Response to RFU rugby contract situation

In recent times the RFU has made significant – and frankly overdue – strides in backing the women’s game. They have invested in players, coaching arrangements and actively sought to raise the profile of the game with bold campaigns like the Red Roses and Inner Warrior. The newly announced domestic competition is a significant move and bodes well for broadening the player base and providing a regular schedule of quality games.

We would like to see contract arrangements that are longer-term for both forms of the game and have had reassurances from the RFU that this is exactly the ambition they are working towards. It is equally important that the RFU commits to doing the hard yards of investing in an infrastructure that can sustain a thriving 15s and 7s operation – and we have seen evidence of their commitment to this.

We are all tired of seeing the peaks and troughs linked to major competitions – not least the totally inadequate response to the team’s last World Cup win in 2014, which was a wasted opportunity to develop the game. But when a sport is finally making systemic investment in the women’s game and can demonstrate the existence of a long-term strategy, then we are keen to support those endeavours. We want progress to come faster but just as importantly we want it to be properly plumbed in so it is enduring. For the first time in its history there is evidence that the RFU is committed to women’s rugby at all levels and we look forward both to working alongside them and holding them to account as they do this.

Women’s Sport Trust