Leeds Rhinos Foundation

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Lois works as a Women and Girl's Rugby League Development Officer in her day to day role with Leeds Rhinos' official charity.
Forsell ready to take on world's best at Rugby League World Cup
10 November 2017, 11:01
By Dan Phillis
Following a career season in Women's Super League, England Hooker Lois Forsell will be taking time out from her role as Leeds Rhinos Foundation Women and Girl's Development Officer this month to take on the best women players in the world at the Rugby League World Cup in Australia.
The 26-year-old Leeds-born player joined the rest of the 23 strong England Lionesses squad today as they departed for Australia and the team's camp that English fans will be hoping houses the team until the final on the 2nd December in Brisbane.

Forsell, who like the rest of the squad is part time, works as a Women and Girl's Rugby League Development Officer in her day to day role with Leeds Rhinos' official charity, inspiring thousands of young girls in the city to play Rugby League.

With the first fixture against Papua New Guinea less than a week away, Forsell said she is excited by the prospect of playing in her first World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere:

"It's just around the corner now, so I'm really excited to get out there.

"It's all quite surreal really, I've never been to Australia, so I'm excited for that but just to pull on that England jersey again, and hopefully I'll be lucky enough to do that while I'm out there, and represent your country, it's the highlight of anyone's career, so I'm very excited to get started and play my second World Cup."

The former East Leeds junior has enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in her career in 2017, winning the Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final, along with the personal accolade of the Player of the Match award in the final and enters the tournament confident England can compete with the world's best.

She said: "It has been a great season domestically and I have enjoyed an unbeaten run with my Bradford team mates. There are a lot of the girls from my club also representing England in the World Cup which is going to be great to play alongside them, hopefully we can perform as well as we have throughout the season."

The Lionesses follow up an opening day matchup with PNG with a chance to test themselves early in the tournament against the pre-competition favourites and hosts Australia.

She said: "Each game we play in the tournament is going to be a tough game for a number of different reasons, but we are looking forward to that challenge. Australia are current champions so that's always going to be a great opportunity to test ourselves and one we will look forward to.

"PNG have been strong in the Men's World Cup and we will expect the same from the women's side. They will be physical and enthusiastic as the men have shown in their world cup campaign so far. We will look forward to these games and testing ourselves against the teams, and for most it will be the first time we have come up against those nations."

The Women's Rugby League World Cup 2017 will see both the men's and women's finals played as a double-header in Brisbane on 2nd December, which will be the first time two World Cup winners will be crowned on the same day, on the same stage.

"The Women's Finals running alongside the men's as a double header is amazing for the sport and will be massive for the promotion of Women's Rugby League."

Following the tournament, Forsell will return to England to not only resume her role as Rugby Development Officer working with community clubs and schools in Leeds but also continue preparations for Leeds Rhinos to launch their first ever women's team into Super League in 2018.

"I am looking forward to seeing how popular Rugby League is in Australia and it will be interesting to see how their girl's development and women's competition runs. We are aiming to improve standard of women and girl's rugby league in Leeds and I will be looking forward to returning and focusing on that in 2018."

The full England Lionesses squad and fixtures is as follows -

Amy Hardcastle - Bradford Bulls
Andrea Dobson - Featherstone Rovers
Beth Sutcliffe - Bradford Bulls
Charlotte Booth - Bradford Bulls
Claire Garner - Bradford Bulls
Danielle Bound - Thatto Heath St Helens
Danika Priim - Bradford Bulls
Emily Rudge - Thatto Heath St Helens
Emma Slowe - Featherstone Rovers
Faye Gaskin - Thatto Heath St Helens
Jenny Welsby - Thatto Heath St Helens
Jessica Courtman - Bradford Bulls
Jodie Cunningham - Thatto Heath St Helens
Katherine Hepworth - Castleford Tigers
Kayleigh Bulman - Featherstone Rovers
Kirsty Moroney - Bradford Bulls
Lois Forsell - Bradford Bulls
Rachel Thompson - Thatto Heath St Helens
Rhiannon Marshall - Featherstone Rovers
Sarah Dunn - Featherstone Rovers
Shona Hoyle - Bradford Bulls
Stacey White - Bradford Bulls
Tara-Jane Stanley - Thatto Heath St Helens

England's tournament fixtures -

Round One - England v PNG. Thursday, November 16, 6.30pm kick-off (AEDT)
Round Two - Australia v England. Sunday, November 19, 1.45pm kick-off (AEDT)
Round Three - England v Cook Islands. Wednesday, November 22, 1.45pm kick-off (AEDT)
Semi-Finals - Sunday, November 26 at either 1.45pm or 4.00pm (AEDT)
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