Leeds Rhinos centre Sophie Robinson has said it is hugely important for the continued development of the Women’s game that there is some action in 2020.
The new season was due to kick-off at the end of March, but as with all sporting fixtures, it was delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But she would like to see the season take place in some form after seeing the Women’s game take huge strides forward in the last couple of years.
“Ending last season with the Grand Final being shown live on Sky Sports was a huge step forward for the Women’s game,” Robinson told Totalrl.com.
“This year the game will go up another level so we have to hope that we can get out there and move the game forward even more.
“We just need to keep growing the game and us carrying on playing is the best way of doing that. We really don’t want that development having to be set back a year.”
Whenever the games do return, Robinson is hopeful of making her long-awaited return from on horrific leg injury suffered against York City Knights in August.
After a long road to recovery, Robinson is aiming a return to action in May or June. However, she has faced difficulty in continuing her rehab whilst in lockdown. But the club has still been on hand to help.
The injury, which occurred in the act of scoring a try, saw her suffer multiple fractures and a dislocation in her leg and ankle, and she admits she faces mental battles, as well as physical ones before she gets back on the pitch.
“It’s been hard because I was still doing my rehab before all this started, so it’s quite hard to do some of the work I was doing from home.
“I have been in touch with our physio and have a rehab programme to follow. Luckily I have some stuff that I can keep doing, but the leg presses and the weights I was doing is harder to do in lockdown.
“Because I can’t run again yet I was relying on the watt bike for my fitness work, so now I’m just trying to make do with YouTube videos and the rehab plan.
“I’ve recently been able to start jumping, which I have been able to do at home. So if I can get through that without any aggravation, then hopefully once we’re allowed back to training I will be ready to step it up and start running and getting involved.
“It does mean that whenever the season does start, I might be fit for round one, but if not I won’t miss as many games as I would have done.
“But the injury has impacted me more than just physically. I still need to get over the mental barrier of getting out there again.
“The club were going to help me out with a sports psychologist to help with that, but obviously that’s not happening at the moment.
“I do miss playing, but I am also nervous at the thought of going out there to play again. I know I can play again, but it’s just a matter of getting over what happened last time I did play.
“Part of me feels like I have forgotten how to play, but once I’m out there, running and have made that first tackle, I am sure I will be fine. There is definitely some mental things to get over first.”
The injury also put paid to Robinson’s plans of emigrating to Australia, but having seen her former team-mate Charlotte Booth make the move and become the first English professional Rugby League player, the 22-year-old still has eyes on that move.
But not before she has helped the Rhinos fulfil one final ambition.
“Three weeks after the injury I was meant to move to Australia for a year,” added Robinson, who featured in last year’s Challenge Cup Final victory, but missed the Grand Final win.
“I was just going to go out there and see what came about.
“But when that fell through I still needed to get away so I to Asia for two months instead, so that means I’m probably a bit behind in my recovery. I have a friend out there, so went and did some travelling there instead.
“Australia is still something I’d look to do in the future and now that Charlotte has made that step, she has given other girls in Super League the aspiration to go out there and play. That is a really good step for the Women’s game.
“But I’m pretty settled in Leeds for the time being.
“When you’ve trophies it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation to go into another season and you question how you can better the season before.
“But every season we want to win everything. The last two years we have missed out on one of the trophies – a different one each year, so that’s what we want to do this year.
“We want to keep hold of our trophies and become the first team to do the treble. And that is our main motivation.”