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Wales Women’s Rugby Players Go Pro


Twelve ladies have recently made history – they are the first Wales women’s rugby team players to be paid as professional sports people.

The women’s team have been playing at an international level and in the past few years they have been doing really well.

Up until now these ladies had never been paid for playing. They needed to juggle working to pay the bills with training.  Being available to travel to play at international matches and have time afterwards for recovery meant they had to use up their annual leave or go unpaid.

The ladies in the photo have all recently accepted full-time contracts with the Welsh Rugby Union. Their 12-month contracts came into effect the week beginning 10 January 2022.


The Players

The first full-time players are…


  • Alisha Butchers
  • Natalia John
  • Siwan Lillicrap
  • Carys Phillips
  • Gwenllian Pyrs
  • Donna Rose


  • Kiera Bevan
  • Hannah Jones
  • Jasmine Joyce
  • Ffion Lewis
  • Lisa Neumann
  • Elinor Snowsill

This story warmed my heart. I am really pleased for them because I believe this has been a long time coming.


WRU Wales Women’s Rugby Players Press Release

The WRU press release says:

WRU Performance Director Nigel Walker said, “The historic awarding of 12 full-time contracts will enable all these players to be full-time professionals and have regular, weekly contact with head coach Ioan Cunningham, the rest of the coaches and our expert science and medical team. All of this will make a significant difference to the players’ preparation, fitness and skill sets in order to enable us to challenge the best teams in the world.”

“We were so pleased with the quality of the players’ autumn performances that an increase to 12 full-time contracts was agreed, and the coaching team felt that working with 12 players who form the spine of the team would make a big impact. These players will be joined by 15 players on retainer contracts in the coming weeks.”



Article written by Emma Ross.

Emma is a CCHA tenant. She has worked as a counsellor for Mind for 7 years, and has also worked in GP surgeries for the Cardiff & Vale NHS in Ely and on an Employee Assistance Program. You can find her on social media @WorkSmartLiveHappy


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