WHAT a year it has been for Keighley Albion Ladies' Emma Templeton.

After struggling to find a team to apply her rugby league talent to for nine years, the 32-year-old is now aiming to propel her career into Super League stardom as she prepares to make her England Community Lions debut in their first match against Wales this Saturday.

Templeton has had a whirlwind last 12 months in which she has become Keighley's main asset, picking up several individual accolades and scoring 29 tries in all competitions, to help her side gain promotion to the Championship and reach the quarter-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup.

The centre will feature in an England Lions programme which was reintroduced in June and is designed to retain more players within the community game.

She will join a squad of 19 players from Championship and League One clubs, who aren't already involved in the England set-up, to feature in the match held at St Helens' Ruskin Drive, following England Women's and Great Britain Men's who play in their own competitive fixtures overseas beforehand.

Speaking on how she found out about her selection, Templeton said: "I had an email sat there since the Friday but I had already checked my mail box on the Wednesday.

"It got to the Sunday evening at about half nine and my manager called me to tell me to check my emails immediately, so I did and there it was saying I had been selected.

"I am really excited, I can’t wait to lace my boots up. Although I had been selected for Yorkshire, I had no idea about the call-up.

She added: "I hadn’t played rugby for nine years and we (Keighley) only reformed last year so a lot has happened since then.

"We have come from nothing, we were a self-run team, and nobody knew who we were.

"We have done it all ourselves and stood our ground against the biggest teams.

"I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my team-mates, we go way back.

"When I was 16 we started off in open age and I have grown up with these girls.

"What you see off the field is what you get on the field, there is no arguing we are like a family."

A player of the match performance in Keighley's 54-12 play-off win against Cutsyke Raidettes last month, has led to Templeton attracting interest from several Super League clubs for her services.

The Keighley star is excited about the prospect of featuring in the sport's elite division and believes she has what it takes to make a real impact after previously shining in a Super League fixture.

She said: "I have had a lot of contact from Super League clubs who want to sign me next year but I want to deal with this moment and whatever comes next.

"What has opened my eyes to my capabilities was when I signed for York City Knights Ladies, seven weeks ago, and played in a Super League game against Castleford Tigers, who are an elite team.

"I started the game, playing centre, and got the player of the match.

"I want to play at that high level now after I know that I am capable of it."