YORK City Knights Ladies’ Lindsay Anfield says it is “massive” to reach a Women’s Challenge Cup final so soon after she and many players have arrived.

The Knights square up against Women’s Super League rivals St Helens at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday for a chance to lift the trophy for the very first time.

Anfield has been at York for just over a month - and now, she is preparing to lead them out in their biggest-ever game.

Having left Castleford Tigers Women earlier this year, Anfield was announced as York’s new director of rugby on April 30, a week before a star septet, including several England internationals, was brought in to the LNER Community Stadium.

Ten days after her appointment, York beat Wigan Warriors in a fantastic Challenge Cup quarter-final before seeing off her old side Cas 32-4 in the last four at Monks Cross.

To have reached the Challenge Cup final is testament to how well these recent marquee signings have gelled with York’s old guard, whose hard work against Wakefield Trinity laid the foundations for this run. They showed outstanding grit to battle back from 10 points down in a 16-10 first-round win.

After a handful of games, it looks like York might have a potent combination on their hands.

On reaching the final after such a short spell at the club, Anfield commented: “The ambition was there right from the start but to do it in the first six weeks of getting started is massive.

“It shows you what you can do when you get a group of girls in the right mindset to embrace change.

“I think that’s happened.

“It’s surprising but we’re obviously really proud and really looking forward to the game.”

Asked if the final might have come too soon for the burgeoning side, Anfield responded: “I think it’s a perfect position to be in.

“We’ve got two mixes of girls.

“The York girls are really resilient. The journey they’ve been on, they’ve been getting beat and getting lots of points put on them.

“On the other hand, you’ve got the Bradford and Cas girls who know what it’s like to get beaten in a final. You’ve got that hunger and desire.

“Put them two together and you’ve got a pretty powerful weapon, I think.

“Get the basic stuff right and the Challenge Cup’s anyone’s game.”

England rugby union sevens star Emma Hardy has signed for York for the remainder of the season. The former York RUFC junior could play in Saturday’s final, which will be shown on BBC Two (11.15am).

Everybody “that could be available” is available, Anfield has reported.

Under Anfield’s guidance, York have won three out of four games, most recently losing 20-18 to Cas in the league.

She is confident circumstances will be different for this weekend, though, saying: “The way they played the three games previous to that was a whole different group of girls to that which came out against Castleford.

“Castleford were definitely a wounded animal, they were really hungry, and I think there was a lot of mental fatigue in our girls after such a positive run.

“We kind of anticipated something like that was going to happen.

“Saying that, there were only two points in it. It was an end-to-end game which could have gone either way.

“From our opinion, to have not performed particularly well and to go down by two points is a massive bonus for us.”

The focus now is on preparing York for Saints without piling too much pressure on.

Anfield said: “I think the girls in York are slightly removed from everything that goes on in the rugby league world, off the M62 corridor.

“There’s a few of them who are just not massive social media fans, which is where a lot of it comes from.

“We’ve just tried to keep it business as usual.

“The club’s very aware of the profile of the game, as am I, but I think some of the girls are slightly oblivious to the magnitude of Saturday so that’s a good thing.”