Lois Forsell, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Women & Girls’ Rugby League Development Officer, has been named as the Leeds Rhinos Women’s new Head Coach ahead of the 2020 Betfred Women’s Super League season.
Forsell, 28, was forced to retire from the game last season due to a knee injury and will now coach the team as she replaces Adam Cuthbertson as Head Coach. Cuthbertson has been Head Coach for two seasons since the side was formed and has led the Rhinos to back to back Challenge Cup wins, as well as the 2018 League Leaders Shield and the 2019 Grand Final win.
Commenting on the appointment, Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said, “We are delighted that Lois has accepted the opportunity to become our new Head Coach with the Leeds Rhinos Women’s team.
“As a player, Lois was an inspirational character on and off the field and she embodies everything we look for in our players.
“On behalf of everyone connected with the Rhinos, I would like to thank Adam for the outstanding job he has done with the Women’s team over the last two years. He has juggled his playing commitments, a young family and his university studies with his coaching role and has never given anything less than 100% commitment to the team. He has shown outstanding coaching abilities and I am sure that will stand him in good stead as he looks to the next chapter of his own career in the years ahead,” added Sinfield.
Forsell, who joined her home town club from Bradford Bulls in 2017 to be the Rhinos first ever signing after the club decided to enter a team into the Women’s Super League, will now lead the side for the 2020 season from the sidelines, whilst also continuing in her role with the Foundation to help grow the Women’s game and inspire the next generation of players.
She commented, “First and foremost, I would like to say a massive thank you to Adam Cuthbertson for everything he has done for the team since our formation. The work he has done, alongside Leon Crick, Anthony and David Gibbons, has set the standard for where this team needs to be in the future.
“I would like to thank Kevin Sinfield and the club for giving me this opportunity and I am very excited about what this group of players can achieve.
The game continues to grow here in England with the World Cup on these shores in 2021 and I think every team will be stronger this season as the standards for the game continue to climb.”
Cuthbertson, who is in his sixth season playing with the Rhinos mens team, added, “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to coach this team. As a group they have come so far in such a short space of time and I know they have inspired the next generation of young players in Leeds to follow in their footsteps.
“I will remain their biggest supporter and wish Lois all the best. As a captain, she was our leader on the field and I am sure she will bring the same knowledge and passion to the role of Head Coach.”
Leeds Rhinos Women kick off the defence of their title on the 29th March against Bradford Bulls.