France Women v England Women: Hard work paying off for Savannah Andrade

YORK CITY Knights’ Savannah Andrade is ready to make the most of her England debut – especially knowing how hard she has worked to get to this point.

The centre, 21, faces France in Perpignan this lunchtime barely 24 hours before her brother Jordan Andrade, of Hunslet, plays for Jamaica against Scotland at Featherstone.

She was part of the Bradford Bulls side which won the inaugural Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final in 2017 and earned a place in the England Women’s Performance training squad.

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But Andrade was overlooked for the tour of Papua New Guinea two years ago and has to build back up to finally earn her chance.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” she said, after being recalled.

“I’ve been playing rugby for quite a few years now.

“This is what I’ve been building towards.

“I’ve been in the programme before and unfortunately got taken out of it.

York's Savannah Andrade. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“But I’m so happy to be back in there and my goal is to be selected in some of the matches for the World Cup next year.

“This year, being at York, I think I’ve developed as a player.

“I’ve probably improved my skills the most this season compared to any other.

“I think that’s what a lot of my England team-mates have seen; a lot of them have congratulated me because they have seen how hard I’ve worked. I definitely think I’ve gained their trust.”

Hunslet's Jordan Andrade. Picture: Tony Johnson

The game will be shown on BBC2, the first time an England women’s rugby league game has been broadcast live on terrestrial television.

Andrade admitted: “I’m really excited about that. Just having those big channels showcase our game is such a great and big thing in the women’s sport; just exposing the game to people who maybe didn’t know about women’s rugby league so much or inspiring young girls who might want to try it out. It’s really good for our progression.”

And in terms of progression, she thanked her brother for aiding her career.

Leeds-born Andrade said: “He’s always been there to take me to the field when I wanted to do some extra training or extra skills and he always messages me before games about how I need to play and what my role is going to be.

“Everyone is super proud of me and my brother. It’s such a great opportunity – fingers crossed, there will be a brother/sister combo in the World Cup next year.”