SAVANNAH ANDRADE will make her England debut tomorrow to culminate a remarkable turnaround in the career of the York City Knights Ladies star.

Andrade began her career at Bradford Bulls and was part of the side which won the inaugural Betfred Women’s Super League (BWSL) Grand Final back in 2017.

The centre’s performances would later earn her a place in the England Women’s Performance training squad, but she missed out on a spot in the touring party which headed to Papua New Guinea in 2019 and dropped out of the national team set-up.

The 21-year-old was one of several recruits brought to York by new director of rugby Lindsay Anfield earlier this year and has been a key part of the club’s transformation as the Knights qualified for the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup final and the BWSL play-off semi-finals.

The try-scoring form shown by Andrade has seen her return to the England fold and it was confirmed on Thursday that she would start alongside club team-mate Grace Field for her international debut against France tomorrow afternoon (12pm).

Speaking before the national side announced their line-up against France, Andrade said a maiden England appearance would “really special. It’s something that I’ve been building to for the last few years.

“I was in the programme before, and then I came out and didn’t get selected for the PNG tour which was really disappointing for me.

“I wasn’t really expecting to be in the (20-player) squad to be honest, as I’ve only just got back into the programme and it was in my second training session that I found out.

“Craig (Richards, head coach) just pulled me to one side and told me that I was going to be selected for the squad.

“It came as quite a surprise, but a really nice surprise.

“I’m really happy to be back and hopefully I can showcase my talent in the France.”

Speaking about the quality of the national team, Andrade added: “The girls there are amazing athletes so it’s good to be around people like that.

“I want to train to be at the same levels as them.

“Everyone wants the same goal, they want to be competing for England and being the best players that they can be.

“I think that’s the right place for me to be training at the moment to get to where I want to be.

“All of the girls there deserve to be there.

“Players like Amy Hardcastle always stand out during training sessions and the half-backs, like Jodie Cunningham, are really great athletes.

“It’s good to be around them and you can learn so much from them, just from watching them.”

England’s clash with France will be shown live on BBC 2 and will be the first England women’s rugby league international to be shown on terrestrial television, providing another indicator of the recent growth made in the women’s game.

“I think this season has been the best for the women’s game in terms of the media (coverage),” enthused Andrade.

“They’re really trying to push us onto these big channels and that just means that more and more people will be exposed to our game.

“Hopefully that will bring some more girls through, having seen rugby on the television. Putting us on these channels is really going to help us grow as a sport.”