Women’s sport has to kick on – Mclean

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England have lost all four World Cup finals in which they have faced New Zealand

England fly-half Katy Mclean has called for the “landscape to change” for women’s sport following the Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

The Red Roses lost a thrilling final 41-32 to New Zealand on Saturday.

But the vast majority of the players at the tournament are amateurs, while some of England’s XV-a-side players are also set to lose their professional status.

“That was a great game of rugby for the neutral. At some point we have got to kick on,” Mclean told BBC Radio 5 live.

The final was broadcast to millions on terrestrial television and BBC Radio, and Mclean hopes this tournament will usher in a new era for the women’s game.

“We’ve said this in 2010 and 2014 and now we are saying it in 2017,” the former England captain added.

“At some point the landscape has got to change. Unless we start doing something about it, it isn’t going to change.

“I just think we need more coverage.

“The support has been sensational but we have really got to start making sure we aren’t saying in 2021 ‘was this the one?’

“Let’s make it now, and let’s make a difference.”

A number of England’s World Cup squad will continue to be professional on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit, but others will have to return to full-time employment away from rugby.

And back Emily Scarratt says having permanent professional contracts in the future for the XV-a-side game would be a “dream”.

“It’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had, being a full-time rugby player. I’m sure the girls would say the same thing,” Scarratt told BBC Sport.

“But we will keep dealing with whatever is given to us.”

England head coach Simon Middleton added: “Some of the girls will go back into the sevens programme, and then we will have to rebuild the [XVs] side. It is part of the process.”

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