ENGLAND women’s rugby league team kick off their World Cup campaign next Thursday.
They take on Papua New Guinea Orchids in the first of three group fixtures in Sydney.
They also play Australia and Cook Islands in group matches before a potential semi-final clash on November 26. The final is at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday, December 2.
England’s squad is captained by Featherstone’s Andrea Dobson and includes her Rovers teammates Kayleigh Bulman, Rhiannon Marshall, Sarah Dunn and Emma Slowe and Castleford Tigers player Katie Hepworth.
Full-back Bulman is relishing playing in the World Cup.
“It is going to be fantastic and it will be very special to go out there and participate in such a spectacle,” said Bulman.
“The World Cup tournament gave me something to strive towards this year, helping me enjoy a strong season with Featherstone.
“I did struggle from time to time but, ultimately, it helped me improve as a player, having such motivation.
“I feel honoured to be representing my country at the World Cup.”
Bulman is delighted that women’s rugby league is flourishing.
Leeds, Wigan, Widnes, Hull and several other clubs are set to join Featherstone in the all-new Women’s Super League for 2018.
“We have a lot to look forward to in terms of the Super League. It is really pleasing to see the women’s game beginning to develop,” she added.
“After the World Cup, our preparations will begin for 2018 and it will need to be intense. There are some big-name clubs coming in to join us and we want to be right up there competing with the best of them.
“There are plenty of positives for Featherstone to take from this year, especially coming off the back of reaching finals in both the league and Challenge Cup. It is something we can build on. Another positive for us was how many young players we gained this year. They will also grow, develop and improve going into next season. It is an exciting time for the sport.”