Wales Women's squad named for World Cup qualifiers

Wales Women’s head coach Tom Brindle has announced a 36-player train-on squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.

The Welsh open their campaign against Ireland at Cardiff University Sports Park on Saturday 27 April (kick-off 2.45pm).

They will then travel to face either Netherlands or Italy on Saturday 22 June in their final match of the three-team group where the winners qualify for the World Cup in 2026 and the runners-up go into a play-off.

There are 16 potential debutants, with Cardiff Demons’ Kim Boaler and Chelcey Greasley, along with Hannah Williams of Army RL, all being named in the 2023 squad with Boaler selected as 18th player in both of Wales’ games last year.

The 13 newcomers in 2024 come from a variety of clubs.

Seven of them are part of the 23 who have been named from the Demons – Lucia Davies, Bridget Jones and Sioned Young started playing with Cardiff last year, with four players, Tara Finnegan, Frances Layton, Lora Roberts and Megan Whittaker all in their first season, having all started in rugby union and playing for clubs at the highest level.

The remaining six all play in England. Chloë Allcorn of Bedford Tigers and Agnes Wood of Sheffield Eagles, have turned out for England Community Lions in the past. Sian McLaughlin plays rugby league for the Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces. Leilah Mills played for Featherstone Rovers in 2021 and is currently playing rugby union for Lichfield. Jody-Lee Yandle who has been playing for Anglian Vipers RLFC was brought up in rugby union, representing Dragons u18 and Eastern Counties in the past. Finally, Gracie Hobbs is another newcomer to Rugby League and is currently playing for Leeds Beckett University.

Brindle said: “I’m really excited by the squad we’ve managed to put together, which both continues to build on the last three years of work, with 13 new players coming into the squad, who come from the wider range of teams across Wales and England.

“We’ve had a good training programme so far and I’m looking forward to what will be a competitive Rugby League World Cup qualification campaign.”

WALES: Jody-Lee Yandle* (Anglian Vipers), Hannah Williams* (Army Rugby League), Chloë Allcorn* (Bedford Tigers), Lauren Aitken, Kim Boaler*, Leanne Burnell, Katie Carr, Lucia Davies*, Shaunni Davies, Tara Finnegan*, Jasmine Gibbons, Seren Gough-Walters, Chelcey Greasley*, Ffion Jenkins, Bridget Jones*, Ffion Jones, Hannah Jones, Sara Jones, Frances Layton*, Charlie Mundy, Rhi Parker, Amy Price, Brittony Price, Lora Roberts*, Megan Whittaker*, Sioned Young* (all Cardiff Demons), Ashlea Prescott (Featherstone Rovers), Gracie Hobbs* (Leeds Beckett University), Bethan Dainton (Leeds Rhinos), Leilah Mills* (Lichfield RU), Kathryn Salter (London Broncos), Sian McLaughlin* (Royal Navy), Rebecca Davies (Salford Red Devils), Agnes Wood* (Sheffield Eagles), Brogan Evans (Wigan Warriors), Georgia Taylor (York Valkyrie).

Unavailable this season due to injury: Lowri Norkett-Morgan, Amberley Ruck (both Cardiff Demons), Emily Hughes (London Broncos), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors).