Leeds Rhinos have announced an ambitious three-year plan to significantly raise the profile and standards of their Women’s Super League team from 2022.
Head Coach Lois Forsell has already begun preparations for next year with the signing of former Woman of Steel and England international Georgia Roche alongside Jasmine Earnshaw Cudjoe and Emma Lumley. Now the team have been given a further boost with news that all their home Betfred Women’s Super League games will be played at Headingley next year, with some earmarked as double headers with the men’s Super League games.
Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive said: “We are very proud of the progress and achievements of our Women’s Super League squad over the past four years and we now want to accelerate their development with extra investment in their infra-structure and support services.
Wishing a Happy Birthday to new Leeds Rhinos Women's player Jasmine Earnshaw-Cudjoe! 🥳 pic.twitter.com/tciX1m4WnN
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) December 23, 2021
“Next season will be phase one of the plan and the squad will benefit from increased physio and medical support along with player welfare provision and nutritional expertise. The club will tap into their partnership with Leeds Beckett University with Professor Ben Jones overseeing the strength and conditioning programme and Rhinos Team Manager, Jason Davidson taking on a supporting role.
“The Women’s squad will share the Kirkstall Training complex with the Rhinos men’s squad and Head Coach, Richard Agar has offered the support of himself and his coaching team.”
The women’s Academy programme will also benefit from the investments and three-year plan, with new staff recruited to strengthen the programme to support the next generation of players.
Rhinos Women’s Head Coach, Lois Forsell said: “We are really keen to develop and grow the game. This is something that will take time but we are committed to doing all this whilst competing at the top in the Women’s Super League. 2021 was a difficult year for all clubs and as we prepare for 2022 we are already seeing some positive changes for us and we all can’t wait to get back training in pre-season ahead of the Challenge Cup kicking off in March.
“Through my work with Leeds Rhinos Foundation we will also continue our support for the women’s and girl’s game at grassroots level and we hope we can create more opportunities for girls to play, with interest in the game greater than ever before. It was fantastic to see 4,500 fans attend the Grand Final at Headingley in October and we know the women’s game is going to continue to grow so we are pleased the club are showing this commitment to the Women’s team and the Academy and we are excited about the future.”