Emily Rudge: England captain hoping to complete Papua New Guinea double

By Dave WoodsBBC rugby league correspondent
Emily Rudge
In addition to their Test win in Goroko, England beat Papua New Guinea in the recent World Cup Nines tournament in Sydney

Emily Rudge has already inspired her side to an historic Test match victory, and now the England captain wants to make it a double.

Rudge scored four tries in a 24-10 win over Papua New Guinea in Goroka on 9 November in the first ever Test match meeting between the two sides outside of a World Cup.

"It was amazing," she said. "I've not scored for a while for England, not since 2012, so we were laughing afterwards that I was making up for lost time."

The two sides meet again in Port Moresby on Saturday as part of a double-header that also sees Papua New Guinea's men's team play Great Britain.

England are touring PNG as part of their preparations for the 2021 World Cup, and Rudge says the experience of playing in front of passionate crowds away from home will be vital to their chances of being crowned world champions on home soil in two years' time.

"The atmosphere in Goroka was amazing," said the St Helens back-rower, who is already a veteran of three World Cups.

"It's something I've never experienced before. They were really supportive of both sides. If PNG scored they went mad, if we scored they went mad.

"We've struggled a little bit because it's really hot here. But it's a great opportunity for all the girls to come out here and play two international Tests.

"Previous to this, we haven't really toured outside of a World Cup, apart from going to France, so to come here is amazing.

"It's great for such a big squad to come out. We've got a lot of new girls and it's great for them to experience what a tour's like.

"Women's rugby league in England is taking massive strides, this is just proof of that. Hopefully it's going to get bigger and better off the back of this tour."

Castleford forward Grace Field has been added to England's squad of 19 for the match in place of Leeds' Amy Johnson, who has pulled out because of injury.

England 19-player squad: Beevers, Wilson, Williams, Stanley, Burke, Cunningham, Roche, Hoyle, Peach, Anderson, Rudge, Lacey, Marshall, Booth, Field, Renouf, Jones; Crowl, Gaskin.

The second Test between Papua New Guinea and England will be shown live on BBC Red Button, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website. Kick-off is 05:00 GMT.

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