Women’s RL: Leeds Rhinos’ Tasha Gaines aiming to follow in footsteps of Lois Forsell in England colours
LEEDS RHINOS’ Tasha Gaines is aiming to follow her team-mate and mentor Lois Forsell into the England Test team.
Gaines has taken over at hooker from Forsell who has not played this season due to a knee injury.
Forsell is a seasoned international, but Gaines has taken her chance with both hands – helped by advice from her team-mate.
“Stepping in until Lois is able to come back is a big ask,” Gaines admitted. “All credit goes to Lois, she has been on top form at helping me. Whatever I need, she’s been there – helping me go through video analysis and things like that. She is an England-standard player and I want to be at that standard in my career, eventually.”
Gaines reckons the opportunity will come if she keeps “pushing myself and putting myself out there”.
She added: “Hopefully one day I will get a shot at it. Lois has helped me a lot, she has been great – one of the top people you could want to help you progress in the game. She’s come from a high standard and you want to live up to that.”
Rhinos play their last home game of the season tomorrow when Wigan Warriors visit Sports Park, Weetwood (2pm). Leeds will finish third in the table and travel to second-placed St Helens in the championship semi-finals.
“We are raring to go more than ever for this game, especially after the loss in the Grand Final last season,” Gaines said.
Both the 2018 Grand Finalists are outside the top-two on this year’s league ladder with Wigan set to finish fourth and travel to league leaders Castleford Tigers in the semi-finals. Gaines reckons that is because the competition is getting stronger, rather than Leeds and Wigan dropping away. She said: “Every team in Super League has come on leaps and bounds. There’s no telling what’s going to happen in each game, the standard has gone so high.”