Betfred Women’s Super League player and RLWC columnist @ChannyCrowl
St Helens prop Chantelle Crowl looks at five England players to watch ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup kick off next week; England kick off the tournament against debutants Brazil at Headingley on Tuesday November 1 (kick-off 2.30pm)
Last update: 28/10/22 12:25
Betfred Women’s Super League star Chantelle Crowl picks her five England players to watch ahead of the start of the Women’s Rugby World Cup on Tuesday…
Tara Jane Stanley (York Valkyrie)
Tara had an incredible season with York this year, being named Woman of Steel. She has plenty of good footwork that people will be watching, but her skill level – with and without the ball – and her pushing make her someone to watch.
She will have a good push inside the hard work of the attackers and will be there to link up at the back, potentially with Georgia Roche or Courtney Winfield-Hill in the halves.
Tara started out in soccer and she kept her kicking game up to date, and she’s probably been one of the best goal kickers this season. I’ve been around her while she was training, and she works really hard for it.
Those two points can make the difference in matches and I think she can get us out of the dirt sometimes with her kicks.
Jodie Cunningham (St Helens)
Jodie Cunningham on Kasey Badger becoming the first referee to officiate a Men’s World Cup match and what success looks like for the Women’s World Cup.
It’s not just because she’s my teammate, but you still have to watch out for Jodie Cunningham at 13 because she was exceptional.
She brings a different role to the England squad on and off the pitch. When she went from full-back to loose forward it was a big change and she handled it very well.
She showed that not everyone needs to be those big tough women in the middle. She proved us all wrong because you wouldn’t look at her and think of her as a striker.
But it just crosses those lines and finds those gaps you don’t even think are there. I just think she’s awesome.
Vicky Whitfield (St Helens)
One of my front row mates at Saints, Vicky can land tight tackles.
Until you put her down, the tackle definitely won’t stop because she’ll just get away with it.
Then she will use those bumpers and put England front and center.
Hollie Dodd (York Valkyrie)
Hollie Dodd completes a brilliant try to take England Women ahead against France Women.
19-year-old Hollie has to be the No. 1 to watch as one of the youngest members of the team.
I know there are some great second rows among Paige Travis and captain Emily Rudge, but Hollie is another who had a terrific season.
She’s just grown and grown and grown in 2022, which was demonstrated by her nomination as Women’s Super League Young Player of the Year and her nomination for Woman of Steel.
It just goes to show that no matter your experience or your age, if you’re focused and have that love for the game and put your heart and soul into it, anyone would want to be a Hollie Dodd with how she played that year.
Keara Bennett (Leeds Rhinos)
Keara Bennett scores Leeds Rhinos’ 11th try of the night to seal a dominating 64-6 Betfred Women’s Super League win over Wigan Warriors.
Keara, 20, is another who hasn’t been with England for long but is like an underdog in the game.
Playing alongside her and against her, her communication as a prostitute is really good and it’s clear. She can throw the ball 20 yards or more – and she can shoot with a shoulder as small as she is.
She doesn’t always have to reach for the lower half of the body either, she will stand and take it straight to her chest.
She’s another young person in the squad to watch and I think she’ll be an outstanding player.