The Rugby Paper has reported that businessman Simon Pennock flew to Belfast to present the England Women squad with an ambitious new venture to give them financial stability after the World Cup.
A third of the 15s squad currently playing at the Rugby World Cup in Ireland will not have their contracts renewed leaving them in a tough financial situation.
Pennock is now the investor behind SNAP sponsorship and the Lions Sports Academy, and will offer the women a three-month contract on the same financial terms as the one they have with the RFU – in exchange for work at either company.
SNAP is an internet-based platform where grassroots clubs can advertise their assets in order to gain sponsorship while the Lions Academy introduces young players to a more professional approach to strength and conditioning and nutrition.
“My proposition is not aimed at undermining the RFU,” Pennock told The Rugby Paper. “I’m just a huge rugby fan and this is a genuine attempt to help out these girls.
“A lot of them have had to make financial sacrifices, leaving their jobs in order to follow their dream of playing professional rugby.
“But some of them who don’t play Sevens have nothing tied up for after the World Cup and that’s why I think it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“We’ve got role models coming out of the World Cup on one side and on the other we have SNAP and the Lions academy who could do with more staff.
“I’m hoping to meet them after their game against France on Tuesday and I’m confident they’ll be quite responsive to our offer. It’s a great opportunity to offer them financial stability for a while and give them time to plan their next career move.
“Some girls might enjoy their new job and it’s likely we’ll be able to offer them a permanent contract at the end of the three months.”