Wales Rugby League experimented with the women’s game a few times over the 2010s. Friday 30th July 2010 saw the first girls game in Wales where Ysgol Tre-Gib from Llandeilo beat Dyffryn Taf School from Whitland 24-8. After that, late 2015 saw St Joseph’s High School of Wrexham beat Elfed High School from Buckley 12-0. However neither project was continued – largely due to funding.
In 2012, South Wales Scorpions attempted to start a ladies side, they were to be known as the Wasps, but they didn’t last more than a few training sessions and the proposed Welsh side for the World Cup a year later didn’t emerge. In 2018, West Wales Raiders launched a ladies side but a year later, still hadn’t played a game.
However female players have played alongside the men in rugby league in Wales. In 2019, the Llanelli Knights U12s “boys side” had a girl in their ranks who is a regular in the side, but it’s the Wales Wheelchair side that fielded the first Welsh female rugby league international in Sarah-Anne Evans who played in the Celtic Cup against Scotland and Ireland on April 30th 2016. The first female scorer for Wales was Claire Cranston, who got three tries for Wales in the 2017 Wheelchair World Cup – one against Italy on July 25th and two against Spain on July 27th where she was awarded player of the match.
The women’s game finally took off in the summer of 2019 thanks to Cardiff Blue Dragons and Rhondda Outlaws who formed the first two open-age clubs who finally played a match. Cardiff won both of the games, 52-10 at home on July 27th and 30-28 away a week later. The first Women’s Origin match took place in Cardiff on August 25th 2019 where East Wales beat West Wales 32-6. After postponing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wales’ first women’s domestic league will kick off in 2021.
Following the initial domestic matches, two women’s international games were played in the autumn of 2019 with the first head coach being Craig Taylor, who was also the coach of the Bradford Bulls women’s U19 side. Wales historically beat England Lions in their second outing and are now preparing to qualify for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup.