Rudge nominated for leading award

England captain Emily Rudge has been named on the long list for the 2022 Golden Boot award after her performances in leading the nation to wins over France and Wales this year.

But she will have to wait until after the World Cup to find out if she has won as the International Rugby League (IRL) has decided not to award the Golden Boot for 2021 because the pandemic has prevented a significant number of member nations from playing any international fixtures in 2020 or 2021. Therefore, performances from these seasons will be carried forward and used for consideration at the end of next year.

Rudge, who became England’s record appearance maker when she earned her 24th cap against France last month, is joined on the list for the Women’s award by Wales’ Ffion Lewis.

“It is absolutely huge and there is no better person to be nominated for that than Emily,” said Rudge’s international coach Craig Richards.

“I am sat here with my fingers crossed that she wins it, because what everyone sees is Emily Rudge on television or playing a game live and lauds her skills and leadership. But what I get to see at times is how much she puts into her game and how hard she works.

“It’s strange because sometimes when you pick someone as captain, the only fear that you have is that it affects their performance. But Emily’s performances have improved ten-fold with the captaincy and she wears that captaincy badge so well.

“It is fantastic for Emily that she has this nomination, but it’s also fantastic for England and the Women’s Super League that she’s been recognised in this way.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.