Two Saints named on Woman of Steel shortlist!

After finishing second in the Women's Super League table two Saints stars have been nominated for this years Woman of Steel award. Reigning winner Jodie Cunningham and powerful centre Amy Hardcastle make the six-woman shortlist!

Two of the three previous winners of Rugby League’s Woman of Steel award are on the six-strong shortlist to be crowned the outstanding player in the Betfred Women’s Super League for 2022.

Georgia Roche of Leeds Rhinos, who was the inaugural winner in 2018 when she played for Castleford Tigers, is joined by the St Helens captain Jodie Cunningham, who is the reigning Woman of Steel having won the award in 2021.

Cunningham is joined by her Saints and England team-mate Amy Hardcastle on the shortlist but it is York City Knights who have the strongest representation with three contenders – as Hollie Dodd, Sinead Peach and Tara Jane Stanley are all recognised for their contribution to the Knights securing the BWSL League Leaders’ Shield for the first time.

For the first time, performances up to and including the BWSL Grand Final – at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday September 18 – will be taken into consideration before the 2022 Woman of Steel is revealed on Thursday September 22.

That will be followed by a first BWSL Awards Celebration at Old Trafford on Saturday September 24 before the men’s Betfred Super League Grand Final – when the Woman of Steel will be joined by the winners of the Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Top Tackler and Top Points Scorer awards.

Thomas Brindle, the general manager of the Betfred Women’s Super League and chair of the Woman of Steel voting panel, said:

“This is the first time we’ve announced a shortlist of six, but that’s a fair reflection of the level of competition to be crowned Woman of Steel for 2022.

“It is also reflected in the quality of players who have missed out on the shortlist. The panel debated long and hard to narrow down a long list of 15 players who had received votes, which is an encouraging sign of the increasing depth and competitiveness of the elite Women’s game – and great news for England as we prepare for the World Cup.

“The structure of the 2022 season means we have time to include performances in this weekend’s BWSL semi finals at Headingley, and then the Grand Final itself, before the panel reconvenes to select the winner.

“We also thought it was important to introduce awards to recognise the outstanding Young Player and Coach for the 2022 season, and to recognise the leading tacklers and point-scorers, mirroring the equivalent awards that have been established as part of the Betfred Super League’s Man of Steel awards.

“Having those awards announced and presented at Old Trafford on Grand Final day will further raise the profile of the Betfred Women’s Super League, at the end of another outstanding season.”

The voting panel included four members of the media who have provided more coverage than ever of Women’s Rugby League in 2022: Kyle Amor, the experienced Super League forward and Ireland international who has been a regular summariser for the BBC, Sky Sports, The Sportsman and Our League; Jenna Brooks, the Sky Sports presenter and reporter; Lorraine Marsden, the editor of Rugby League World magazine and Women’s Rugby League correspondent for League Express; and Sharon Shortle of the BBC.

They were joined by members of the England coaching and support staff.

Woman of Steel 2022 – Shortlist

Jodie Cunningham (St Helens)

Hollie Dodd (York City Knights)

Amy Hardcastle (St Helens)

Sinead Peach (York City Knights)

Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos)

Tara Jane Stanley (York City Knights)

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