Women’s Super League 2024: Wigan Warriors season preview, player to watch, squad and prediction

Rachel Thompson says…

DENIS BETTS has been a breath of fresh air. He’s got a different outlook and he comes with years of experience within the game. The girls have a lot of time for him. He’s brought a new way of thinking.

We’ve all upped our standards. Like Denis has said, we want to compete. 

We have got to semi-finals before so now it’s got to be about not just being good enough to get there, we’ve got to win those big games and get to those finals. We want to win silverware. That’s why we’re all here. 

We’re not happy to just be up there in the top four. We want to compete with them. We want to beat them. 

We’ve got a very young squad and now they’re a year older, they’ve got a little more experience, and if we look after them we’ll come good in the end.

One to watch

EXCITING young halfback GRACE BANKS burst on to the scene at Wigan in 2023, after being promoted from the club’s academy set-up. 

She caught the eye with several sensational tries as the Warriors looked to compete with, and cut the gap between themselves and the top three. That form didn’t go unnoticed by England who quickly called her into the Knights squad. 

Working alongside other top athletes at international level and being coached by Denis Betts will only further aid her development, and if she catches the eye again earlier, she will definitely enhance her reputation as a true star of the future.

Pundit’s view with Danika Priim

ONE of the shock signings in the off-season was new coach Denis Betts. Known for his coaching all the way up to international level, Betts will have high standards and a strong desire to push the team past the semi-finals they have reached for the past couple of seasons. 

Wigan have been struck by long-term injuries in previous years, but in between those unlucky streaks have shown what they are capable of – pushing Leeds Rhinos in both the Challenge Cup and play-off semi-finals last year. 

Vicky Molyneux, who has retired from international duties but is playing on at club level, is a formidable force in any squad and will be an experienced and composed player to help lead the squad around the park. 

2024 squad

1 Grace Banks, 2 Cailey Miller, 3 Anna Davies, 4 Molly Jones, 5 Ellise Derbyshire, 6 Sinead Doria, 7 Emma Knowles, 8 Alice Fisher, 9 Abbie Singleton, 10 Hollie Speakman, 11 Eva Hunter, 12 Mary Coleman, 13 Victoria Molyneux, 14 Rachel Thompson, 15 Ruth Thomas, 16 Brogan Evans, 17 Rebecca Greenfield, 19 Ellie Costello, 20 Emma Dwyer, 21 Jade Gregory-Haselden, 22 Jodie Morris, 23 Kaitlin Hilton, 24 Lucy Johnson, 25 Sarah Bardsley, 26 Cerys Jones, 27 Bethany Hayes, 28 Olivia Haraborow, 29 Mia-Jayne Atherton, 30 Kerrie Evans, 31 Alison Burrows, 32 Isabel Rowe, 33 Carys Marsh. 34 Rease Casey.

Rugby League World predicts: 5th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 495 (April 2024)

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