New Professional American Women’s Rugby League Announces Formation Women’s Elite Rugby (WER) slated to play inaugural season in 2025

Today marks a historic moment in the world of women’s sports as Women’s Elite Rugby (WER), the first professional women’s rugby league in the United States, steps onto the scene. Structured on the solid foundation of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), an esteemed amateur pay-to-play model established in 2009, WER is set to elevate women’s rugby to unprecedented heights.

The inception of WER signifies more than just a new league; it’s a groundbreaking initiative that champions gender equality in sports. Led by a diverse team of veterans in the U.S. rugby market, experienced sports business professionals, and media experts, WER aims to reshape the landscape of women’s sports.

“At the heart of WER lies a profound mission: to redefine the standard of rugby in the United States,” expressed WER President, Dr. Jessica Hammond-Graf, an esteemed former International rugby player and NCAA Athletic Director. “We stand on the shoulders of the Women’s Premier League, which has laid a sturdy blueprint for us. Now, we’re poised to embark on an exhilarating journey, fuelled by boldness, excitement, and empowerment.”

WER’s vision extends beyond the boundaries of the field; it’s about nurturing the next generation of female athletes and providing them with opportunities previously unimaginable. By offering fair compensation to players and establishing a pathway for aspiring athletes to enter the professional realm, WER is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and excellence.

The inaugural season of WER, scheduled for 2025, promises to be a game-changer. With plans to launch with 6-8 teams, each comprising 30 players, WER is on a trajectory toward strategic expansion over the next decade. Locations for the teams are currently under deliberation, funded by private investors who share in the league’s vision.

Women’s rugby has been steadily gaining momentum, with over 2.7 million women participating in professional leagues, the Olympics, and universities worldwide. Recent records of attendance and viewership attest to the growing popularity of women’s sports, exemplified by the surge in spectators during rugby events like the Women’s Six Nations Championship and professional women’s club games.

Katherine Aversano, Vice President of WER, emphasizes the timeliness of the league’s establishment, particularly in light of upcoming global events. “With the 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup on the horizon, the creation of WER couldn’t be more timely,” stated Aversano. “It’s our chance to seize the international spotlight and propel women’s rugby to unprecedented heights of recognition and admiration.”

More than just a league, WER represents a beacon of hope for aspiring female athletes worldwide. By providing role models at the highest level and fostering inclusivity, WER seeks to empower young girls to pursue their sporting dreams relentlessly.

For the latest updates and news, follow WER on social media platforms (@rugbyevolved). The WER Board of Directors comprises esteemed individuals dedicated to driving the league’s success. For more information about the league’s branding and visual identity, refer to the brand fact sheet.

As WER sets sail on its journey, it symbolizes a turning point in the history of women’s sports—a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering determination of female athletes everywhere.

For media inquiries, please contact Sam Pell at

About WER Women’s Elite Rugby (WER) is the first American professional women’s rugby league, founded on the core values of excellence, inclusivity, and empowerment. Structured on the foundation of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), WER aims to redefine the standard of rugby in the United States and pave the way for future generations of female athletes.

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