Bradford Clayton Thunder-birds head coach Michael Lambert is delighted that five of his players have been named in the England Women’s Rugby League World Cup squad.

Kirsty Moroney, Lois Forsell, Amy Hardcastle, Lauren Stallwood and Rachel Twibill have all been included as part of a 24-strong team, where England will face stiff competition from the likes of France, Australia and three-time winners New Zealand.

The call for the Thunder quintet comes after a stellar winter campaign for the club, where they capped off an unbeaten league-winning campaign with a Challenge Cup triumph over Castleford Panthers.

They are currently taking that form into the summer season, where they lie second in the league with a cup semi-final on the horizon.

And Lambert was quick to praise them ahead of the tournament, which kicks off in England in July.

“It’s a massive achievement for them to get there and play for their country. These opportunities don’t come along too often,” said Lambert. “It will be a new experience for some of them on the international stage and a huge test.”

Lambert was also quick to highlight the importance of his players’ achievement for the future of the club.

“The success of these girls will help inspire the next generation coming through and that’s what players like Kirsty, who’s been around for a long time now, seem to be doing already.

“It’s testament to the club and how we develop players as well.

“We’ve also got four girls in the Students international side, so we’ve got a decent conveyor belt of players coming through.”

With a bigger emphasis geared towards rugby league Down Under, Lambert believes that it will be a tough challenge for England, but one his players will rise to.

“It’s a huge test against both the Australians and the Kiwis. They’ve got firepower and big packs out there, so for our players it will be tough going because they put a lot of prominence into their rugby league over there.

“But our girls have got to match that if they want to go far and that’s what we’re hoping they’ll do.

“What my four will give is 100 per cent effort to the cause and they’ll no doubt be great additions to the squad with the pride and passion they will bring into it.

“Also the experience of winning here won’t do them any harm and hopefully they will take that into the England camp.”