St Helens skipper Jodie Cunningham named England captain ahead of France international

Jodie Cunningham of St Helens and EnglandJodie Cunningham of St Helens and England
Jodie Cunningham of St Helens and England | Third Party
Cunningham succeeds her Saints teammate Emily Rudge.

St Helens star Jodie Cunningham is the new England Women’s RL skipper and will lead out her country for the first time in the mid-season international against France on Saturday, April 29, at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Cunningham, who succeeds her Saints teammate Emily Rudge, made her international debut against England’s upcoming opponents back in 2009. She has since gone on to earn 27 caps, representing her country at three Rugby League World Cups in 2013, 2017 and, most recently, 2022.

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Domestically, Cunningham, who is also captain of St Helens, masterminded their St Helens to a memorable treble back in 2021 and scored a crucial try as her charges retained the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup at Elland Road, Leeds, in 2022.

Cunningham said: “It is a huge honour to have been named as England Women’s captain. It feels like the pinnacle for me as a player – from first picking up a ball at high school to going on to be named as captain of my country. What a journey!

“There are some fantastic leaders in the squad, including Emily Rudge who has been a terrific captain over the past five years and will no doubt continue to support me in my new role.

“We have a squad that is getting stronger by the year and as we now enter the next cycle of international Rugby League our focus has quickly shifted to the next World Cup in France in 2025. I cannot wait to lead England out for the first time later this month against France at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.”

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England head coach Stuart Barrow added: “For several years now Jodie has shown what a strong leader she is, captaining St Helens to multiple trophies as well as being one of the most experienced players within the international set-up.

“She consistently displays all the attributes of a great captain both on and off the field and I feel she is the right person to lead us forward to the next World Cup.

“We have several senior players included in the squad that I think form a great leadership group, and will help nurture and guide some of the younger players coming into the side.

“Our attention is now solely on the France game at the end of this month and hopefully we see a strong crowd come out in support at Warrington.”

England squad:

  • Dannielle Anderson (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Savannah Andrade (York Valkyrie) 
  • Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Keara Bennett (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Chloe Billington (Featherstone Rovers) 
  • Leah Burke (St Helens) 
  • Jodie Cunningham [C] (St Helens) 
  • Hollie-Mae Dodd (York Valkyrie) 
  • Grace Field (York Valkyrie) 
  • Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Amy Hardcastle (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Zoe Harris (St Helens) 
  • Zoe Hornby (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Shona Hoyle (St Helens) 
  • Tara Jones (St Helens) 
  • Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors) 
  • Eboni Partington (St Helens) 
  • Sinead Peach (York Valkyrie) 
  • Emily Rudge (St Helens) 
  • Tamzin Renouf (York Valkyrie) 
  • Georgia Roche (Leeds Rhinos) 
  • Tara Stanley (York Valkyrie) 
  • Paige Travis (St Helens) 
  • Vicky Whitfield (St Helens) 
  • Olivia Wood (York Valkyrie)

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