Why Leeds Rhinos’ Fran Goldthorp’s England debut against Wales is overdue
LEEDS RHINOS star Fran Goldthorp could make her England debut against Wales tonight as the national side step up preparations for the World Cup.
Goldthorp is one of five uncapped players selected ahead of what could be the last international game before November’s tournament.
The fixture is being played as a curtain-raiser to England men’s international against Combined Nations All Stars and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
England head coach Craig Richards said: “I think it’s huge.
“All of them are there on merit and they’re all there because they’re in form, but for players like Fran Goldthorp, it’s probably overdue.
“We didn’t see a great deal of her until the back end of last year.
“On the back of what she did in the  Grand Final, you would have wanted to give her a debut earlier.”
Richards added: “Some of them have waited a long time and really earned it, but it’s up to them now to go out there and take it with both hands, prove a point and prove they should be in that World Cup squad.
“There’s no better occasion than playing at home, live on Sky Sports, against the Welsh, to prove how good you can be.”
Other uncapped players In the 19-strong squad include Castleford Tigers duo Emma Lumley and Hollie Dodd.
But Richards stressed: “Right up until the World Cup and until the team is selected, if people hit form and if they prove they’re good enough, they will always be in a position to get selected.”
England Women Squad: Emily Rudge (St Helens, captain), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham (both St Helens), Hollie Dodd (Castleford Tigers), Grace Field, Kelsey Gentles (both York City Knights), Fran Goldthorp (Leeds), Amy Hardcastle (St Helens), Shona Hoyle (Castleford), Tara Jones (St Helens), Emma Lumley (Castleford), Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors), Carrie Roberts (St Helens), Georgia Roche (Castleford), Beth Stott (St Helens), Tara Stanley (Castleford), Paige Travis (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan)
Wales Women: Ffion Jones, Sara Jones, Eleri Michael (all Bridgend Blue Bulls/Cardiff Demons Super League), Jess McAuley (British Army), Lauren Aitken, Leanne Burnell, Danyelle Dinapoli, Seren Gough-Walters, Charlie Mundy, Amberley Ruck, Rafiuke Taylor (all Cardiff Blue Dragons/Cardiff Demons Super League), Emily Hughes, Kathryn Salter (both London Broncos), Shaunni Davies, Ffion Lewis, Lowri Norkett, Sara Prosser (all Rhondda Outlaws/Cardiff Demons Super League), Keira McCosh (Warrington Wolves), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors).
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