Wales name Women and Dragonhearts teams for Saturday’s double header

Wales Rugby League have named their first ever women’s team as they take on Great Britain Teachers in a friendly match at The Gnoll in Neath this Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm) writes Ian Golden.

Head coach Craig Taylor has decided to give all of his 23 strong squad a run-out this Saturday before selecting just 17 for their match against England Lions next month.

Cardiff Blue Dragons’ Rafiuke Taylor will captain the side as the 41-year old prepares to become the first ever female dual-code international.

Craig Taylor said: “The girls have been amazing, enthusiastic, committed and had a real willingness to learn new skills.

“Rugby League is new to most of the players, but what they lack in knowledge at this moment in time they will make up for with passion and pride in wearing the Welsh badge. Whatever the result it’s a win for Women’s Rugby League in wales.

“The Great Britain Teachers side are full of experience with a large number playing in the Women’s Super League. We have only had a very short time together, so the game plan is simple. Whatever the outcome we will review, reflect, learn as a group and go forward to the England game.”

Wales Dragonhearts’ head coach Ian Newbury has named his squad for the clash against Southern England Lionhearts at The Gnoll in Neath this Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

The Dragonhearts, who are the representative side of the rugby league community game in Wales, are celebrating their 25th anniversary as an international side this year, and one of the originals from the clash against England in 1994, Ioan Bebb, will present the shirts to the players before the game.

With matches against Lithuania, England Lions and Malta Knights to follow, Newbury has a training squad of 27 for the autumn, and has named 19 for this clash with a six-man extended bench. For 10 of the players, it will be their first appearance in Dragonhearts colours.

The side will be captained by Liam Watton, who along with Adam and Shaun will make history what is believed to be the first set of three brothers to turn out for a Wales international side.

Newbury said: “It’s been a long road to this point but I’m looking forward now to watching the boys deliver what they have been working hard to achieve.

“For many of the players, their Rugby League year started with the first round of the Challenge Cup back in January and is the result of ten months of hard graft to get to this point.

“The Origin Series gave plenty of headaches when it came to selection this year. From all the series’ that I have been involved in, I think this was the best standard I’ve seen and that’s a credit to the rest of the Dragonhearts staff in Matt Drinkwater, Craig Fisher and Steve Smith who have worked hard with the retrospective teams to deliver this.

“Selection was also tough for me for this opening game on Saturday against Southern England Lionhearts, as I think we have one of the best squads we’ve had for a while and I’m forward to hopefully guiding the talent in this squad to victory.”

Match and series tickets, priced just £5 for adults for one match, or £12.50 for the series, can be bought by going to


1. Savannah Ledsam (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

2. Zoe Lewis (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

3. Rebecca Llewellyn-Ennis (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

4. Seren Gough-Walters (Cardiff Blue Dragons)

5. Megan Oaten (Rhondda Outlaws)

6. Kathryn Salter (vc) (Cardiff Blue Dragons, East Wales)

7. Leanne Burnell (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

8. Emily Hughes (Cardiff Blue Dragons)

9. Jess Wallington (Cardiff Blue Dragons)

10. Vicky Lea (British Army, GB Armed Forces)

11. Joeann McGuire (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

12. Ffion Owen (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

13. Rafiuke Taylor (c) (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)


14. Stacey Wright (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

15. Kim Jones (Cardiff Blue Dragons, East Wales)

16. Lauren Aitken (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

17. Rhian Stephens (Rhondda Outlaws, West Wales)

18. Laura Keeble (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

19. Harriet Cooksey (Cardiff Blue Dragons, West Wales)

20. Shaunni Davies (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

21. Karla Benjamin (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)

22. Charlie Mundy (Cardiff Blue Dragons, East Wales)

23. Sara Prosser (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)


1 Jonah Huntley (Rhondda Outlaws, West Wales)*

25 Corey Harris (Bridgend Blue Bulls, West Wales)*

3 Liam Watton (Valley Cougars, East Wales)

26 Adam Watton (Valley Cougars, East Wales)

5 Samuel Pridgeon (Valley Cougars, West Wales)

23 Shane Lee (Valley Cougars, West Wales)

7 Geoffrey Hick (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)*

8 Shaun Watton (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)*

14 Grant Harrington (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)*

19 Darrel Moyle (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)

10 Ben Stelmaszek (Thatto Heath Crusaders, North Wales Origin)

11 Wesley Cunliffe (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)*

13 Mike Hurley (Valley Cougars, East Wales)


9 Dean Higgs (Valley Cougars, East Wales)

15 Morgan Nicholas (Latchford Albion, North Wales Origin)*

16 Luke Royal (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)*

18 Luca Owen-Youens (North Wales Crusaders A, North Wales Origin)*

20 Byron Edwards (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)*

27 Gareth Howells (Bridgend Blue Bulls, West Wales)