The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is to introduce women’s full-time 15s contracts this season underlining its commitment to the long-term growth of women’s rugby.
Following its meeting on Wednesday, the RFU Board supported the proposal to introduce women’s contracts for the 15-a-side game.
There will be 28 full-time contracts available to England Women, which will come into effect on 1 January. The Quilter Internationals will be played under the existing elite player squad (EPS) agreement.
The 28 contracts will be supplemented by seven EPS agreements, meaning a total EPS of 35.
“We are delighted to be able to offer full-time contracts to our 15s players,” said RFU chief executive Steve Brown.
“This has long been our ambition and demonstrates the RFU’s commitment to growing the women’s game and the belief we have in the future of the sport.”
The move will continue to drive standards in the game both at a domestic and international level with all England players eligible to play for their clubs in the Tyrrells Premier 15s competition, returning to the RFU for England duties.
With immediate effect, the squad will be based at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre during core periods, providing a permanent base within a high-performance training centre.