Wilkinson takes reins at Raiders

HISTORY-making coach Amanda Wilkinson will lead her hometown club Barrow Raiders Ladies in their first Super League season.

The Cumbrians will compete in the competition’s group two alongside alongside fellow newcomers Leigh Miners Rangers as well as Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves.

Group one comprises Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, reigning champions St Helens, Wigan Warriors and York City Knights.

Wilkinson, who will carry on as Rugby League high performance coach at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, made history in 2014 by becoming Rugby League’s first female Level 3 qualified coach.

She has worked with Leeds City Council as a Rugby League development officer, Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors, whom she guided to Grand Final success in 2018.

Wilkinson is also involved with Serbian Rugby League as coach of the women’s team and assistant coach of the men’s team.

“It’s exciting times ahead and I’m proud to be the coach of a Cumbrian Super League team,” said Wilkinson. “I’m looking forward to getting started.

“I aim to make the individual players and the team the best they can be and become a competitor in their first season in Super League.

“I will look to build on the wonderful foundations that are currently in place at the club as a result of the hard work and commitment from the previous coach and his team.

“To achieve this I will draw upon my knowledge and experience of 20 years in performance coaching.”

Barrow chairman Steve Neale explained: “Amanda was just the sort of person we were looking for to take us to the next level in Super League.

“We actively pursued her for the position and we think that this is not only a statement of intent but will hopefully be the catalyst for some top talent from the county to join the Raiders.

“We will be announcing a trial date in the not-too-distant future with Amanda wanting to focus on moulding a high-quality squad.

“At the same time the club want to continue to provide opportunities for the growth of the female game.”