THE bulk of the national women’s squad that competed at the recent Rugby World Cup have agreed contracts with Scottish Rugby. Twenty-eight players have signed the new deals, which run from now until November 2023, and have an average value of £25,000, according to a Murrayfield source.
While the squad that head coach Bryan Easson took to New Zealand had short-term contracts to cover their preparations for the World Cup, this is the first time that such a large number of women have been awarded deals for a whole year. The contracts will have primacy over agreements that individuals may make with their clubs.
“This is a landmark moment for the women’s performance programme,” Jim Mallinder, the SRU’s director of high performance, said today. “These contracts are a significant first step in a long-term journey towards professionalising the womens game.
“The next step will look at how we can create a sustainable and competitive playing environment in Scotland, while building our high-performance pathways to support our future internationalists and ensure new talent is identified and developed.”
In addition to the 28 players listed below, several others are still considering the contracts. Lisa Thomson, Rhona Lloyd and Shona Orr have all accepted GB Sevens contracts but may be available for some internationals. Of the squad who went to New Zealand, Hannah Smith is so far the only one to announce her retirement from international rugby.
Scottish Rugby’s professionally contracted players:
Forwards (17): Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle, Sarah Bonar, Elliann Clarke, Lisa Cockburn, Evie Gallagher, Jade Konkel-Roberts, Rachel Malcolm, Elis Martin, Rachel McLachlan, Louise McMillan, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Jodie Rettie, Lana Skeldon, Emma Wassell, Molly Wright, Anne Young.
Backs (11): Coreen Grant, Sarah Law, Caity Mattinson, Jenny Maxwell, Mairi McDonald, Liz Musgrove, Helen Nelson, Emma Orr, Chloe Rollie, Meryl Smith, Evie Wills.