Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers dominate England Women squads - Wakefield Trinity also represented

Twelve Leeds Rhinos players and 10 from arch-rivals Castleford Tigers have been named in the latest England Women performance squads.

Castleford Tigers' Kelsey Gentles, left, is in the England elite performance squad. Picture by Seb Sternik

Rhinos have eight players in the elite squad and four selected for the first Knights group.

Seven Tigers players are in elite contention, with three more set to feature for the Knights.

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Wakefield Trinity have two players in the 10-strong Knights squad.

Uncapped Abi Eatock, of Leeds Rhinos, has forced her way into England contention. Picture by Garry Beevers.

Uncapped Abi Eatock, Natasha Gaines, Fran Goldthorp and Chloe Kerrigan have been called up to the elite squad after featuring in Rhinos’ 2019 Challenge Cup and Grand Final wins over Tigers, whose Lacey Owen is also included for the first time.

The Knights squad will be coached by new Rhinos team boss Lois Forsell and includes Leeds’ Keara Bennett, Elle Frain, Sophie Nuttall and Ellie Oldroyd, along with Jasmine Cudjoe, Hollie Mae Dodd and Tamzin Renouf of Castleford and Wakefield’s Tara Moxon and Aallisha Rhodes.

England coach Craig Richards said: “We felt it was important to name our squads, despite the current circumstances, to maintain some normality and ensure the players know where they are in terms of our planning going forward.

“Even though we aren’t meeting and training as a group we have been conducting a number of webinars and online sessions throughout this difficult period which have allowed us to maintain contact and guide the squad.

A two-try performance in last year's Grand Final helped earn Leeds' Fran Goldthorp a call-up to the England elite performance squad. Picture by PA.

“We have named a base of ten players in our Knights squad, but this is with a view to expanding throughout 2020.

“The girls who have been selected now have something to work towards while we have a long list of potential candidates who could bolster that squad further down the line.”

St Helens have signed England veteran Amy Hardcastle from Bradford Bulls.

England Women elite performance squad: Dannielle Anderson, Caitlin Beevers, Abi Eatock, Natasha Gaines, Fran Goldthorp, Amy Johnson, Chloe Kerrigan, Shannon Lacey (Leeds Rhinos); Grace Field, Kelsey Gentles, Shona Hoyle, Lacey Owen, Sinead Peach, Georgia Roche, Tara Jane Stanley (Castleford Tigers); Leah Burke, Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham, Amy Hardcastle, Tara Jones, Emily Rudge, Paige Travis, Naomi Williams (St Helens); Rebecca Greenfield, Victoria Molyneux, Rachel Thompson, Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors); Roxette Murdoch (Warrington Wolves); Carrie Roberts (British Army).

England Women Knights performance squad: Keara Bennett, Elle Frain, Sophie Nuttall, Ellie Oldroyd (Leeds Rhinos); Jasmine Cudjoe, Hollie Mae Dodd, Tamzin Renouf (Castleford Tigers); Tara Moxon, Aallisha Rhodes (Wakefield Trinity); Isabel Bibby (Huddersfield Giants).

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