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England’s Sarah Hunter lauds RFU match fee decision as squad to face Canada is named

• New pay deal comes after professional contracts were ended in August
• Ellie Kildunne picked for three-Test series against Canada in November

The England women’s captain, Sarah Hunter, has expressed her relief that the Rugby Football Union has agreed to pay her side’s match fees for the first time after their professional contracts were ended in the aftermath of finishing as runners-up at the World Cup in August.

On announcing a 28-strong squad for England’s three-Test series against Canada this autumn, the RFU revealed that it is “concluding discussions” with the Rugby Players’ Association for a new pay deal, including elite player squad fees for 35 players as well as match fees.

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