By Jonathan Davies

England rugby union star Ben Foden has given his public support to the Share Parental Leave campaign.

The England and Northampton full-back is expecting his second child with his wife, musician Una Foden, in February and so will not qualify for Shared Parental Leave, which comes into effect for children born after April 2015.

But, explaining his decision to back the campaign, the 29-year old said: "In this day and age women can just as easily be the main breadwinner as men. Why should they have to give up their careers when they have children?"

Shared Parental Leave will allow both parents to shared up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay, bringing to an end the maximum of two weeks paternity leave that new father's can take.

A recent survey found that three quarters of fathers don't want Shared Parental Leave, and 42% would rather take the minimum period allowed.

But Ben Foden is adamant that this will change. "There are six or seven young dads in the team and we take it seriously," he told the Sunday Times.

"Being rugby players we are used to sweat, spit, blood and rolling around in the mud, so no one has a problem about getting their hands dirty changing nappies."

"I do everything," he said. "All the nappy-changing and feeding. I try to get involved as much as I can. I was there for Aoife's first words and her first steps."

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