The Rugby Football League have announced that a Woman of Steel award will be presented for the first time at this year’s Steve Prescott Man of Steel awards evening - and two Castleford Tigers Women players are among the nominees.
Chosen by their fellow players, the Woman of Steel is awarded to the player who has made the biggest impact on the field this season. The three-player shortlist includes Castleford Tigers duo Tara-Jane Stanley and Georgia Roche alongside Leeds Rhinos Captain Lois Forsell.
Full-back Stanley has had an impressive first season with Castleford Tigers following her move from Thatto Heath at the end of last year.
The England international has played an important part in the Tigers’ campaign this season, scoring a number of tries and goals and helping them to reach the Women’s Challenge Cup final. The 24-year-old was also part of the Lancashire ‘Origin’ side that defeated Yorkshire earlier this month.
Tigers teammate Roche, aged 17, has made a huge impact for her side in this year’s Women’s Super League. She is one of the most exciting young talents in the women’s game and was named player of the match in Castleford’s 48-12 Challenge Cup semi-final victory against York City Knights, a game in which she scored four tries.
Roche was also selected to play in the Yorkshire ‘Origin’ side that narrowly lost out to Lancashire in September.
Leeds Rhinos captain Lois Forsell has been a driving force in the success of the team in their first season since formation. She has successfully led the side to Challenge Cup final victory, a game in which she scored the decisive winning try and was named player of the match.
She has also been an important part of the Rhinos’ League domination and helped them to secure a Women’s Super League semi-final place. The England international was also chosen for the Yorkshire side to face Lancashire in the Women’s ‘Origin’ fixture.
Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer said, “I’m delighted that we will be officially recognising the incredible talent on show in the Women’s Super League with the introduction of the Woman of Steel award this year.
“All three players shortlisted for the award are incredibly worthy nominees and have made a huge impact on field this season and I would like to extend my congratulations to them all.
“It’s been fantastic to see the interest and support for the Women’s game increase this year and this will only grow further in 2019 and beyond as all 12 founder clubs aim to take part in the Women’s Super League by 2021.”
The award is another first in an already impressive year for the women’s game which has included the launch of the Women’s Super League in March, a Super League game played as part of the fixtures at the 2018 Betfred Championship Summer Bash and the Challenge Cup and Shield Finals played at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in August.
Woman of Steel is chosen by a poll of every Women’s Super League player. The award will be presented as part of the Man of Steel Awards to be held in Manchester on Monday, October 8.