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Players' union for women in Premier 15s launches to provide support

By PA
April Ishida of DMP Durham Sharks and Ella Wyrwas of Saracens Women during Saracens' 77-5 win in the Premier 15s

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A players’ union for women is being launched for the first time to provide support to competitors in the Allianz Premier 15s.

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Former England full-back and World Cup winner Danielle Waterman has been appointed chief executive of the Women’s Rugby Association (WRA) with the aim of providing a collective voice in the competition.

The WRA will also offer guidance in negotiating contracts and commercial agreements and will seek the implementation of consistent medical and welfare provision across the Premier 15s.

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It comes as Wales and Bristol flanker Alisha Butchers was forced to crowd fund an operation to repair ankle ligament damage.

The injury was sustained during a Bristol training session earlier this year and it later transpired that the club’s insurance would only cover part of the surgery, forcing her to raise the money online.

“At a pivotal time in domestic women’s rugby, it is important that players are appropriately supported and protected on and off the ?eld so that they can perform at their best in rugby and beyond,” Waterman said.

“Players also need to be given the opportunity to have their voice and collective opinions heard to ensure they can help shape the progression and sustainability of the game they are at the heart of.”

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