Nine pioneering Lionesses are coming to Pontefract Museum as part of the Women in Rugby League: Life with the Lionesses exhibition.

These former international women’s rugby league stars played in trailblazing Great Britain and England teams and will be the stars at an upcoming special event and you have a free invite to hear them.

On Wednesday 17 May, they will be talking about the local roots of the modern women’s game and their experiences at international level. There will also be a chance for attendees to look round the exhibition and learn about the development of women’s international rugby with the Lionesses themselves.

The evening will be hosted by Lioness, Joanna Carr-Will, who also played for Wakefield Panthers. Her former Great Britain teammates, Jo Roberts and Lucy Ferguson will be speaking about their experiences of going on tour to Australia and New Zealand in the late 1990s, whilst Rebecca Stevens, Michelle Handley and Sam McLean will recall playing in the first ever World Series on home turf.

Dani Titterington has played in four World Cups and will be discussing her experience of representing both Great Britain and England.

They will be joined by former Great Britain captain and England head coach, Brenda Dobek, one of the first women to be inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame, a prestigious honour reserved for people who have made a lasting impact on the sport. As a player Dobek represented Wakefield Panthers and Featherstone Rovers.

Featherstone-born pioneer, Jackie Sheldon, completes the legendary line-up. Jackie played for Wakefield Panthers and Redhill Ladies before becoming Great Britain’s inspirational head coach. As Development Officer for women and girls’ rugby, she was instrumental in the growth of the sport.

Jackie’s team tracksuit, jersey, and suit from the inaugural 1996 tour are on display in the Life with the Lionesses exhibition, alongside other previously unseen objects from the women’s rugby league archive, kindly lent by Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield.

The motivational touring exhibition was created in partnership with the Women in Rugby League project and reveals how these inspirational sportswomen challenged rugby league’s traditional male domination.

Cllr Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said, “This is such an exciting opportunity to hear from some of the true pioneers of women’s rugby league. We are very proud that so many trailblazing Lionesses came from and played in the Wakefield district.

“This event is a chance to honour their amazing achievements and for visitors to enjoy the exhibition in the company of some of its stars. It promises to be a really special evening.”

The Meet the Legendary Lionesses event is taking place at Pontefract Museum from 6.30-8.00pm on Wednesday 17 May. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance at

The Women in Rugby League: Life with the Lionesses exhibition is at Pontefract Museum until 30 September 2023. Opening hours and visitor information can be found at