By Bristolian,

Bristol’s Golden Ferns are to become the first semi-professional women’s club in the United Kingdom since this wonderful sport’s birth on August 29 1895 at the famous George Hotel in Huddersfield.

The Rugby Football League merit great praise for introducing the Betfred Women’s Super League South this year.

The concept has already become a resounding success. It is little surprise therefore that more clubs wish to join in ensuing seasons.

Golden Ferns’ chairman Lionel Hurst explains the rationale: “The women have been nothing short of magnificent ~ tough, brave, committed and loyal. Furthermore many of them have displayed a natural aptitude for the sport so much so that I often say to them – are you sure you haven’t played it before!? On such qualities one can build an organisation to be proud of.”

The club will look to contract a squad of 30 players for the 2022 campaign.

The Golden Ferns are based at SGS Stoke Gifford Stadium in Bristol where the facilities are amongst the best in British sport. Moreover, the whole concept is underpinned by all the key ingredients for success including top quality coaching, strength and conditioning, medical support and much more besides. In addition, the club’s administrative infrastructure is of a high standard and in place in readiness for professional Rugby League.

Simon Martin, the All Golds’ full time Head of Rugby Development, is in no doubt that the free flowing and entertaining nature of the 13 aside code is tailor made for female participation:

“The enjoyment the women obtain from the sport is self evident. The way the Ferns have played this year in becoming inaugural semi-finalists allied to their conduct on and off the field of play have all contributed to the club taking this history making decision.”

A particular feature is how the sport is appealing to women from all sporting disciplines not just rugby.

Hurst adds: “Previous experience of playing Rugby League is not necessary as we are seeking to sign on those with the attributes we value most highly including toughness and athleticism with a desire to learn and improve.”

All those seeking to become Golden Ferns in 2022 and beyond should contact Simon with their sporting c.v. via