12th January 2018, 11:10 | womens_super_league
Five players have become the first to commit to St Helens Women for the new season.
England World Cup stars Emily Rudge and Faye Gaskin have agreed to play for the new team alongside Tara Jones, Dawn Taylor and Katie May.
They will link up with Head Coach Mark Brennan and his assistant Andrew Raines and start training straight away.
"Emily is a powerful and aggressive back rower with a tremendous work rate," Brennan said.
"In the World Cup, despite coming off the bench against Papua New Guinea, she was top tackler. She was also named as England's Best and Fairest player in the tournament.
"She joins Faye who is the current England stand off. Faye is a great organiser who will steer the team around the pitch and her attitude is fantastic."
England hooker Tara Jones joins Saints after being unlucky to miss out on selection for the Women's Rugby League World Cup.
She is seen as one of the future stars of the game both as a player and a Match Official.
She officiates at Scholarship and NCL level and should be promoted to Division 1 this season. She has also officiated in the Challenge Cup and at Wembley for the Champion Schools Year 7 Boys Final - the traditional curtain-raiser to the Challenge Cup Final.
Dawn Taylor is a police officer based in Runcorn who has played for Lancashire and England Lionesses. She was previously at Warrington Ladies before joining Thatto Heath. She is a forward who runs and tackles hard.
Teammate Katie May also played at Thatto Heath. She is a strong aggressive running centre who has represented Lancashire and England Lionesses.
The quintet are the first group of ladies to join St Helens Women this season with more to be announced shortly.
Mark added: "We are really looking forward working with these ladies and further developing their games. We are excited about the future for the Saints."
If you would like to be involved and sponsor either a player or the team then please contact Craig Richards on firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured are Andrew Raines (Assistant Coach), Dawn Taylor, Emily Rudge, Faye Gaskin, Katie May, Tara Jones and Mark Brennan (Head Coach).