Women’s Rugby League continues to flourish in Wales, with capital club Cardiff Demons now confirmed as the wildcard team selected to play at the Nines Finals event at Salford Stadium on Saturday June 24.
The announcement comes during a momentous week for the Demons, who this Sunday (May 21, 2pm) face Featherstone Rovers at Cardiff University Sports Park in Llanrumney in their final Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup group fixture.
After defeat to Wigan Warriors in their opening game, the Demons claimed their first ever win in the tournament with a 12-8 victory at Salford Red Devils – and coach Ian Newbury will be hoping his side can repeat this kind of performance on Sunday, where a win will secure their place in the quarter-finals. An announcement on the quarter-finals draw will be on Friday May 19.
Cardiff also enjoyed a victory over Salford at the Women’s Rugby League Nines Festival in Warrington last Sunday (May 14) – the Demons once again underlined the quality of players who have been attracted to the sport since the introduction of the Women’s Super League South after winning their opening two matches against the Red Devils and Bradford Bulls.
Cardiff’s third and final game was a closely fought 14-7 defeat to current BWSL Champions Leeds Rhinos, where they led for the first twenty minutes, but a fight back from the Rhinos in the second half resulted in Cardiff bowing out of the tournament – until now.
England Women Captain, Jodie Cunningham, who is also the RFL’s National Women and Girls Development Manager, says:
“Going into the tournament we had a process in place which would determine the sixth wildcard spot, which in the first instance, was the highest placed non-qualifying team.
“There were a number of teams level on four points, but Cardiff Demons had the closest result to the overall winners of their group after their 12-7 defeat to Leeds Rhinos.
“The Demons have been a great example of Rugby League thriving in areas outside of the heartlands and it is really encouraging to see the progress they have made since joining the Women’s Super League South in 2021.
“We are now all looking forward to Finals Day at the Salford Stadium on June 24, tickets are already on sale so I would encourage anyone interested to purchase their tickets in advance – it’s going to be a brilliant day.”
Cardiff Demons Head Coach, Ian Newbury, explains:
“This is a historic moment for the club and it’s all down to the dedication of the players who have worked so hard over the last three years since our inception.
“The squad we took to the Women’s Rugby League Nines Festival included five players who are new to the game this year which shows the potential of cross code development.
“Our target was to compete for a spot in the final and we know that any game time against the top tier is an indication of how far we’ve come and where we need to develop further. The finals will give us the opportunity to play against those clubs and we are excited to show what we can do.”
Cardiff Demons will join Warrington Wolves, York Valkyrie, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves at the Women’s Rugby League Nines Finals Day at the Salford Stadium on June 24. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children and can be purchased here.