HOLLIE DODD believes that York City Knights Ladies team-mate Olivia Wood would be fully deserving of an England debut this weekend.

Dodd and Wood are two of four York players, alongside Grace Field and Tara Stanley, to have been named in the 20-player England squad to face Wales at Cross Keys RFC's Pandy Park on Sunday (1pm).

While Dodd, Field and Stanley have call previously been capped by England, versatile forward Wood has yet to make her international bow.

“She really deserves it does Olivia," said Dodd on a potential first cap for her fellow pack member.

"She’s been working so hard over the past season or so.

“She doesn’t get the recognition she deserves at times, I don’t think.

"She grafts really hard in the middle and she’s recently moved positions, from second-row to prop, and she’s always involved in the game.

“She works really hard, so she really deserves that shot.

"It’d be great for her (to make her debut) and it’d really boost her confidence too.”

Dodd made her England debut against Wales almost a year ago and bagged a last-minute try in hosts' 60-0 victory at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“I started on the bench and went on for the last half an hour of the game," she recalled.

"It was a tough game and very physical but we stuck it out.

“We played really well together and it was such an honour to be able to play my first game for England."

The former Castleford Tigers back-rower continued: “Playing for England means everything. I know that there’s a lot of players aiming for those spots. That’s all what you want as a player, to be in that squad."

While the matches against Wales and France, the latter taking place at the Halliwell Jones Stadium next Saturday (3.15pm), are expected to be won by England with some ease, the fixtures have the added significance of coming just months ahead of the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off for the women on November 1.

With international starting shirts to be fought for, there's plenty of personal incentive for Dodd and her Knights team-mates.

“This is a really important period," said Dodd. "Everyone in the England squad is fighting for their shirt.

"It’s very often that there’s lots of competition in training too and everyone is pushing each other on.

“There’s so many people in each position, so you’ve got to perform in every training session and that just increases your performance levels.

“Everyone is having to perform well in training as well as in the Super League games to hopefully get an opportunity to play in the World Cup."

Meanwhile, York City Knights Ladies outside back Bettie Lambert has been named in Ireland Women's 19-player squad which will face Italy at the Rugby Club Pasian Di Prato in Udine on Saturday (4.30pm UK time).

Lambert is one of 11 selected players who featured in the nation's inaugural Test match against Wales in October.