Betfred Challenge Cup winning Saints Women’s Head Coach Derek Hardman has joined the England Women coaching staff as an Assistant Coach ahead of next week’s National Lottery Mid-Season international against Wales.
Hardman will join former England international Lindsay Anfield – the Head Coach he came up against in this year’s Challenge Cup Final – as Assistant Coach while Adam Cuthbertson will leave the programme to focus on his playing commitments at York City Knights.
On the appointment, Hardman said: “I am extremely honoured to have been offered the role of England Women Assistant Coach.
“I’ve been involved with the set-up for a few months and am now delighted to have joined the team in an official capacity ahead of the mid-season fixture against Wales and the Rugby League World Cup later this year.”
England Women Head Coach Craig Richards added: “Dec will be a great addition to the team ahead of a huge year for England Women.
“He has a wealth of experience and a real eye for detail which is key to ensuring the squad continues to develop ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.”
Cuthbertson joined the England Women backroom staff ahead of the 2019 tour of Papua New Guinea after leading Leeds Rhinos to one Super League title, a League Leaders’ Shield and two Challenge Cups.
On his departure, Richards said: “It’s a huge loss to the programme not just for his hard work, knowledge of the game and experience he brings but also as he was such a great person to have in the environment.
“I would like to think we will see him back coaching when possible and thank him for his efforts over the past two years.”
England Women face Wales in The National Lottery Mid-Season International at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 25 June, 6pm kick-off.