LJMU coach Brogan Evans has been called up for Wales / Photo credit: James Giblin Photography

The lack of opportunities in women’s rugby didn’t hinder Brogan Evans’ dreams of becoming a professional. 

Her journey began at the De Montfort University in Leicester 10 years ago, where she joined the rugby team, having never picked up a ball before.

Now the Liverpool John Moores University rugby league coach has graced the international stage and the Women’s Super League.  

“When I was a kid, rugby and football weren’t offered to girls,” she said. 

“We had netball, cheerleading and trampolining, so I started really late in life. However, I ended up becoming so obsessed that rugby became life and in the end I stopped attending lessons because rugby came first.”

The 28-year-old from Bolton moved to the Wirral and started playing for rugby union club Birkenhead Park Panthers, where she played for eight years.

Even when the opportunity to play finally came, Evans faced adversity in the early stages of her career when she fractured her spine, which resulted in having to take a full season out to recover. 

“I’m not proud of it, but during that time not once did I go down and watch or support my team,” she said.

“I was heartbroken, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to play again and couldn’t face watching someone else wear my shirt and play in my position, so I avoided it.

“Getting back into fitness and playing after being in a spinal brace for so long was tough. I expected myself to be able to go straight back to where I was, but that wasn’t the reality.”

An opportunity arose for Evans to play rugby league and so she went to play for Warrington Wolves, where she would come up against the best teams and players in the country. 

The Welsh international later signed for Salford Red Devils, who were a championship side in their first year of existence at the time.

She said: “There I found my family. I’ve always said that I am a product of my environment, the support they gave me led me to achieve incredible things. Which included getting selected for internationals.”

Brogan Evans playing for Salford Red Devils / Photo Credit: James Giblin Photography

Chris Bates, Evans’ coach at Salford said: “From minute one, in terms of her attitude and the way she carries herself, Brogan was a leader from the second she walked through the door.

“Then in terms of ability, Brogan is electric, she never stops. She’s athletic and a nightmare for defenders, that shone through pretty quickly.”

Her talents were recently recognised elsewhere and she was scouted by a higher Super League team, Wigan Warriors, for the upcoming season. 

Bates added: “The team are sorry to see her go, and you can’t replace a player like Brogan overnight, but knowing that group of players, I think they’ll support her in her next venture while ploughing on themselves.”

She was invited to attend Wales’ training camp after getting a call from the team’s head coach last month in order to prepare to play England a few weeks later. 


“What was going through my mind in my first game … ‘S***, s***, s***’ haha,” she said.

“I knew how many people had backed me and supported me this year and were rooting for me in that game. I didn’t want to let anyone down.

“I wanted to do myself justice and showcase what I was capable of, but also do them justice too.  When I think back to the moment I first picked up a ball at my uni, if someone told me then, that in 10 years if I worked hard enough, I’d be standing singing the national anthem on an international platform, I would have laughed in their face.”

Evans also works as a full-time personal trainer and voiced her frustration with balancing work and rugby with the lack of funding in the women’s game.

“That’s the issue with women’s sport, there’s no real money in it,” she explained.

“You’re expected to dedicate the same amount of hours to training as the men who play professionally, but we all work full-time jobs alongside of it.

“I start work some days at 6am and then go straight to training in the evening and often don’t get home until 10pm. How do you get the best out of a player when they’re physically and emotionally shattered?”

This year is Evens’ third season coaching the Liverpool John Moores women’s rugby team and she says it has been an ‘eye-opening experience’.

“Every season you get a complete mixed bag of ability,” she said.

“We’ve had a tough couple of seasons, but we’re on the up now. The girls have grafted and they remain undefeated so far.”

The Welsh international was very passionate about promoting women’s rugby and encouraging young girls to get involved. 

She said: “Rugby is the fastest growing women’s sport, because it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, there is a position for you in a team.

“It is the most inclusive sport. In younger players it increases self confidence and really helps you find a tight knit group of friends.”

Looking ahead to 2024, with the World Cup in mind, Evans has exciting ambitions.

“International training starts again in March and this is a really exciting time for us as we look towards World Cup qualifier games in the New Year,” she said.

“What an honour it would be to represent my country in the World Cup.

“I’m looking forward to testing myself on a much bigger platform this year and seeing how far I can progress.”

With intentions to remain involved with the sport that she put above everything as she approaches the latter stages of her career, Evans highlighted the importance that her previous team, Salford Red Devils, had on her career.

She said: “Following that, with my age, I’d be looking to drop down a level and just play for fun alongside continuing to coach and hopefully securing myself a coaching job at Salford, who have and probably always will be the team who has my heart.”