HomeFree ArticleLatest NewsRFU Announces Enhanced Contracts for England’s Red Roses Players

RFU Announces Enhanced Contracts for England’s Red Roses Players

RFU Announces Enhanced Contracts for England’s Red Roses Players

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has taken a significant step in supporting the development and advancement of women’s rugby by announcing new, enhanced contracts for England’s women’s team, the Red Roses. The three-season agreement, running up to 2026, will see 32 contracts awarded to players, an increase from the previous 30, and will include the 2025 Rugby World Cup to be held in England.

In addition to the 32 contracts, the RFU will also grant six transitional contracts, aiming to support emerging Red Roses players in their early professional journeys while ensuring dedicated time for rugby development. Furthermore, two players currently on maternity leave will continue to be contracted alongside the 32 players.

The new contracts bring significant enhancements, covering not only salaries but also match fees, arrangements for the Rugby World Cup 2025, commercial and community engagement initiatives, and a revenue-sharing agreement in case business targets are exceeded.

Under the new contracts, the salaries will be classified into five tiers on a sliding scale. According to reports, players in the highest bracket can expect a salary increase of 37 percent, with their earnings rising to £45,000 ($56,455) as early as next month. By July 2025, when the Rugby World Cup is scheduled, the salary is set to reach £49,600 ($62,247).

Players on existing contracts will also see a pay increase of over a third this year if they remain in the same band, along with a guaranteed payment of £1,500 ($1,883) for international appearances. Additionally, bonuses of £2,200 ($2,762) and £6,500 ($8,159) will be awarded to players in the event of an England victory in the 2024 Six Nations or securing another Grand Slam under the leadership of coach John Mitchell, respectively. These incentives could potentially allow players to earn up to £63,500 ($79,714) for the 2023/24 season, in addition to their base salary, if they are part of a successful Six Nations-winning England team.

The contracts also include revenue-sharing provisions and provide increased rewards for participation in the 2025 Rugby World Cup, with a £5,000 ($6,276) payout for squad selection and a £15,000 ($18,826) bonus for winning the tournament.

Conor O’Shea, the RFU’s executive director of performance, expressed his enthusiasm for the new contracts, highlighting the advancements in the women’s game and the ongoing commitment to support female athletes. The names of the contracted players will be officially confirmed in July and have been carefully selected by John Mitchell, the incoming Red Roses head coach, along with his coaching staff, Conor O’Shea, and Charlie Hayter, the head of women’s performance.

The players themselves are excited about the new contracts and the opportunities they bring. Sarah Bern, England prop, stated that the contracts reflect the progress made in the women’s game and will provide valuable support as professional athletes in their journey towards the World Cup.

Christian Day, the general secretary of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), acknowledged the RFU’s efforts to support the Red Roses as the world’s top-ranked women’s team. He emphasized the importance of advancing the players’ contracts during a time of significant growth and opportunity for women’s rugby, especially with the home World Cup on the horizon in 2025.

The RFU’s commitment to enhancing contracts and providing comprehensive support to England’s Red Roses is a testament to the growing recognition and investment in women’s rugby. As the sport continues to evolve, these landmark agreements will contribute to the continued success and development of the women’s game, both on and off the

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