Rugby World Cup: RFU defend decision to fly England Women in economy despite men travelling first class

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England Women will travel to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in economy class this weekend  (Getty Images)
England Women will travel to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in economy class this weekend (Getty Images)

The RFU has defended its decision to fly World Cup favourites England out to the women’s World Cup in New Zealand in economy class in contrast to their male counterparts.

Eddie Jones’ team travelled in business class to the men’s World Cup in Japan back in 2019 while the women will jet off in economy on Friday night for this upcoming tournament.

In a statement, the RFU said: “Despite these successes and our continued investment, the women’s game will be loss making for some years to come and therefore we have to make challenging decisions around what we can invest in and what will provide the best results and return for the team.

“From a performance perspective, the team management has chosen to invest in these areas as well as having two weeks in the country before the first game rather than flying in business.”

The RFU and British Airways signed a deal in 2018 to fly England’s men’s and women’s teams to the World Cup but that was prior to the host country selection of New Zealand, to which BA do not fly directly. So the women are flying with a different carrier over the weekend.

England women are the world’s top-ranked team having won a record 25 straight Tests last month but their match fees had already been halved for the World Cup warm-up games.