World Cup winner Tamara Taylor says rugby players becoming professional has made the team more successful

Tamara Taylor played 115 times for England (PA Images)
13:50pm, Thu 12 Dec 2019
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Rugby World Cup winner Tamara Taylor has said the introduction of paying players has led to a more successful team.

It was announced in January that the Rugby Football Union would give out 28 central contracts to players who play for England.

This was the first time in the sports history that female players in England had been paid to play the sport and Taylor credits this as the key to the Red Roses' recent international success.

Taylor, who now plays for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, said: “Now we’re about a year into the professionalism in women’s rugby, we’re starting to see what that looks like within the England team.

"Most of the girls have now been together for almost a 12-month period, which we’ve never had before.

“For 28 players to be training together, playing more internationals together, I think the results over the Autumn international period have shown what that does for a team in terms of cohesiveness, skillsets and fitness as well.”

England kept a perfect record last month, beating Italy and France twice.

The Red Roses' most impressive victory came when they beat the French away from home for the first time in seven years

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The next time England will be in action is in the Six Nations, which begins early next year.

And Taylor believes the internationals in November have been a springboard for the side to defend their title.

Taylor added: “It’ll be interesting to see if the girls can do it again on the back of the Autumn, France have always been the biggest competitors, but England have now beaten them home and away this year.

“I think England are going to go into that game with a lot of confidence.”