Frain looking forward to Women’s Challenge Cup Final

Leeds Rhinos Women secured their place back in the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final for the second year with a 16-10 victory over St Helens.   The Final will be a repeat of last year’s all-Yorkshire final as the Rhinos once again take on Castleford Tigers, this time at the University of Bolton Stadium on 27th July, kick off 11.45am.

One player aiming to be involved in the final is 17-year-old Elle Frain, who has made a big impression on the team since emerging from the Academy last year.  The second rower has been an ever present this season and proved a valuable player, who has shown great versatility with the ability to play in a number of positions and started the season with a place on the wing against Wakefield.

Now the prospect of helping the team retain their Challenge Cup title is spurring her on to hold on to her place in the team.

“It’s really exciting to be through to the Challenge Cup Final,” said the former Desbury Moor player.  “It was one of our goals at the start of the season and now we are one step closer.  I think at half time against St Helens we needed to regroup because we went in behind and we needed to show a bit of character to come together as a team.  I think we showed all the things that you can’t necessarily coach, we all dug deep and were all there for each other and got the result.

“At half time Adam Cuthbertson said you’ve got this and you just have to believe in yourselves and that we just needed to tidy things up and that’s what we did.  We were making mistakes and were overplaying and over thinking things at times so the second half was pleasing.  The win gave us confidence because every single player put their body on the line and everyone ran their blood to water and showed what we were capable of.”

The team will face a tough task if they are to hold on the trophy as they will come up against league leaders, and the only team to defeat the Rhinos this year, Castleford Tigers.

“I think it will be a tough game against Castleford,” admitted Frain.  “But I don’t think they have been massively tested in the past few games so I think it will be a shock because since the start of the season we have massively progressed as a team and gelled more and we are getting better each week.

“That loss against Castleford was a big thing for us and after the game we had a meeting and pointed out what we are as a team and what is expected of us as a club and we made targets for ourselves and from then on we have just been improving each week.”

After playing her early rugby with Bristall Victoria and Dewsbury Moor, Frain was selected for the first Rhinos Academy last year and named their Vice Captain.  She was called up to make her debut in the league against Featherstone and then promoted ahead of the this season.

“I never expected to get the call up to the first team so soon , but it’s amazing as we’ve got the likes of England international such as Danika Priim, Lois Forsell and Dannielle Anderson who can all give me tips and help me out and they have helped me progress massively in the squad and I feel I am making my place in the squad.

“I started playing rugby when I started high school.  I have always been surrounded by rugby with my family who are all Rhinos supporters and I thought I’d give it a go and it has progressed from there.  It was dream come true to represent the Rhinos, coming to Kirkstall for the first time was amazing and being in the environment where all the legends have trained.”

The Women’s Coral Challenge Cup Final will be played at 11:15AM on Saturday 27 July and broadcast on BBC Sport Online platforms.

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