Leeds Rhinos taking nothing for granted as Women’s Challenge Cup begins

LAST SEASON’S losing finalist Leeds Rhinos will take nothing for granted when they set off on the road to Wembley once again at the weekend.

The Women’s Challenge Cup once again takes the form of group stages, with 15 teams split into four groups, with the top two from each section progressing to the quarter finals, when the knock-out stages begin.

Leeds find themselves in Group Four with Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, and Leigh Leopards, whom they face in their opening game on Sunday.

While most would expect Leeds to easily top the group, their coach Lois Forsell knows her side need to remain on their guard against all three opposition sides, especially as they will be without key players Caitlin Beevers and Keara Bennett, who are continuing the recovery from off-season surgery.

“The Challenge Cup group is still going to be a test for us,” said Forsell.

“Each team is improving year on year so we will have to turn up to all those games with a good attitude and make sure that we’re on the money.

“Last year Huddersfield beat us at Headingley – I know we had rested a lot of players and we had our sights set on Wembley the following week, which was a bit of distraction, but they will be wanting to do similar again in the Challenge Cup game this year, so we know we definitely have to be on our A-game and make sure we put in a good performance against them, and the others.”

Sunday’s game could be the first opportunity to see new signings Shona Hoyle and Grace Field in action after the pair moved to Headingley from St Helens and York Valkyrie respectively.