Derek Hardman joins England Women’s set up

There has been a restructuring of the England Women Rugby League backroom team as confirmed by Head Coach Craig Richards in preparation for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

St Helens Women’s Head Coach Derek Hardman has joined the set-up while Shaun Briscoe – who was recently appointed as England’s first-ever PDRL Head Coach – will leave his role as Assistant Coach but will continue to mentor members of the squad in another capacity.

In addition, Castleford Tigers Women’s boss and former England International Lindsay Anfield has returned to the National Performance Programme after missing the 2019 tour of Papua New Guinea whilst being on maternity leave.

England Women returned to training this past weekend with a 57-strong group of players and staff participating in lateral flow testing prior to the session, producing zero positive Covid-19 test results.

On the coaching set-up Saints and England’s Craig Richards said: “Shaun’s appointment to the Head Coach role of England PDRL is great and we all applauded him when we found out but in terms of England Women it coincided with the return of Lindsay Anfield from maternity leave.

“Lindsay adds a real passion for the Women’s game and a real understanding of what it means to compete in a World Cup. It isn’t just about challenging players but it’s about challenging coaches too and Lindsay challenges me and is always striving for us to be the best we can be.

“We’ve also brought in Dec Hardman who is the St Helens Head Coach and brings a wealth of experience and his eye for detail in particular core skills is something we really wanted to get into the squad.”

In line with the addition of Steve McCormack to lead on player welfare across all four England senior squads, Steve Hardisty – the Welfare Manager at Huddersfield Giants – will assist the England Women’s squad ahead of RLWC2021.

Richards said: “This is potentially our most important addition to the team as it ensures we’re looking after the players both on and off the field.”

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