SUNDAY will mark a historic day for women's rugby league in Warrington.

For the first time ever, Warrington Wolves will play a Women's Super League game when they step out at Victoria Park – a place that became their fortress when they stormed to promotion back in 2019.

Their first assignment is a tough one against the 2018 champions and an established top-flight force in Wigan Warriors.

After a year of inactivity, though, the players are just happy to be playing again after Covid-19 wiped out the entire 2020 calendar.

> Meet the Warrington Wolves' first ever Women's Super League squad

"I don’t think we’re setting any expectations this year," Wire captain Michelle Davis said.

"We’ve had a lot of changes in the off-season with people coming and going.

"It’s obviously going to be a massive change in the whole league, even just to get used to playing full contact rugby again after lockdown.

"We want to go out there, play our best and prove ourselves but there’s no point in putting that added pressure on ourselves.

"We’re treating this season as one to rebuild, enjoy and celebrate the fact rugby is actually back for us."

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Wolves Women celebrate winning the 2019 Championship Grand Final. Picture by Mike Boden

One of the changes Davis mentions is a significant one in terms of experience and leadership.

Roxy Murdoch, who captained the team to Championship glory in their inaugural season in 2019, has left to return to her native New Zealand with her husband, former Wire men's star Ben Murdoch-Masila, and family.

Prolific winger Davis has been chosen to replace her as skipper, with fellow England international Danielle Bound acting as vice-captain.

"I’m really proud to be able to captain the team this year," the 30-year-old said.

"I’ve obviously got massive boots to fill with Roxy having been before me, but I think it’s an exciting time and I’m ready as a player to step up and lead on and off the pitch.

"I offer a lot of support to the girls and the club have recognised that.

"It’s a nice achievement for me to be able to do it. We’ve got a lot of young talent coming through so it’s nice to be supporting them."

After the 10 teams have played each other once, the Women's Super League will split to form two competitions.

The top four teams at that point will qualify for the Play-Offs – starting in August when it is hoped crowds will be allowed – with the teams playing each other home and away for an additional six rounds of fixtures – at which point the top two qualify for the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final.

The other six teams will play each other once in a Shield competition, with the top four in that mini-table qualifying for Shield semi finals leading to a Shield Final.

Both finals will be played at Headingley on Sunday, October 10.

So how have Warrington been preparing for games against more established forces in the women's game under the guidance of head coach Lee Westwood and his assistant and namesake Ben, the Warrington Wolves men's legend?

Warrington Wolves Women head coach Lee Westwood and assistant Ben Westwood. Picture by Mike Boden

Warrington Wolves Women head coach Lee Westwood and assistant Ben Westwood. Picture by Mike Boden

"For us, it is a case of going back to basics," Davis said.

"In the Championship, it was a bit easier to put moves on and be a bit more off-the-cuff.

"Super League is a bigger step up in speed and physicality so that’s what we’ve been focusing on.

"We’ve been doing a lot on the technical side as well in and around the ruck area and keeping it really simple.

"We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a massive step up for us but we’re going the right way about preparing for it.

"Regardless of whether we end up in the top four or bottom six, playing better teams will make us a better team ourselves.

"Wherever we are, it won’t make that much difference.

"We’re competing against the best and that’s who you want to be playing against."