Leeds Rhinos women’s historic first fixture foiled by heavy rain

Lois Forsell.
Lois Forsell.
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HISTORY WILL have to wait to be made after Leeds Rhinos women’s scheduled first game was postponed today.

Rhinos were due to kick off their Women’s Super League campaign against Featherstone Rovers at LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road, tomorrow night but the pitch was waterlogged and unplayable. A statement, released by both clubs, said: “The surface has stood up brilliantly, with a lot of hard work from our ground staff, though the weather has beaten us on this occasion.”

LD Nutrition Stadium, Featherstone.

LD Nutrition Stadium, Featherstone.

A new date for this fixture has yet to be agreed, but Rhinos will now launch their campaign at Odsal on Sunday, April 15 against Bradford Bulls, kick-off 3.45pm.

Leeds’ co-captain Lois Forsell, who joined the Rhinos from Bradford, is even more excited to get started and believes it is the beginning of a new era for the women’s game in the city.

“It is a big development, because we are starting a legacy,” said Forsell, who played for England at last year’s World Cup. “We are starting to build. The women’s team is massive for the women involved, but we’ve also got the under-19s academy and we’re also looking at under-16s.

“We are building a better future for women’s rugby league in Leeds. It is going to raise the standard.”

Adam Cuthbertson.

Adam Cuthbertson.

Bad weather has already hampered Rhinos’ preparations with a warm-up game against York twice being postponed, and Leeds have had only one trial, a 24-8 defeat at Castleford.

“A lot of positives came out of that,” Forsell said.

“It was good for everyone to get out there and everyone built in confidence.

“There are things individually and collectively we want to put right, but it was nice to have that experience of playing together. Now everyone’s excited and wanting the season to get under way.”

The Leeds team are coached by Rhinos’ two-time Grand Final-winning prop Adam Cuthbertson.

“He has been good,” Forsell said. “It wasn’t good for him he got injured, but it was good for us because it gave us a bit of extra time with him.

“He is clear in what he wants from us, which is to compete. We know what he’s telling us is spot on because he has been there and done that with the same club we are playing for and he is bringing the same ethic to us.”