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Swinton Lionesses face historic opening fixture!

08 March 2022

Today, International Women’s Day, marks exactly two years since we announced the intention to form the Swinton Lionesses. 

After a rapid period of growth and enthusiasm, followed by a successful inaugural campaign in 2021, we are now proud to confirm that the Swinton Lionesses will play in League 1 of the Women’s RFL for this coming season. 

The Women’s League 1 season starts in April, but we can reveal we are hoping to confirm that six or seven of the Lionesses’ league fixtures will be played as double-headers ahead of our men’s League 1 matches at Heywood Road. We firmly believe that seeing the Lionesses play on the same stage as the men’s team is a progressive step for the sport of Rugby League and our club.  In addition to the Lionesses’ league games, further cup fixtures and at least one league match will be played in Pendlebury at the home of our community club partner, Folly Lane ARLFC, on their Blue Ribbon Field off Fraser Street. 

However, before the league season commences, our women will play in a Cup competition, with their first tie taking place this coming Sunday at Folly Lane ARLFC against Illingworth (kick-off 2pm). All are welcome to attend. Of course, it is now 30 years since an adult Swinton RLFC team last played a competitive fixture in its home town, so this game will mark quite a historic occasion. 

The Lions’ Director of Development, Damian Ridpath, said, “It is fantastic to see the progression of our Women’s team, and after a successful season in the merit league it will be exciting to see the team step up into regular competitive Rugby League. For this coming season most of our championship winning Under 16s players will be taking their first steps into open-age Rugby League and this will certainly add a great vibe to the team. 

“Our coaches Martina Greenwood and Steve Thirkell have done a fantastic job in pre-season integrating the squad together, and the hard work and enthusiasm of the coaching staff and players will no doubt be evident throughout the season.

“We are always looking to expand the squad, so if you are interested in playing Rugby League for the Lionesses, we are holding a trial for potential new players at our AJ Bell Stadium training base, on Wednesday 16 March with a 7pm start. Contact me at [email protected] for further information.”


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