YORK City Knights Ladies are set to make their long-awaited return next month.

The Knights will travel to reigning Betfred Women’s Super League (BWSL) champions Leeds Rhinos in their league season opener on Sunday, April 18 at the Sports Park, Weetwood.

The following week, the Knights host Wakefield Trinity in the preliminary round of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup.

York have been out of action since September 2019 after the coronavirus pandemic prevented any action from taking place in the 2020 season.

The Knights had been hoping to build on their 2019 season which had seen them win just one of their 13 league matches.

The competition has increased from eight to 10 teams, with Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants joining for 2021.

The top four teams at that point will qualify for the play-offs in August, with the teams playing each other home and away for an additional six rounds of fixtures – at which point the top two qualify for the BSWL Grand Final on Sunday, October 10.

The other six teams will play each other once in a Shield competition, with the top four in that mini-table qualifying for Shield semi finals leading to a BWSL Shield Final.

The season structure also includes a two-match Origin series scheduled for July 27 and August 7, again to aid England’s World Cup preparations – which have continued through the winter with regular squad sessions at Weetwood.

The full fixture list for the 2021 BSWL, the venue for the Grand Final, and the full schedule for the Challenge Cup, will be published shortly as well as further details of Our League coverage of the competition.

The Women’s Championship and League 1 return as grassroots rugby league alongside the girls’ competitions, with training due to commence from Monday, March 29.