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Amy Cokayne: Women's rugby 'should learn from cricket'

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Amy Cokayne in action for England

The development of women’s rugby is “moving in the right direction” but remains a “very slow process”, says England hooker Amy Cokayne.

The recent women’s World Cup in Ireland raised the profile of the women’s game, while England’s players last week clinched a new pay deal with the RFU.

However Cokayne hopes to see more countries worldwide following suit.

“The momentum we had coming out of the World Cup was huge. We don’t want to have that drop-off,” she said.

“You have countries like Scotland who are sending their players over to France and they are getting paid, and they now have three full-time players,” told the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

“It is happening, but it is a very slow process.”

Under the new agreement between England’s players and the union, players will receive a match fee and training payments for the first time.

The BBC has learnt that an international who features in all three Tests against Canada this month will make between £4,000 and £5,000, a figure that pales in comparison with their male counterparts.

However Cokayne acknowledges the reasons behind the disparity.

“We would never dream of the money the men get, and there are two arguments,” she said.

“One is we are doing the same jobs and should get paid the same, but then the amount of revenue they bring in is hugely different. So I can see both sides.”

A keen cricket fan, Cokayne was at Lord’s to watch England’s women defeat India to win the World Cup in July.

And the 21-year-old feels rugby can learn from cricket when it comes growing the women’s game.

“To have the whole of Lord’s sold-out, it was an amazing atmosphere,” she added.

“People were there that didn’t know the players, while half the time with our games it’s friends and family, which is great, but we want more people coming for the love of the game.

“We play at Twickenham [after men’s matches], and when we warm-up it is loud and the whole atmosphere is there. By the time kick-off comes, people are rushing out, which is quite disheartening.

“What cricket have going is great. They are based at Loughborough and are constantly pushing and improving.

“So if we can take a leaf out of their book, it will only be a positive thing for sure.”

Hear the full interview with Amy Cokayne on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast out now


Source: BBC Suffolk