Rugby League

Carrie Roberts: Meet The Army's Challenge Cup Finalist

The Army's SSgt Carrie Roberts is preparing for one of the biggest matches of her rugby career - the Challenge Cup final with St Helens.

The British Army's Staff Sergeant Carrie Roberts is preparing for one of the biggest matches of her rugby league career - the Challenge Cup final.

The soldier will be taking to the field for her professional club St Helens in the final of the Women's Challenge Cup against York City Knights on Saturday.

"We've got the men in the semi-final, the females in the final and we're absolutely buzzing, you know, coming off the back of a successful win against Leeds [Rhinos]," SSgt Roberts said.

"We're really pumped and ready for it.

"We can't wait."

SSgt Roberts was a key player in St Helens' semi-final win against Leeds, scoring two tries at crucial points in the game a strong overall team performance.

"Our forwards set a really good platform for us to work off the back of the centres," she said.

"It was a really tough game, they had incredible athletes throughout their squad and we were fully aware of that, so our preparation went really well and, yeah, we really enjoyed it. It was fantastic.

"[It was a] massive game to be involved in, you know, reigning champions Leeds, at the moment, so to get the win over them after a disappointing two seasons prior, it was really good for us and gave us a great boost.

"We always felt confident we could eventually get over the line and we did, we just worked tremendously hard as a team and didn't give up until the end."

Army and St Helens rugby league player Carrie Roberts scores a try in the Challenge Cup semi-final for St Helens 220521 CREDIT PA ALAMY
SSgt Roberts scoring one of her tries against Leeds in the Challenge Cup semi-final last month (Picture: PA/Alamy).

Riding high off the back of that win, St Helens are now hoping to carry that momentum into the game against York City Knights, a team Carrie has played against and beaten before with the British Army, when they won the Challenge Shield in 2019.

"It's fantastic for the Army women to get some silverware and winning the Challenge Shield, but... they're a completely different outfit at the moment.

"They've had a couple signings from Castleford and other places, some amazing athletes as well on their squad, so it is going to be a tough game and we've been prepping hard and analysing some of the bits that they have done and we feel ready and confident for it."

SSgt Roberts has had highs and lows during her rugby playing career, including some injuries at the start of this Super League season.

However, now fully fit, she is in no doubt over how important winning the Challenge Cup would be.

"It would mean so much, the girls have just been incredible," she said.

"Since joining this team, they've made me feel so welcome.

"They're a great team with a great ethos, as well.

"Everyone is accountable on that team for each other and themselves and I think the team really, really do deserve it because we've put our pedal to the metal the entire time since we started.

"It would just mean so much, and for our friends and family, as well, to come and see us lift that trophy and, hopefully, with fans in the crowd as well, that will boost us. 

"It will just be a fab day. We can't wait."

St Helens will take on the York City Knights on Saturday 5 June.