YORK City Knights Ladies will kick off their maiden Women's Super League season with a trip to St Helens Ladies on Sunday, April 15.

Their first home match, to be played at the Knights' York St John University training base in Haxby Road, will be against Castleford Tigers Women on Sunday, April 22.

As previously reported by The Press, York joined the elite of the women's game when being accepted into the inaugural Women’s Super League last autumn. The make-up of the 2018 competition – including huge names in rugby league – and the fixture list have now been revealed, with Saints and Cas Tigresses likely to give Daryl North's team a baptism of fire.

Both, along with Bradford Bulls and Featherstone Rovers, were part of the four-team Women's Super League that was piloted last year, with Saints playing under the Thatto Heath name.

Kay Rollinson, who took up a coaching role after ending her 26-year playing career last July, said of joining the elite: “This puts York up against the big guns.

"I think it’s massive for the city. The fact we have been given a chance to play alongside the best women’s teams in the country says a lot about the vision of the (Knights) board, coaching team and players.”

Saints, Cas, Bradford and Fev are joined in this season’s set-up – reflecting the growth in women’s rugby league in recent times – by newly-formed Leeds Rhinos Women and Wigan Warriors Women, as well as York.

There will also be a Championship division, plus a Summer Merit League below.

The Knights were unbeaten in last summer's Merit League and won the Challenge Shield in July in their first year under the Knights’ umbrella. Their only defeat came against Cas in the Yorkshire Cup, a narrow 16-8 loss on a hot day that saw York finish with only 12 fit players due to injuries.

Coach North said: “For us to be playing in Super League is a massive achievement for women’s rugby and sport in general in York.

“I don’t think the city has any other team competing in the top tier or playing at that level week in, week out.

“I believe the girls need this challenge to progress as players and as a squad.

“Having spoken to Jon Flatman (Knights chairman), I know he is backing our team and wants us to be successful. We have very good players in our squad, as our results from last year show.”

Knights Ladies captain Carly Hilton said: “It will be a massive honour to play in Super League. This is a great achievement for the girls, coaches, club and city."

Each team will play each other home and away over 14 rounds of the regular season, between Sunday, April 8 and September 30. Given there are bye weeks after Widnes withdrew from the top flight, it makes for 12 fixtures each.

The top four at the end of term will go into play-off semi-finals, before the Women’s Super League Grand Final takes place on Saturday, October 13 at the Manchester Regional Arena, Etihad Campus.

The season kicks off on April 8, when Featherstone Ladies host Leeds Women (12.30pm) as part of a double header which also sees Fev take on Dewsbury in the Betfred Championship.

The 2017 Women’s Super League and Challenge Cup winners Bradford will open their campaign the following week at home to Leeds, on the same day the Knights go to St Helens. York end their campaign at home to Leeds on September 30.

Knights Ladies 2018 Women's Super League fixtures


15 St Helens Women v York City Knights

22 York City Knights Ladies v Castleford Tigers Women


13 Bradford Bulls Women v York City Knights Ladies

20 York City Knights Ladies v Featherstone Rovers Ladies


10 Wigan Warriors Women v York City Knights Ladies

17 Leeds Rhinos Women v York City Knights Ladies

24 York City Knights Ladies v St Helens Women


8 Castleford Tigers Women v York City Knights Ladies

19 York City Knights Ladies v Bradford Bulls Women


9 Featherstone Rovers Ladies v York City Knights Ladies

16 York City Knights Ladies v Wigan Warriors Women

30 York City Knights Ladies v Leeds Rhinos Women