North Wales Origin have announced that they will be launching a women’s side for the 2021 season.
The representative outfit, who have been running a men’s community side for the past few years, competing against sides from East and West Wales, will act as an elite pathway to the Wales women’s national team.
North Wales Origin chairman Conrad Anderson said: “We are pleased to announce that North Wales Origin are to establish our first ever representative women’s team.
“Wales Rugby League has provided excellent support through the process and we believe that launching a team in 2021 would give many more female athletes from the region the chance to establish themselves and an opportunity to represent Wales in the future.
“The North Wales Origin women’s team must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s team and offer players a clear route to international rugby league within the WRL structure.
“Also, we must reflect and be representative at committee level, so we are actively looking for female members to join and help us make history.”
North Wales Origin are also pleased to announce that they have appointed Ryan Cartledge as head coach of the women’s team. He is already associated with the women’s game with Warrington Wolves and also performs duties for the Warrington Wolves foundation.
Cartledge was selected after being interviewed initially by Anderson, as well as WRL CEO Gareth Kear and women’s national head coach Tom Brindle. As North Wales Origin coach, he will be part of the national identification process as Wales women prepare for a series of international matches in 2021.
Anderson continues: “Ryan, will be a perfect fit for us. He believes passionately in our structure, he is prepared to build from the bottom up and is hungry for success. We will benefit massively from his experience as a women’s coach within the Women’s Super League.”
Cartledge said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be part of such an exciting project like this, not only for Women’s Rugby League but for Wales Rugby League too. I am excited to have an impact on the growth of Rugby League in North Wales and Wales as a whole too. On a more personal note, it means the world to me to represent Wales and my family’s heritage.”
North Wales Crusaders CEO Andy Moulsdale said: “The launch of the North Wales Origin women’s team is fantastic news for the growth of the community game and participation in North Wales.
“Gareth Kear and I have had long discussions about growing community participation through all forms of the game – wheelchair, PDRL and women’s – Our partnership with the WRL is committed to making this happen and we look forward to community games being part of the gameday experience at Crusaders and attracting more fans.
“Our relationship with WRL is greater than it has ever been and I’m confident we can get the game growing again in North Wales.”