Women’s Super League set to return

The RFL is hoping to gain elite sports status for the Women’s Super League in time for the season to kick off in mid-April as scheduled.

As it stands, outside of the professional men’s game only the England Women’s and England Wheelchair teams have elite status, so training for those squads is ongoing.

However, that doesn’t yet apply to the Women’s Super League, which doesn’t yet have elite status, so a pause on club training is still in place and players remain subject to national lockdown restrictions.

But talks are currently taking place to ensure the top women’s competition is placed in the same bracket as the three professional men’s leagues, with a return to training being targeted for next month.

England coach Craig Richards is hoping that the women will get the go-ahead to return in April, as he knows a full and intense season will be crucial to the national side’s chances of success in the World Cup later this year.

“As an international programme we’re hoping to be back to full contact within a couple of weeks,” said Richards.

“We’re eager to then get our early season Origin Series played that then hopefully leads into the Super League season in April.

“The one thing we do need is a really tough Super League season for the girls, and hopefully we can get an undisrupted one as well.

“If we get that, that will build nicely into the World Cup.”

Richards also confirmed some changes to his international coaching team following the appointment of Sean Briscoe as head coach of the England PDRL team.

Briscoe, along with York City Knights forward Adam Cuthbertson, was an assistant to Richards for the tour of Papua New Guinea last year.

Cuthbertson will remain in the role and will be joined by Castleford Tigers coach and former international Lindsay Anfield. St Helens head coach Derek Hardman will also link up with the coaching team in an informal role ahead of the proposed Origin series.

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.