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Wallaroos land landmark six-year sponsorship

By AAP
Newly appointed Wallaroos captain Piper Duck poses after a media opportunity at Rugby Australia HQ on May 17, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images for Rugby Australia)

Feeling the national governing body has finally listened to its female players, Wallaroos captain Piper Duck is ready to let the rugby do the talking.

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The nation’s women’s rugby union team have won their bid for improved working conditions after Rugby Australia (RA) on Monday announced a landmark six-year sponsorship deal with confectionary company Cadbury.

The influx of investment comes seven months after Wallaroos players publicly lashed the sport’s national governing body over poor funding and treatment.

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August’s joint social media post said RA told players there was no money for full-time contracts and criticised the amount paid to recruit men’s rugby league star Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii to the 15-player game.

It also highlighted that then-coach Jay Tregonning was not a full-time appointment, yet Eddie Jones had multiple assistants as he led the Wallabies to the 2023 World Cup in France.

Duck and the Wallaroos will head to May’s Pacific Four Series with former England international Jo Yapp at the helm as the team’s first-ever full-time coach.

“(I’m) definitely feeling that they’ve listened. There’s been such an increase in investment into the Wallaroos,” Duck said on Monday.

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“It’s now time for us to really back up what we’re putting down.

“We’re absolutely stoked to show Rugby Australia and the world what we can achieve.

“The girls have so much pride in what they do. We are here to perform. We’re here to play some good rugby.”

RA has yet to write out a timeline on its aspirations for full-time women’s players, but chief executive Phil Waugh has indicated the 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Australia could be a target.

“We saw the power of a home World Cup in another sport last year and going deep into the tournament,” Waugh said on Monday.

“It’s hard to put dates on those sorts of things (but) we know that you need to perform now and invest now to get the benefits in 2029.”

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Duck will lead the NSW Waratahs into a Super Rugby Women’s grand final against the Fijian Drua on Sunday before heading off with the Wallaroos to take on Canada in their first Pacific Four Series match.

THE WALLAROOS PACIFIC FOUR FIXTURES

May 11 v Canada (Sydney, 4.45pm AEST)

May 17 v USA (Melbourne, 4.45pm AEST)

May 25 v New Zealand (Auckland, 12.05pm AEST)

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Brian 50 days ago

It will be fascinating to see the effect that Jo Yapp has. If they can compete with Canada and give BFs a run for their money that will be progress

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