WARRINGTON-BORN Emily Rudge says leading out England will be "the highlight of her career."

The former Cardinal Newman High School student has been confirmed as captain for the Downer World Cup Nines and the upcoming tour of Papua New Guinea after another successful season with Women's Super League side St Helens.

Rudge, who plays in the second row, was one of three nominees for the Telegraph Woman of Steel award following a prolific try-scoring season.

Having won 20 caps for her country, Rudge has more international experience than anybody in the England women's squad and is looking forward to both tests Down Under

“I am honoured to have been named captain for the upcoming World Cup Nines and the tour of Papua New Guinea," she said.

"I’ve been a part of the England Women’s set up for a number of years now and to get the opportunity to lead my country out will truly be the highlight of my career.

“The Nines will be interesting as it is a new format, but I think it will suit us as we have some fantastic players in our squad who like to play expansive rugby.

"The games against Papua New Guinea will be tough but a great test for us as a team and it will be a fantastic experience for everyone involved.”