Ratcliffe: We will continue to prepare

  • Women’s Head Coach Kris Ratcliffe says his side will continue to prepare for Wigan’s next opportunity to play following the announcement that the Women’s season will not commence in 2020.
  • Captain Rachel Thompson and Vice-Captain Victoria Molyneux also share their thoughts following the decision.
  • RFL announces new training sessions and local friendlies as ways of maintaining momentum in Women’s Rugby League.

After last week’s announcement that the 2020 Betfred Women’s Super League and Coral Women’s Challenge Cup are cancelled due to Covid-19, Warriors Women Head Coach Kris Ratcliffe says his team will continue to prepare for the time they can return to the field.

Speaking on the decision by the RFL, Ratcliffe said: “Obviously we are disappointed to hear the news that we won’t be competing in a league structure this year, but we fully understand the reasons in this current situation. We need to do all we can to stay safe and try and ensure that we don’t have a return to a full lockdown.

“We will continue to prepare in the careful manner that we have been doing in readiness for the proposed localised friendlies, which we would welcome.

“On a positive note, it allows us a great opportunity to focus on individual improvements in skill, strength and conditioning plus mental well-being and social support, which is vitally important during these unusual times.

“We will ensure that even if we don’t get the opportunity to play at all in 2020, we will be back stronger and more hungry in 2021.”

Captain, Rachel Thompson, echoed the thoughts of her Head Coach: “The season being cancelled is not ideal for anyone involved in the Women’s game and especially the Wigan girls.

“We have worked really hard in lockdown and it isn’t the news that any of us wanted to hear, but given the circumstances we completely understand why.

“We are positive that this extra long wait to get back playing rugby league will strengthen our squad and we will continue to work hard as a team and be ready to perform when the time does come.

“The girls will be even more excited to pull the Wigan jersey on again and it has definitely allowed us not to take the game that we love for granted. We will keep preparing as best as we can, and we look forward to getting back out there when it is safe to do so.”

Vice-Captain, Victoria Molyneux, also offered her thoughts: “As a team, not only players but staff too, we are gutted that the season will not get underway.

“The team has worked so hard in anticipation for a 2020 season, not only to maintain fitness levels but using the extra time to work on individual development. This has been the longest pre-season ever, but we have certainly taken advantage of the situation.

“Resuming training a few weeks ago in a safe and distanced environment has shown that the hard work has paid off, the training has been high intensity and there has been fantastic focus and attitude on display from all the girls in camp. Now we have heard the news, we need to draw a line under it and move on.

“We will take every positive out of this situation and always focus on the silver lining, for us that is that we have a good amount of time now to continue to push, work hard and get ready for 2021 where we hope to be title contenders again, and start the competition with a bang.”

Ratcliffe summarised: “As a Club, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us this year, from sponsors, supporters, family and friends; albeit from afar and we hope that we can welcome you back to see us play very soon.

“We will be going the extra mile to support our England squad players as they gear up for a World Cup year in 2021, and our priority is to continue the hard work as a squad for when we can play again.”