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New Welsh pros ready for Premier15s action

Donna Rose will pack down for Saracens for the first time as a full-time pro player

New Welsh pros ready for Premier15s action

A dozen players were given full-time professional contracts with the Welsh Rugby Union this week, and six of them will feature for their Allianz Premier 15s clubs this weekend.

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Jasmine Joyce and Alisha Butchers will turn out for Bristol Bears against bottom-of-the-table DMP Durham Sharks as they attempt to avoid a third successive defeat, while Donna Rose packs down in the front row for league leaders Saracens in their game at Loughborough Lightning.

Carys Phillips and Ffion Lewis have been named in the starting line-up for Worcester Warriors for their home clash with Wasps, Phillips as co-captain along with fellow Welsh international Alex Callender. Lisa Neumann will be among the Sale Sharks replacements for their trip to Gloucester-Hartpury.

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Being able to mix training in the Welsh Women’s camp with training and playing in the best league in the world can only be of benefit to them, along with the added benefits of being a full-time player, and former Wales skipper Rachel Taylor is delighted for them all.

“It is not only a big step forward for the game in Wales, but hopefully we will see it happen across the board in other countries,” said Taylor, who coaches Pyrs and Neumann at Sale Sharks.

“It will be huge for the girls and they now have a chance to inspire the next generation of women players to grow up and become professional rugby players. It is not so much about the hours you put into training, but the hours you will have to look after yourself.

“Re-hab, pre-hab, analysis and rest are all part of the life of a professional player and now they will have the time to devote to those elements.”

Other Welsh involvement in the Allianz Premier 15s this weekend sees hooker Molly Kelly starting for Sale Sharks, while Jess Roberts is on the bench. Abbie Fleming starts in the second row for Exeter Chiefs in their home clash with reigning champions Harlequins and Georgia Evans joins Rose in the Saracens pack with namesake Kat on the bench.

Gloucester-Hartpury have seven Welsh players in their matchday 23 for the game against Sale Sharks at the Alpas Arena.

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