"Hindrance" - Red Roses star underwent breast reduction surgery to save her career - Ruck

“Hindrance” – Red Roses star underwent breast reduction surgery to save her career

In a significant revelation, Red Roses’ second-row player Rosie Galligan has chosen to open up about a deeply personal journey she embarked upon six years ago.

Join the RUCK’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

At the tender age of 20, the Saracen underwent a transformative breast-reduction surgery, a procedure that remained shrouded in secrecy until now, profoundly impacting her self-perception and athletic aspirations.

Transitioning from a 32HH to a 32D, Galligan’s decision was driven by her unwavering commitment to pursue excellence in professional rugby.

Despite the profound implications of the surgery, Galligan chose to confide solely in her family, opting to navigate this deeply personal journey in solitude.

“That was probably me being naive,” Galligan told the Telegraph.

“I didn’t even tell my England Under-20s coach at the time. I didn’t really make a big thing of it.

“It was probably a few years into rugby when I properly started realising that I was big,

“I was wearing two sports bras to suck my boobs in and strap them down. It just got to a point where I said, ‘I don’t want these big boobs anymore.’ They were a hindrance. I started revising for my A-level exams and I just had a constant neck and back ache.

“There was an England Under-20s tour coming up to Canada – my first one – and I wanted to be back in time for that, so I had to give myself six weeks to fully recover before starting training again,” she says.

“Everything was done to ensure I didn’t miss out on rugby commitments at the start of my dream of trying to be a professional rugby player. It was a bit of a whirlwind in that sense.”

“Role models” – Five England women stars you need to follow on Instagram

Let’s spotlight five standout Red Roses players worth following on Instagram. From motivating moms to fitness enthusiasts, these stars are sure to inspire.


Given Holly’s familial background with her father Ian being a former England U20 and Saxons player as well as Waterloo’s director of rugby, it made perfect sense for her to pursue rugby.

Aitchison herself boasts an impressive resume, having represented England in various capacities, including age-grade levels, the HSBC World Sevens Series, and even at the Olympic Games for Team GB.

Joining Saracens in 2020 marked the beginning of her remarkable journey, highlighted by scoring a try during her England 15s debut in 2021. This momentum carried her to the starting lineup for the 2021 Rugby World Cup final and secured her a spot in Simon Middleton’s Six Nations squad in 2023.

Demonstrating her prowess, she played a pivotal role in the Red Roses’ victorious campaign at the inaugural WXV1 tournament in New Zealand. Now, Holly’s achievements continue to flourish as she recently earned a place in John Mitchell’s squad for the 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

Follow her on Instagram here.