The England Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) Women’s team will face Catalans Dragons U19’s in Perpignan this Saturday (2pm K.O.) with the squad preparing to face overseas opposition for the very first time.
DiSE is the first step on the England Performance Pathway, a national programme for Year 12 and 13 girls who have the potential to play at the highest level of the game – representing England Rugby League with either the Knights or the Women’s senior team.
A squad of 19 drawn from seven Women’s Super League clubs and also two from the community game will travel to France for the fixture at Saint Esteve Stadium which will give the promising young players their first experience of international Rugby League, with four Wigan Warriors players involved.
Rugby Football League DiSE Manager, Conor Meese, said: “The DiSE Class of 21’ have really impressed all of us involved with the programme and we have organised this fixture in Perpignan as a reward for their commitment and professionalism over the two years they have been with us.
“The trip should provide all the players with invaluable experience, and we hope that it gives them a taste of what it could be like should they progress to representing England on the international stage.”
Head of Female Pathways and England Women Head Coach, Stuart Barrow, explains: “Saturday’s fixture will be the final time that this group play alongside one another after successfully finishing the DiSE pathway – it should be a memorable experience for everyone involved.
“Conor has worked hard in planning the camp and playing opportunity against a Catalans side who will have a different style of play compared to what the squad are used to.
“We’re going to face some interesting challenges in the weather, travel, a foreign environment, and a very tough opponent. I’m looking forward to seeing how the players cope with these obstacles and watching them enjoy the occasion they deserve after two years of hard work.”
DiSE is a ‘dual career’ performance programme which combines education and elite rugby development. Players receive high-level training delivered on a camp basis by the England Performance Unit with Stuart Barrow, England Women Head Coach, closely monitoring their development throughout their journey.
England Diploma in Sporting Excellence Women’s team
Angel Bentley (Leeds Rhinos), Amelia Brown (Huddersfield Giants), Tally Bryer (Featherstone Rovers), Albany-D Coates (Huddersfield Giants), Phillipa Curley (Huddersfield Giants), Ellise Derbyshire (Leigh Leopards), Eva Hunter, Lucy Johnson, Molly Jones (all Wigan Warriors), Brooke Long (Leeds Rhinos), Emma Lowe (St Helens), Julia Lowery (Illingworth), Cody-Lou Marsh (York Valkyrie), Sophie Morris (Wigan Warriors), Maddison Rainey (Featherstone Rovers), Millie Richardson (Leigh Miners Rangers), Abigail Simpson (Leeds Rhinos), Ellie-Mae Wainhouse (Featherstone Rovers), Megan Williams (St Helens)