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'A significant development': Enhanced England contracts agreed

By PA
(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

New contracts have been announced for the England senior women players that will incorporate the 2025 World Cup on home soil. The three-season deals that run to 2026 will see 32 contracts awarded – two more than last season – in addition to six transition contracts.

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Contracted Red Roses players, whose names will be confirmed next month, have been chosen by incoming Red Roses head coach John Mitchell, his coaching staff, RFU executive director of performance Conor O’Shea and head of women’s performance Charlie Hayter.

In addition to an increased number and length of contracts, there are significant enhancements covering areas such as salary, match fees, 2025 Rugby World Cup arrangements and commercial and community engagements, the RFU and Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) said.

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There is also an agreement around revenue sharing if business targets are exceeded. “The new contracts are a significant development and a mark of the advancement in the women’s game since they were first awarded,” O’Shea said.

“We have led the way with the introduction of contracts, as well as provisions such as the ground-breaking maternity policy introduced earlier this year for our female athletes.”

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RPA general secretary Christian Day added: “As the world’s number one-ranked women’s team, the Red Roses have long been trendsetters in terms of both on-field performance and the off-field support made available to players.

“To maintain this position, and indeed to continue to grow the gap as other nations seek to level up, it was vital that the players’ contracts would be advanced at a time of unprecedented growth and opportunity for women’s rugby.”

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