Sunday Times England Women’s Player of the Year at the RPA Players’ Awards 2014 and member of the World Cup winning England Rugby Squad, Rachael Burford, has been elected as the first professional female representative on the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) Players’ Board.
The RPA Players’ Board is made up of representatives from all 12 Aviva Premiership clubs, the most recently relegated Premiership club, England Sevens, and now following Burford’s appointment, England Women.
The England Women’s Sevens squad turned professional in August 2014 with 20 players being given full-time contracts, 12 of whom were members of the 15-a-side squad who lifted the World Cup.
This is another major step forward for women’s sport and an accolade to Rachael Burford acknowledging her hard work both on and off the field.
Rachael has 56 caps for England and comes from a rugby-mad family. She started playing when she was six, later joining Medway RFC in Kent, the same team as her mother and her sister Louise. Rachael now plays her club rugby for Thurrock T-Birds.
Soon after becoming World Champions in August 2014, the England team were crowned Sky Sports and BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year.
Before turning professional, Rachael was studying counselling at Medway College and she has also trained to be a Crossfit coach.