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RFU to introduce full time contracts for womens team

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will reintroduce contracts for their England women's 15-a-side players to make them fully professional.

28 full-time deals will be available from 1st January, along with seven elite player squad agreements. Contracts were previously awarded based on the next major tournament.

"We are at a tipping point for women's rugby globally and it is our ambition to be world number one and drive growth," RFU boss Steve Brown said.

"We are very much behind this and want to see the continued expansion and growth to realise the ambitious targets we have set ourselves."

Brown told BBC Sport in July that it was their "ambition" to award full-time contracts in both formats of the game this season.

Contracts for England women's XVs squad were controversially not renewed after the 2017 World Cup as the RFU focused on sevens rugby.

In August, the RFU awarded 17 full-time England women's sevens contracts for the 2018-19 season.

All England players will be eligible to play for their clubs in the Tyrrells Premier 15s - the top-flight women's competition in England - and will return to the RFU for international duty.

JC

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