Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has criticised the decision by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) not to automatically renew the contracts of the World Cup-winning England women’s team after the forthcoming tournament, in order to split funding between the 7s and 15s games.
The move comes despite the RFU posting record revenues of £400million and having previously been proud of its record as a champion of women’s professional sport.
The Conservative, who is a firm supporter of the This Girl Can campaign, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the RFU has chosen to – in effect – reduce our world-beating rugby stars to part-time professionals under this new scheme of rotating emphasis and contracts depending on the 7s or 15s cycle.
“I frequently meet girls across Northumberland interested in playing rugby and it is thanks to having such great role models. They deserve our support, not the promise of demotion.”
Mrs Trevelyan, who played alongside former England captain Catherine Spencer in the first mixed Commons and Lords rugby match in December, joined MPs from all parties in a joint letter to the RFU condemning their decision and asking them to reconsider.