Carys Williams, Jo Brown and Cath O’Donnell all receive their first full time contract with England after some impressive performances in both the Tyrrells Premier 15’s and Quilter Internationals Test.
Of her contract Carys Williams said:
"I’m so grateful that I’ll be able to live the dream of being a professional rugby player, something I never imagined would be a reality. Loughborough have been pivotal in me getting this opportunity and I still can’t quite believe it. Exciting times ahead!’
Having already announced that Emily Scarratt will return to the women 15’s programme before Christmas it is now confirmed that she will be joined by her fellow England’s team mates; Sarah Hunter, Katy Daley-Mclean and Justine Lucas who are no strangers to training full time."
Speaking about how the contracts will enhance the women’s game Justine Lucas commented:
“It’s a really great opportunity to be able to train full time again and focus 100% on rugby. With 6 nations only a month away, it will be great platform for everyone to be able to play at their very best. It’s a fantastic progression for the women’s game and means young girls coming through the pathway can aspire to be full time athletes which will only push the game from strength to strength.”
Speaking about the contracts awarded to Lightning players Head coach Rhys Edwards said:
“This is a huge thing for the game, having Full time England players is a significant step forward for the game and will certainly raise the bar moving forwards.
For the players to be able to solely concentrate on their rugby, without any distractions will allow them to maximise their performance and development. It will be an exciting Six Nations 2019.
Having 7 players as part of the 28 is an excellent achievement and reward for the players hard work. Sarah & Katy in particular have been stalwarts of the game and this will allow them to fully focus on preparing themselves for the World Cup in 2021. Seeing Carys Williams and Jo Brown receive their 1st contracts is a really pleasing to see, and it will be great to see their growth over the next 12 months.
Cath and Justine have been in great form this season and have been an integral part of the team’s success, and will no doubt take this form into England.
As a club we are really proud of all the players and we are looking forward to supporting the players here on their next rugby journey and achieve their next goals.”
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