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Celtic nations should be ’embarrassed’ by lack of investment in women’s rugby says Brian Moore

02 May 2022 3 minutes Read
Wales Women Ffion Lewis tackled by England women Marlie Packer. Picture by Leila Coker / PA Wire.

The Celtic nations should be “embarrassed” by their lack of investment in women’s rugby after England swept them aside for the Grand Slam in the Six Nations, Brian Moore has said.

The WRU announced in January that 12 Welsh players would be placed on professional contracts, and despite an improved performance that saw wins against Ireland and Scotland, they finish third in the competition after losses against England, France and Italy.

England remains the only fully professional team while Ireland and Scotland have yet to commit to any professional contracts.

But former England hooker Moore said that even if the Celtic nations invested now it would take years for them to catch up with England, who could also have progressed further in the meantime.

The Six Nations “showed how far behind the other Unions have allowed their women’s rugby to languish without committing to the professional setup established by the Rugby Football Union,” Brian Moore said in the Telegraph.

“It is no fault of anyone involved with the Red Roses that their opponents have simply not been good enough, bar the French, to mount anything like a serious challenge to England on the field.

“Wales have started to address the situation, and the Celtic unions have the money, they just have not bothered to act timeously, or at all in some cases.

“The problem is that even if they acted tomorrow, it will be at least three years before the effects of a professional structure come to fruition and in that time England should have made further strides forward under their own professional programme.”

‘Equal’

Brian Moore added that “if the huge goodwill and momentum created by England’s women is not to be lost” the Celtic nations needed to “act now and stop making excuses for why they cannot get their girls and women’s rugby in order”.

Irish rugby union player Aoife McDermott shared a picture of herself back at work last Monday the day after Ireland suffered a crushing 69–0 defeat against England.

England prop Sarah Bern also called for change, saying that the amateur status of many players in the Women’s Six Nations is affecting their mental health.

“Playing a game like this then having to work tomorrow – I really feel for them,” she said.

“I’m always there to fight for their corner because I think everyone should have equal opportunity.

“We need to keep fighting to be equal to the men. To get the support the men do and the crowds the men do because we are showing we can do it. I hope we keep carrying that momentum.”


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Cynan
Cynan
20 days ago

Yeah thanks Brian. Because we’ve all got the same funds as Twockenham. “If they have no bread, let them eat cake” eh Lord Moneybags? And him being a qualified lawyer too. You’d think he could grasp simple financial concepts.

Gerald Francis
Gerald Francis
20 days ago
Reply to  Cynan

I wish we had the same funds as England and France, but we should still support women’ rugby in our own way.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
20 days ago
Reply to  Gerald Francis

Wales does as far as possible. Siwan Lillicrap was coach to Swansea University and Kayleigh Powell works for Ospreys in the Community. Siwan has a full contract and has left Swansea Uni while Kayleigh has a retainer contract and the blessing of her employer to represent her nation.

The thing to remember is that Ryan Jones and Rachel Taylor lobbied hard for professionalisation, the interim review made recommendations then last Summer the women themselves decided on what they now have. It wasn’t imposed on them and hopefully that is how it will grow and develop as a player-led initiative.

Cynan
Cynan
20 days ago
Reply to  Gerald Francis

Good point. I just don’t know how when we can barely support the mens game

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
20 days ago

I don’t normally agree with Brian “the Gob” Moore. But he’s right. Investment in Wales women’s rugby is a joke. England’s women turned professional in 2019, use the same facilities and training methods as the men’s side. It pains me to say this. But Welsh rugby is in a dire state at the moment sadly. We don’t need ex-rugby players managing the fiscal side and structure of Welsh rugby. They should use their expertise to coach and bring on the next Gareth Edwards or Jasmine Joyce to the fore.

Gareth
Gareth
20 days ago

What Brian Moore failed to point out was, that the English union made 139 people redundant in 2020, to enable them to fund both men’s and women’s teams. Can the Celtic unions afford to do that, and still operate? England have a far larger population, and attract larger sponsorship deals.

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