Women’s RL: Leeds Rhinos forward Amy Johnson is dreaming of World Cup glory

THE NEXT World Cup is still more than two years away, but already raising standards in Women’s Super League according to Leeds Rhinos forward Amy Johnson.

Saturday, 13th April 2019, 5:15 am
Leeds Rhinos' Amy Johnson is tackled by Wakefield's Caitlin Clifton.

The front-rower is one of four Leeds players this week named in the 2019 England performance squad, along with Caitlin Beevers, Hanna Butcher and Dannielle Anderson.

Johnson made her international debut last year against France and is among the front-runners to be in England’s squad in 2021.

Leeds Rhinos' Amy Johnson on the attack against Wakefield Trinity last week.

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“Getting my first cap last year was very unexpected and to be part of it again is exciting, especially with the World Cup coming up,” said Johnson who was a try scorer in Leeds’ opening Super League win over Wakefield Trinity last weekend.

“With it being a home World Cup and the chance of playing at Anfield and with the final being at Old Trafford on the same day as the men, it is a dream and something a lot of people are aspiring to, even though it’s still a few years away.”

Johnson reckons selection for England will be based on “playing at club level and doing the fundamentals and basics well” so that will make the league competition more competitive. She said: “There’s quite a few new faces in the performance squad.

“That shows there’s opportunities for everyone out there. It is a massive message for everyone that the opportunities are there if you play well at club level.”

Last week’s 58-4 success, with a team missing several key players and including four debutants, was a good start to the campaign for the 2018 league leaders and Challenge Cup winners.

Rhinos visit Featherstone Rovers – who have Andrea Dobson and Katie Hepworth in the England squad – tomorrow (1pm) and Johnson is expecting a scrap for the full 80 minutes.

“We can’t underestimate them,” she warned.

“They are a team of really hard hitters with a lot of passion and a lot of spirit.

“They always put up a massive battle so it is a big test for us and we are really excited for it.”

Castleford Tigers visit Wigan Warriors tomorrow and Wakefield are away to York City Knights.