Job Opportunities in Rugby For Women
You might be surprised to know how many jobs there are in women’s rugby both on and off the pitch. There are, of course, the more obvious roles such as coaches and referees, but there are also a wealth of other positions to get to know!
Our list below might prove helpful and inspiring if you love women’s rugby and dream of a job in something you’re passionate about - whether or not you’re a player too.
Inspired by the team of all-female referees at the 2021 Rugby World Cup? You too could be laying down the law during matches.
A women’s rugby referee must be word-perfect on the rules of the game and confidently enforce them on the pitch. Of course, you could umpire men’s or women’s games or tournaments, but either way, you’d need to complete refereeing courses before you get started.
There’s so many different courses available - from ones for volunteer positions to those with a more professional focus. Go here to find the latest courses available from USA Rugby.
Become one women’s rugby coach among a growing number, working in another field typically dominated by men. If you love the teamwork and community that playing women’s rugby provides, becoming a coach might be the perfect next step.
As a coach, you’d have a massive impact on the team you’re training, thinking up the best ways to engage players and ensure that they make progress and perform their best. Being a fantastic listener and communicator are key, as well as being adept and knowledgeable about technical aspects.
Take advantage of coaching courses on offer, watch a lot of women’s rugby, and if you know more experienced players or coaches, perhaps ask them for advice or guidance; they might even be happy to mentor you through your training and your first games as a coach.
For both coaches and referees, you might want to consider joining the WRCRA, who just finished up an incredible 2023 conference. They're full of resources and connections for aspiring and current coaches/refs alike to advance their career.
If you have a keen eye for detail, love to be organised, and are a strong communicator (as well as loving women’s rugby, of course), then being a manager might be right for you.
At a club or junior level, you would be responsible for operations, equipment and the overall smooth running of the team. This might include being the gatekeeper of all player and match details, keeping track of membership fees, and ensuring team members, coaches and referees all communicate and behave appropriately. You would also manage the logistics of match days, from pitch to transport to first aid.
At a senior or international level, there’s much more support on offer for these tasks - but either way, this is a busy role that is perfect if you’d thrive on being the driving force that keeps the whole team together.
A physiotherapist’s job in the network of women’s rugby is incredibly important, as they are responsible for ensuring that every player performs safely on the pitch.
They work closely with every player, and must have a full picture of their physical status, as well as coordinating and managing any rehabilitation that needs to take place. Along with the Team Doctor and the Strength & Conditioning Coach, a full medical team takes care of players’ physical health at top levels.
But PT's aren't just for the top level. Many different rugby bodies have physio jobs, including high schools, universities, and your local clubs.
Head of Athletic Performance
The job title says it all: the Head of Athletic Performance leads the team’s athletic development and other aspects of player health such as reconditioning and nutrition.
It’s a role usually found at more elite levels of playing, where teams are more professional and able to afford and benefit from close and precise athletic supervision.
The Head of Athletic Performance also might be involved in sport science or research programmes, and must work well with the Head Coach - previous experience in coaching would in itself be an advantage.
We all know how vital it is to grow the game, and the job of the development officer is to do just that.
Whether at a local, regional or even national level, they are directly responsible within their club or organisation for increasing participation of women’s rugby, whether that’s by visiting schools to promote the game and providing concrete connections to local clubs, or by running events and competitions to raise its profile.
Being able to create brilliant, long-lasting relationships with teachers, publicists, coaches, and community volunteers is so important, as is being highly organised, hard-working, and passionate about women’s rugby.
There are a wealth of development positions to get to know - with the expansion of PR7s and the WPL looking for a new Board of Directors, there is a lot to come...
Looking for more jobs in women's rugby? Have a look here for more recent updates and specific opportunities!