IT is fair to say Bulls Women captain Grace Ramsden is not exactly ecstatic over the radical changes to Women's Super League for next season, but she admits she can see the benefits.

The top flight has been increased from 10 to 12 teams for 2022, but for the first time, it has been split into two groups.

Last season's top five, Leeds, St Helens, Wigan, York and Castleford, will be joined by 2021 Super League Shield winners, seventh-placed Huddersfield, in Group 1.

The rest of last year's bottom five, Featherstone, Warrington, Bradford and Wakefield, will be joined by Barrow and Leigh, who have come up from the Championship, in Group 2.

There will be promotion and relegation between the two groups, but it does mean that Bulls will miss out on big league derbies against the likes of Leeds and York next term.

Ramsden said: "I think it came as a shock to us all, but we just have to accept it and think of the positives.

"It is probably going to make both sections more competitive, by equalling out the games.

"The introduction of promotion at least gives us the chance to get up into Group 1 too, especially with the strong recruitment we've had in the off-season.

"It would have been good to give it a go against the top sides next season, to see where we were at, but we'll just have to prove ourselves in Group 2 instead."

The Women's Super League only began in 2017, with Bradford the winners of the first edition, which only had four teams.

Ramsden mused: "It's crazy to think the league has increased from four teams to 12 in just five years.

"I think it's a strong Championship too, and Barrow and Leigh are likely to be competitive having come up from there, especially in Group 2, as they might have struggled against the likes of Leeds and Saints.

"Group 2 is a nice middle ground for teams like that, a stepping stone to Group 1 if you like.

"I've played against Barrow and Leigh in the past, and they've been competitive, so it's good for clubs like that to get their chance in Super League."

Pre-season gets underway for the Bulls Women tomorrow, but Ramsden won't be part of that returning group.

She said: "I'll be out for a while.

"I've got a bad knee injury which is likely to keep me out until around May, so while I'm still club captain, we'll have another on-field captain when the season starts in March."

It is clear head coach Shaun Flynn has a lot of faith in Ramsden, with the hooker named Coaches' Player of the Year for 2021.

She said: "Shaun's not been with us long, but he's been great, and he's really helped the girls over the last few months.

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster over the last couple of seasons, so hopefully Shaun can bring us that stability we need.

"Him naming me as the winner of that award was really special too."