New recruits welcomed into Leeds Rhinos Women Academy

Leeds Rhinos Women welcomed new recruits to their Academy system with a special night at Headingley Stadium that brought staff and players together from the Pathway.

This was the first opportunity in the last two years for new and existing players to meet up to hear from coaches and staff about the Academy programme.  Leeds Rhinos Women’s head coach Lois Forsell hosted the event and parents and players also got to hear from Leeds Rhinos women’s player Keara Bennett, who herself has progressed through the Academy system to become a Challenge Cup and Grand Final winner.

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington started the evening with a tour of the changing rooms and heritage tunnel and then spoke to the guests about the unique opportunity the young players had to represent the club.

Former player Danika Priim was also announced as the new U16s assistant coach and she spoke to the new recruits about what it meant to her to represent the club and how she is looking forward to playing a new role in helping to develop the next generation of players.

Speaking after the event Forsell said: “It has been great to have the opportunity to meet up with players and coaches and show them the facilities that we have at Headingley.  It’s an opportunity for us to reboot and show the girls what our intent is for the Academy programme.  It was a positive night and I think the girls got a lot from it and they can see how important the women’s game is to the Rhinos family.”

Five players were promoted from the U16s to the U19s following a trial and six players joined the squad from the trial evenings.

For the Under-16s, four players were recruited from the trials and a further five players joined from the community club events.

Players from seven Rugby League were have been invited to join the programme and Forsell praised the work of the coaches from the community game. 

“The work the community clubs do is massive without them we wouldn’t have an Academy or a Women’s Super League.  I started at East Leeds and there are players in our squad that have started at their community club.  I didn’t realise before I started coaching how much time and effort went into it and how it sometimes more difficult than playing.  I have massive respect for them and we are really grateful to them for all their time and commitment.”


Ayva SmithOulton Raidettes
Caitlin CaseyOulton Raidettes
Dominika MinutaEast Leeds
Ellie WainhouseWest Leeds/East Leeds  
Katy FisherOulton Raidettes
Kiah HolmesOulton Raidettes
Leah McFarlaneWest Leeds
Liv GaleOulton Raidettes
Reanne HarrisonDewsbury Moor
Ruby EnrightDewsbury Moor
Tully Anne FlintWest Leeds 
Lauren ExleyEast Leeds/West Leeds
Evie CousinsEast Leeds
Emily FitzpatrickOulton Raidettes
Alice CostelloOulton Raidettes
Eleanor LeeStanningley
Brooke LongOulton Raidettes
Julia LoweryIllingworth
Lilliebelle HunterIllingworth
Mayzi CarterShawcross Sharks
Sophia WilliamsIllingworth  
Summa HunterIllingworth


Faye BaracloughStanningley/Dewsbury Moor  
Tilly DaviesWest Leeds/East Leeds
Abbi SimpsonEast Leeds/Stanningley 
Eve Carrington HobsonWest Leeds
Sophie OramOulton Raidettes
Rachel DonnellyStanningley
Oceana FaulknerOulton Raidettes
Darcey WorthOulton Raidettes
Keira GittinsEast Leeds
Beatiz FurtadoWest Leeds
Charli CarltonOulton Raidettes
Honey OxtobyShawcross Sharks
Tilly BrownMethley
Frankie BlakeyOulton Raidettes
Sienna SharpDewsbury Moor
Kaitlyn Morrisson TwibillDewsbury Moor
Ruby WalkerDewsbury Moor
Ebony SteadOulton Raidettes

* Some of the players have moved onto open age rugby with different club. The club in bold is where they currently play, having played U16 for the second club listed.

Academy Trials

Leeds Rhinos Women are running trials for players aged 16-19 to join their Academy. The trials will be run at the club’s Kirkstall Training Groun on Monday 7th February, 6.45pm-8pm.

The Academy has already produced a number of players for the first team including England internationals Fran Goldthorp and Caitlin Beevers. In last year’s squad twelve players had emerged from the Academy – ten of which played in the Super League Grand Final.

To register for the trials email [email protected]