Hartpury University alumna awarded historic professional contract by Wales Women’s Rugby Union


Hannah Jones, a former Hartpury University student, is one of the first 12 female players to be awarded a professional contract by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The Swansea-born 25-year-old plays centre for the Wales women’s national rugby team and Gloucester-Hartpury.

Hannah, who studied BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy at Hartpury, has 32 caps to her name and has also played a leading role in the Welsh Sevens team. She made her debut for the Wales national squad in 2015 and represented them at the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Championship.

The historic 12-month deals begin immediately, with players and management based at the National Centre of Excellence at the Vale Resort, near Cardiff. Other full-time players include Alisha Butchers, Keira Bevan, Natalie John, Siwan Lillicrap, Jasmine Joyce, Carys Phillips, Ffion Lewis, Gwenllian Pyrs, Lisa Neumann, Donna Rose, Elinor Snowsill.

Head coach Ioan Cunningham said it has been a "tough but enjoyable process" and credits the players who have given the WRU "selection headaches".

"We had to be fairly clinical and even ruthless. We clearly have short and medium-term goals in terms of the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup, but we also have an eye on developing the best players for the future," he said.

"We have gone for the players we feel could make the biggest gains at this time, not forgetting the contribution the players who receive retainer contracts will also make to the programme."

Sean Lynn, Head of Women’s Rugby at Hartpury, said: “It’s great to hear Hannah has been awarded a full-time contract. She’s one of the most diligent athletes we have here at Gloucester-Hartpury. It’s a pleasure to see her getting rewarded for her efforts.”

Hartpury Sport is home to top-level coaches, sport and exercise scientists, nutritionists, conditioners and athletes. The institution is also home to outstanding sports facilities used by university students in their academic learning and sports training, such as an anti-gravity treadmill, altitude chamber, high-tech 3D tracking cameras and high-resolution digital mirrors.

Hartpury gives talented young athletes the opportunity to develop their sporting potential whilst studying for their degree, through its 10 competitive Sports Academies – which Hannah trained with as part of the women’s rugby academy.

Learn more about Hartpury’s wide variety of sports degrees including BA (Hons) Sports Business Management, BSc (Hons) Physical Education and School Sport and BSc Strength and Conditioning.

Additionally, Hartpury has ranked in the top 15% of all UK universities for Teaching Quality and top 25% for Student Experience in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Survey results from the 2021 HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey show an impressive 96% of 2019 graduates from Hartpury progressed into employment, further study of other purposeful activity.

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