WOMEN'S rugby league has been round for a while.

Although it has only started to gather profile over the past couple of years, these pictures will still seem a little surprising to those who have been trailblazers for the women's game.

These girls, pictured outside Saints' former Knowsley Road ground on February 4, 1978, were trying to set up a team in the town even then.

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The images have seen the light thanks to photographer Eddie Whitham.

"Like most photographers in the present situation, I have been looking through some old photographs and I came across this set," he said.

"Some girls were trying to form a ladies team in St Helens in 1978 and they borrowed a set of kit from Saints.

"And on the muddy patch outside Knowsley Road they threw themselves around for some pictures.

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"The girls put a lot of effort into the session and I don't think Saints thought their kit would get such a mud spattering."

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He added: "These are all the details I have but it would be nice to see if the girls remember the event."

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Saints Women's Super League campaign has not been able to get underway due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But last year they had a fine campaign, only missing out on a place in the Grand Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium at the expense of a Leeds Rhinos team that came back from 14-0 down late on to seal back-to-back finals.

Rhinos also broke Saints Women's hearts at the death in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

It shows how far the women's game has come in recent times.

Saints Women took over from Thatto Heath Crusaders in taking the town's place in Super League in 2018.

Thatto Heath had been highly successful as a team and many of the players joined up with Saints.

Many of the players, under either brand, have represented England, with Saints' Emily Rudge currently captain of the national team.