY seriously.....and that, in turn, is bringing in more interest and participation. Probably need an under-18s comp now ?

2022 Individual shirt sponsorships for the Knights Ladies will only cost £100 less than the Men's team sponsorship last year!  😮

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17 hours ago, RBKnight said:

Introducing York City Knights Ladies Scouting Combine!

Ahead of the 2022 campaign, York City Knights Ladies are set to host a ground-breaking Combine event, the first-ever for a Betfred Women’s Super League team which, following the NFL model of identifying talent, will put any athlete through their paces.

A few years back, the NRL ran some of these "anybody welcome" talent ID  events. They did unearth some players completely new to the game. But the main effect was to re-engage those young women who had played as juniors but had to give up aged 12. And to communicate that the NRL and State leagues were taking female RL seriously and providing opportunities not previously available.

When an individual club like York do this, I`d be curious to know where they place their online messaging. If they want it disseminated to those unfamiliar with RL, there must be limited value in going through the usual channels.

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On 09/12/2021 at 01:38, unapologetic pedant said:

I would have liked to see Cardiff in the WCC, but all their players are primarily committed to RU. Which would be a problem in March.

That is irrelevant. If they can raise a team and the cash, they should be entitled to play. Galway Tribesmen are in a comparable situation in the mens competition and are aiming to fundraise 5000 euro to cover the first round.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/galway-tribesmen-challenge-cup-journey-2022?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

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28 minutes ago, bird said:

That is irrelevant. If they can raise a team and the cash, they should be entitled to play. Galway Tribesmen are in a comparable situation in the mens competition and are aiming to fundraise 5000 euro to cover the first round.

I don`t know precisely whether or how the circumstances for Galway`s men differ from those of Cardiff`s women in terms of availability of players. 

One indisputable difference though is that Cardiff would have to commit their club to fulfilling a minimum of 3 fixtures as distinct from Galway`s minimum of 1. That isn`t "irrelevant". It means that for 3 weekends in under a month Cardiff`s players would either have to forswear their RU commitments or play twice on consecutive days.

It`s doubtful that women`s RL in Wales is yet at a stage where players would be willing to accord such priority to League. And therefore commensurately doubtful that they have been "snubbed".

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