YORK City Knights Ladies kick off their maiden season in the Women's Super League tomorrow with arguably the hardest test possible - but boss Daryl North says the team are getting excited by the challenge.

As reported, the Knights Ladies successfully applied for a place in the expanded elite competition for women's rugby league after winning the Summer Merit League last year, and they will kick off away to one of the favourites for the title, St Helens, who were formerly the all-conquering Thatto Heath Ladies.

North admits his players had a few trepidations about making the step up - and becoming the only York team in any sport to play in the country's top tier. But a good pre-season and a 22-6 victory at Hull FC in their only full friendly has bolstered confidence in the camp.

"It's St Helens, who used to be Thatto Heath. Not too long ago they were unbeaten for about three years in a row. They were fantastic," said North about tomorrow's hosts.

"I know a few players have swapped and moved a bit but I'm expecting a real physical game and as long as we compete I will be happy."

On taking on the country's best teams this year, North said: "The girls need to be pushed. After doing so well in the Merit League, they needed that boost.

"Once it was first done, I think they were a bit nervous about the whole Super League thing, but since then they've started to embrace it and are getting excited.

"We've had a good pre-season, new players have come down, confidence is growing and that win over Hull was a really good boost."

Tomorrow's match is at Ruskin Sports Village (2.30pm), the game having been switched to a 3G surface to beat the bad weather.

Added North: "We train and play on 3G (at York St John University sport centre) so it's ideal for us and we'll have no excuses about that."