Saints skipper Cunningham named England Captain

St Helens Women's captain Jodie Cunningham has been named the new England Women Rugby League captain.

Cunningham will lead the England side for the first time in the mid-season international against France on Saturday, 29th April at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Cunningham, who succeeds her St Helens teammate Emily Rudge, made her international debut against England’s upcoming opponents back in 2009. She has since gone on to earn 27 caps, representing her country at three Rugby League World Cups in 2013, 2017 and, most recently, 2022.

Domestically, Cunningham led St Helens to a memorable treble back in 2021 and scored a crucial try as the Saints retained the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup at Elland Road, Leeds, in 2022.

Cunningham said: “It is a huge honour to have been named as England Women’s captain. It feels like the pinnacle for me as a player – from first picking up a ball at high school to going on to be named as captain of my country. What a journey!

“There are some fantastic leaders in the squad, including Emily Rudge who has been a terrific captain over the past five years and will no doubt continue to support me in my new role.

“We have a squad that is getting stronger by the year and as we now enter the next cycle of international Rugby League our focus has quickly shifted to the next World Cup in France in 2025. I cannot wait to lead England out for the first time later this month against France at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.”

England Women Head Coach Stuart Barrow added: “For several years now Jodie has shown what a strong leader she is, captaining St Helens to multiple trophies as well as being one of the most experienced players within the international set-up.

“She consistently displays all the attributes of a great captain both on and off the field and I feel she is the right person to lead us forward to the next World Cup.

“We have several senior players included in the squad that I think form a great leadership group, and will help nurture and guide some of the younger players coming into the side.

“Our attention is now solely on the France game at the end of this month and hopefully we see a strong crowd come out in support at Warrington.”

Tickets are available for England’s mid-season double-header against France at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday 29 April with adults priced at only £20 and under 16s for just £10. Purchase yours here.

England Women National Performance Squad 

Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos)
Savannah Andrade (York Valkyrie)
Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos)
Keara Bennett (Leeds Rhinos)
Chloe Billington (Featherstone Rovers)
Leah Burke (St Helens)
Jodie Cunningham [C] (St Helens)
Hollie-Mae Dodd (York Valkyrie)
Grace Field (York Valkyrie)
Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos)
Amy Hardcastle (Leeds Rhinos)
Zoe Harris (St Helens)
Zoe Hornby (Leeds Rhinos)
Shona Hoyle (St Helens)
Tara Jones (St Helens)
Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors)
Eboni Partington (St Helens)
Sinead Peach (York Valkyrie)
Emily Rudge (St Helens)
Tamzin Renouf (York Valkyrie)
Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos)
Tara Stanley (York Valkyrie)
Paige Travis (St Helens)
Vicky Whitfield (St Helens)
Olivia Wood (York Valkyrie)

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