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Andrea Dobson appointed Rugby League Development Officer

18/05/2021

The Eagles Foundation have appointed Andrea Dobson as Sheffield’s new Rugby League Development Officer who started her role on Monday 17th May.

The Development Officer post is being co-funded by the Rugby Football League, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Trust and Sheffield Eagles for two years and will aim to capitalise on the once in a generation opportunity of the city’s involvement in the Rugby League World Cup later this year where Sheffield will host the England v Greece men’s game at Bramall Lane as well as Group B and both semi-finals of the Wheelchair competition at the English Institute Of Sport Sheffield.

Andrea has over a decade’s experience as a community rugby coach in the city with the Rugby Football Union, where she has recorded a number of achievements, including growing the female game and increasing the number of juniors playing in the city and this experience will be valuable as she turns her attention to the growth of Rugby League in the city.

Despite this experience being in the other code, Andrea’s Rugby League knowledge and pedigree is unrivalled; having made her debut for Great Britain at just 16 years of age, she went on to represent Great Britain in her debut year at the 2003 Women’s Rugby League World Cup and England at the 2008, 2013 and 2017 events, being named captain for the latter event.

When she hung her international boots up in 2019, Andrea had a record breaking 24 international caps to her name, making her England’s most experienced international player of all time.

Although her international career has come to an end, Andrea is still playing for Featherstone Rovers in the Women’s Super League.

“I’m really pleased to be starting this role with the Eagles Foundation,” said Andrea. 

“I’m thrilled to be in a position to make a positive difference to Rugby League in Sheffield, which is my home city, and looking forward to bringing to life the potential that there is for Rugby League in the city. 

“The World Cup coming to Sheffield is a huge opportunity for us to grow Rugby League and everyone I have spoken to is excited about what we can achieve.”

Andrea’s day to day focus will be to deliver objectives agreed by the funding partners, which focus around growing participation in Rugby League.

This will involve working with Sheffield Hawks and Sheffield Forgers to grow their junior sections to get more boys and girls playing the game, working with various partners such as the colleges and universities to introduce social offers of Rugby League such as Touch and X-League and to start a Wheelchair Rugby League team to make playing Rugby League accessible to even more people in the city.

“The Eagles Foundation is delighted to be hosting the RL Development Officer role and we are pleased to be welcoming Andrea on board,” said David Butler, Trustee of the Eagles Foundation. 

“All of the funding partners share the vision for Rugby League in city and having Andrea now in place as a full-time member of staff brings capacity that hasn’t been there for some time to bring that vision to life. 

“I am confident that Andrea is going to make a big impact on the game in the city.”

Andrea can be contacted via andrea.dobson@eaglesfoundation.co.uk or 07960 135 699 and is interested in hearing from people who can offer their help to Rugby League development in Sheffield.