'Chaos happens': Leeds Rhinos coach comments on star's expected move to Australia

Playing in Australia is a “great opportunity” for England star Georgia Roche and credit to Betfred Women’s Super League, according to her Leeds Rhinos coach Lois Forsell.
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Newcastle Knights are understood to be close to confirming the signing of Roche, who joined Leeds from Castleford Tigers ahead of the 2022 season.

Forsell confirmed the stand-off is in talks with the women’s National Rugby League (NRLW), making her “unavailable for selection” when Rhinos began their Betfred Women’s Super League campaign with a 34-12 loss to York Valkyrie at Headingley on Sunday.

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Asked if she expects the 2018 Woman of Steel to sign for an Aussie club, Forsell insisted: “That’s up to Georgia. It is a great opportunity for her and it says a lot about our game and our competition that we’ve got players good enough to head over there.

Rhinos women's coach Lois Forsell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Rhinos women's coach Lois Forsell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Rhinos women's coach Lois Forsell. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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“If that’s what Georgia wants to do she will go with our best wishes, but right now we can only focus on people who are available to select.”

Forsell denied the speculation over Roche’s future was a distraction at the start of the season.

“She’s been quite up front with us from day dot that was something she was pursuing,” Forsell stated. “We planned that she may be there or may not.

A record crowd of more than 5,000 watched Rhinos' Women's Super League opener against York. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.A record crowd of more than 5,000 watched Rhinos' Women's Super League opener against York. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
A record crowd of more than 5,000 watched Rhinos' Women's Super League opener against York. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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“It obviously added a bit heading into [Sunday’s game], but that’s rugby, you don’t have weeks that are just perfect.

“Chaos happens and you’ve got to be able to adapt and overcome that. That’s not the reason we lost, we will be better for it and we’ve got a lot of time now to work on some combinations. We had five new faces on debut, we will get there. It’s just going to take a bit of time.”

Reflecting on the defeat to York, Forsell admitted: “It was disappointing. Obviously we wanted to get off to a winning start, but we just weren’t good enough in areas.

“We didn’t stick to the game plan, but we had a lot of effort and some great performances and loads of energy expended; it just wasn’t smart energy at times and you can’t do it in a game like that.”

Rhinos' Georgia Roche. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.Rhinos' Georgia Roche. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
Rhinos' Georgia Roche. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
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She added: “We knew it would be a tough game, it was a Grand Final re-run for a reason. We know they will challenge us all year so we will be better next time we come up against York. It’s good to win in round one, but it’s not about that, it’s about winning come the back end.”