YESTERDAY, the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Round One fixtures were announced as holders St Helens host London Broncos in their first bid to retain the trophy.
However, interestingly, Castleford Tigers had withdrawn from Group One of the competition, leaving Sheffield Eagles, York Valkyrie and Featherstone Rovers to battle it out in that group.
Of course, the top two go through to the quarter-finals, but a number of people were left questioning what had happened to the Tigers.
League Express approached both the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Castleford for comment about the withdrawal.
An RFL spokesperson told League Express: “The RFL accepted a request from Castleford to withdraw because they aren’t in a position to compete at that level at this stage.”
Back in 2019, the Castleford Tigers Women’s side lifted the League Leaders’ Shield after a storming run to the top of the Super League table before making it to the Challenge Cup Final for the second year running.
In both the 2018 and 2019 Challenge Cup Finals, however, the Tigers went down to the Leeds Rhinos on both occasions before the squad began being dismantled following the exit of head coach Lindsay Anfield.
Anfield joined York Valkyrie where a number of players such as Sinead Peach, Tara-Jane Stanley and Tamzin Renouf also followed whilst Woman of Steel Georgia Roche moved to Leeds and then to Newcastle Knights in the NRLW.
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