cupMates divided for Origin clash

Its crunch time at the John Charles Stadium, Hunslet, Leeds on Sunday February 14 (not January 31 as originally planned) when the Xamax WRLA County of Origin game between Yorkshire and Lancashire at 3.00pm concludes a triple header of rugby league action.

Under its new format, it is the biggest test and longest running clash in this guise; it will be the fifth ‘War of the Roses’ clash between the white and red counties. It will


decide which county takes a series lead with the counties locked at 2-2 and Yorkshire looking for a hat-trick of victories after winning the last two encounters.

They will be competing for the Bill Cook County Shield which was named in his memory following his association with WRLA for over a decade.

It’s also teammate against teammate, with four Yorkshire-based players playing for Lancashire.

Holly Hilton and Kate Stevens will be up against Jasmine Earnshaw, Amy Gilbert, and Laura Norcliffe of Lindley Swifts. Natalina Roman will be contesting Nat Thompson, Ruby Atkins, Tanya Hannan of Hull Wyke, and Jess Hopkins will lock horns against Lucy Wood and Beth Nielson of Huddersfield St Josephs.

WRLA Chair Steve Manning said: “What better way to conclude a finals day of rugby league with this Xamax County of Origin game which will see eighty minutes of full on rugby league from Yorkshire and Lancashire to decide who is top dog and take three two lead in the series and collect the Bill Cook County Shield.

“Given the weather over the last six weeks, Craig Taylor and John Davenport – the Head Coaches of Yorkshire and Lancashire respectively – have had one heck of a job to arrange trials and training. Both teams have played and won their friendlies in their approach to this crunch clash. All the coaches and squads are aware of what is at stake and the bragging rights for the next twelve months.

“I would to thank our league origin sponsors Xamax, which has helped provide both squads with hoodies, polos and track pants.

I would also like to thank BARLA for giving us the opportunity to highlight the women’s game to a larger audience and for many the biggest stage to date on a professional rugby league ground. I hope all the crowd will stay for what will be a feisty encounter and I’m sure it will a big surprise for those who to date haven’t witnessed a women’s game of rugby league.”

The Squads:

YORKSHIRE: Debbie Smith, Reagan Walker, Tracey Addey, (Oulton Raidettes), Nat Thompson, Ruby Atkins, Tanya Hannan, (Hull Wyke), Jasmine Earnshaw, Amy Gilbert, Laura Norcliffe, (Lindley Swifts), Lucy Wood, Beth Nielson, (Huddersfield St Josephs), Katie Langan, Paige Stevens, (York), Kelsey Gentles, Kirsty Duffield, Laura Pullen, (East Leeds), Gemma Fordham, Beth Greenwood (Odsal Sedbergh), Bethan Dates, Amy Ratcliffe, (Thornhill Trojans). Head  Coach Craig Taylor, Assistant Coach Sarah Kennedy, First Aider : Rick Pullan.

LANCASHIRE: Abileigh Carpener, Arrani Sharrock,  Becky Greenfield, Chloe Hammond, Emma Dobson, Jade Ward, Jasmine Ledger, Katie Philbin, Laura Bent, Megan Condliffe, Michelle Woodcock, Olivia Miah, (Wigan St Judes), Eve Watton, Laura Outtenn, Natasha Dawson, Zoe Goate   (Liverpool University), Holly Hilton, Kate Stevens (Lindley Swifts), Natalina Roman (Hull Wyke), Jess Hopkins (Huddersfield St Josephs). Head Coach John Davenport, Assistant Coaches Mike Ollerton, Chris Greenfield,  Chris Millard, First Aider: Olivia Davidson

(Press Release courtesy of WRLA)