Rachael Burford Joins The RPA

The Rugby Players Association (RPA) is pleased to announce that Rachael Burford will be joining the RPA, leading the women’s rugby department as the domestic game thrives in Premiership Women’s Rugby and as we head towards the Women’s Rugby World Cup in England in 2025.

Rachael joins the RPA alongside her role with International Rugby Players, where she serves as the Head of Women’s Rugby. The former Harlequins centre retired from the sport at the end of the season, concluding a glittering career with over 80 England caps, multiple Six Nations titles, a World Cup victory in 2014, and a Premier 15’s title with Quins in 2021.

Off the field, Rachael has been a trailblazer for women’s rugby, serving on World Rugby’s Rugby Committees across all areas of the game and becoming the first women’s player on the RPA Players’ Board in 2015. She was appointed as Head of Women’s Rugby for the International Rugby Players in March 2021.

With the PWR looking to increasingly professionalise and the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 on the horizon, the women’s  game is at an exciting stage. The need for a strong collective player voice is vital in this development, and the RPA is pleased to have someone of Rachael’s calibre to drive it forward in collaboration with the game’s stakeholders.

Rachael Burford said: ““As a former player who has experienced firsthand the impact of support, I am honoured to lead the Women's Rugby department at the RPA. I am driven to collaborate with clubs, work closely with players, and tailor our support to meet the evolving needs of athletes. In this fast-paced game, a united voice is crucial for both the present and the future. I am deeply passionate about providing the highest level of support for players in the league, recognising the unique stages of each athlete's journey in the PWR.””

Christian Day, RPA General Secretary, added: “Adding Rachael, a former player and current administrator, will be a huge asset to the RPA and the English women’s game as a whole. Working with our partners at International Rugby Players enables us to share in Rachael’s expertise. It will not only enhance the support for our growing women's membership but will benefit International players of all nationalities from within the vibrant PWR competition. We cannot wait for Rachael to get started with the rest of the team.”