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England Women Performance Squad Update

The Coral Challenge Cup Final is not the only significant Rugby League action taking place this weekend.

A few hours before the kick-off at Wembley and a couple of hundred miles north at Weetwood in Leeds, the England Women Performance Squad will engage in their most physical and significant session since Lockdown, as they continue a determined attempt to make up for the time lost from an abandoned Betfred Women’s Super League season, with the clock ticking down towards next year’s home World Cup.

The spring and summer was a deeply frustrating period for all, although the players were given individual training programmes through Lockdown, and head coach Craig Richards held regular virtual meetings.

After finally being given the go-ahead to get back on to the field in September, England’s elite women have worked through a six-week staged Return to Playing programme.

The 30 players were split between the North West and Yorkshire, with coaching staff at all sessions following guidelines drawn up by the England Performance Unit and Dr Gemma Phillips, the RFL’s Covid lead.

Initial sessions involved small pods of players working on skills in comparative isolation; but the last two weeks have seen full contact in larger groups.

This week’s session will be another step up –a first chance for more than seven months to train as one Performance Squad, culminating in an opposed training match between the North West and Yorkshire groups.

Emily Rudge, the England captain, said:

“After waiting for so long, it’s been brilliant for all of the girls to get back out on the field together over the last few weeks.

“We’ve had to do everything in the right way, by taking on board a lot of Covid advice and following the policies set out for us as a team.

“This weekend’s training match will be another step forward in the programme – and we’ve already been given a detailed plan for the next few months, leading up to an Origin series in March before we can get back playing for our Super League clubs.

“It’s amazing to think that this time next year, we’ll be on the brink of the World Cup. It hasn’t been the year we’d hoped for in terms of Women’s Rugby League, but the World Cup is still firmly within our sights. We’ve turned the focus to making gains with our strength, speed and power and it’s been really nice to have the time to build on that lately - the girls are starting to see some really positive outcomes.

“We always knew 2021 was going to be our biggest challenge yet, and that’s even more the case after what’s happened in 2020. But we’re all up for that challenge and can’t wait for next year.”

The England Women Performance Squad programme for 2021 will begin on November 28, with weekly sessions either side of Christmas leading up to a three-match Origin series in March.

The RFL has committed to Government and Sport England that it will do all it can to maintain momentum in Women’s Rugby League which had been growing at 30% year on year pre-Lockdown, and enjoying its highest ever profile. RLWC2021 offers a uniquely powerful platform to inspire more women and girls to play, watch, officiate, coach and volunteer.


Club Cash

AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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