St.Helens R.F.C's Totally Wicked Stadium will be the venue for this year’s Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final, which will now take place on Friday 11 October.
Originally scheduled for Sunday 13 October at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, the switch of date and venue follows confirmation of England Women’s participation in the Downer World Nines competition in Sydney on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October.
The news comes after Betfred has extended its sponsorship of Rugby League to include the women’s game for the first time, as the first title partners of the burgeoning Women’s Super League (WSL).
The ground-breaking deal will run alongside the recent extension of the Betfred Super League partnership until the end of the 2021 season – and sets up a double header of Betfred Super League Grand Finals this autumn.
The RFL’s Marc Lovering, Director of Participation and Development, explains:
“We want to give England Women the best possible chance at the World Nines and moving the final to Friday 11th will allow players who may have both club and country commitments additional travel and preparation time.
“We’re grateful to Mike Rush at St Helens for stepping in and offering to host the final at another impressive rugby league venue – the Totally Wicked Stadium.”
Mike Rush, the chief executive of St Helens, said: “We are delighted to stage the first Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
“The development of Women’s Rugby League over the last couple of years has been a shining light for the game, and at Saints we’ve always been keen to play a leading part in that.
“The Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final is a major new occasion for the game, and the Totally Wicked Stadium, on the Friday night before the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, is a fitting stage for it.”
Wigan Warriors are the defending women’s champions, and Bradford Bulls were the inaugural winners in 2017 – but Castleford Tigers are the current leaders, with St Helens and Leeds Rhinos also in the top three.
The Women’s Championship and League One grand finals will take place on Saturday 12 October at Manchester’s Etihad Campus prior to the season’s climax at Old Trafford – the Betfred Super League Grand Final, which kicks off at 6pm.