England women's internationals Natasha Hunt, Emily Scarratt and Jess Breach signed full-time professional contracts for the 2019 season on Thursday, marking their transition to 15-a-side players.

The Rugby Football Union [RFU] confirmed back in September that England women international 15-a-side players would become fully professional, with the RFU awarding 28 full-time contracts effective January, supplemented by seven elite player squad agreements.

The trio, previously under England's Rugby Sevens programme, will move to the top-tier Premier 15s competition, with Breach returning to former side Harlequins while Hunt and Scarratt join Gloucester-Hartpury and Loughborough Lightning respectively.

"These world-class players bring a wealth of talent and experience into the 15s programme," England women's head coach Simon Middleton said in a statement.

England's squad will hold their first camp at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on 4 January, ahead of the 2019 Women's Six Nations which gets underway against Ireland in Dublin on 1 February.