FORMER England international Beth Sutcliffe is to head up Women’s and Girls Development for Roughyeds, writes Kasey Smith.

Sutcliffe, who has had a glittering rugby league career having played in four world cups from 2003 to 2017, joins the club with a mission to develop a pathway for women’s rugby league in Oldham.

A large part of the role will be working with the club’s and schools in Oldham, as well as the RFL, to help the women’s game thrive by creating a clear route towards the top of the game.

“Initially we will be making sure things are in place, across Oldham, to support girls to have the opportunity to play the mighty sport of rugby league,” said 41-year-old Sutcliffe.

“First of all, it will be getting to know the clubs and find what support is available already to build it from the grassroots up.

“The long-term ambition is to revive the women’s team, but we want to do it in a way where there are the right pathways in place.

“From my time being head coach of Bradford Bulls, I learnt a lot in terms of coaching and in setting up pathways to make it work.”

From Hathershaw, Sutcliffe started playing the sport at school and went on to play for Hillside Hawks, then based at St Annes.

She also played for Warrington Ladies and latterly Bradford Bulls where she was part of the 2017 treble-winning side.

After finishing her playing career, she spent two years as the Bradford Bulls joint head coach alongside Kirsty Mooney.

Director Simon Winnard said: “We are delighted to welcome Beth to the club as our new Head of Women’s & Girls Development.

“In our opinion, she is a top-class appointment who brings with her a wealth of rugby league experience having played, and coached, at the very highest level.

“Beth also has vast experience in promoting and developing sports participation, along with a detailed understanding of the governance and structures needed to best support that.

“We are really excited about working with her and, in due course, updating supporters on our plans moving forward.”