Scottish Rugby invests in women's game with announcement of professional contracts ahead of Six Nations
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The contracts will run from December 2022 to November 2023, with the first year focusing on the skills and physical development of each individual player, who will be based at their existing clubs. This will also provide players with the opportunity to have greater time for off-field performance activities which may include areas such as analysis and recovery. As previously announced during the launch of the women and girls’ strategy earlier this year, Scottish Rugby is making additional investments in the game. Part of this investment has been committed for contracting players into the women’s high-performance programme.
Current Scotland internationalists Rhona Lloyd, Lisa Thomson and Shona Campbell have accepted contracts with GB Sevens, with the trio competing on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit for the 2022/23 season. Discussions will continue with GB Sevens around player availability for international games. Scottish Rugby’s director of high Performance, Jim Mallinder, said: “This is a landmark moment for the women’s performance programme and these contracts are a significant first step in a long-term journey towards professionalising the women’s game.
“This announcement will provide a crucial boost ahead of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations championship and the launch of the new global women’s competition, WXV, as we aim to ensure that we can compete and challenge the top teams on the world stage. 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.”
Scotland women head coach and technical lead, Bryan Easson, said: “Firstly, I’m delighted for the 28 players who have accepted professional contracts. The women’s game and calendar is continuously evolving and growing and we now have an annual programme that we can plan and prepare for properly, whilst also developing the players as individuals at their existing clubs. The ability for players to focus on rugby each week, while having sufficient enough time for recovery and analysis, is a real positive for us and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve going forward.”Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm said: “This is a historic and incredibly exciting day for Scottish Rugby and the women’s programme. The opportunity to go professional is not one I thought I would have within my career and as a playing group we are determined to use this opportunity to take Scotland Women to a new level.”
The list of professionally contracted players is as follows: 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, Lana Skeldon, Jodie Rettie, Emma Wassell, Molly Wright, Anne Young, Coreen Grant, Sarah Law, Caity Mattinson, Jenny Maxwell, Mairi McDonald, Liz Musgrove, Helen Nelson, Emma Orr, Chloe Rollie, Meryl Smith, Evie Wills.