Former managing director of the RFU for Women Rosie Williams has joined the Ealing Trailfinders as a non-executive director.

Williams joins the club as they announced plans to launch a women’s programme at Henley College and Brunel University.

The Trailfinders hope to become a staple of the women’s game and Williams hopes she can help the club in the early stages in her new voluntary position.

Williams said: “Ealing’s a great club and they’ve got some really good aspirations.

“For Ealing to become a world-class hub for women’s rugby you need to have a wide range of programmes to underpin a potential elite programme.

“It’s vital for the club as it brings in a different population, it links it to new communities.

“I’ve got a deep understanding from all my work in rugby of how the sport works mechanically, politically and physically from an athlete development point of view.”

Williams served as head of the RFUW for 16 years before being made redundant in 2018.

In that time the sport achieved great success with England hosting the 2010 World Cup among other triumphs.

Today was Williams' first day at Ealing, and she hopes the new programme will be the next step in professional women’s rugby.

She said: “The first time I saw the England women’s players in shop windows alongside the men was pretty cool. It sounds silly, but it’s a really good indicator.

“To get to that point took an enormous amount of effort, energy and negotiation. The outcome was seeing Emily Scarratt standing next to one of the boys.

“The link with Brunel is really important because unlike the men, there’s no professional programme for women at club level.

“It will come but it takes time and it’s probably a few years until we see professional full-time female players.

“This programme means players get a good education, a second string to their bow, aside from being rugby players."

Featured image credit: Sue Chandler