Leicester Tigers Premier 15s application successful

Leicester Tigers Premier 15s application successful

Leicester Tigers have been offered a place in the 2022/23 Allianz Premier 15s competition following a successful application through the tender process.

The Tigers Women side currently sit at the top of the Women’s Championship North 1 standings after an eight-game unbeaten run in the club’s Premier League campaign.

Commenting on the successful offer, Leicester Tigers Chief Executive Officer Andrea Pinchen said: “This is very exciting news for Leicester Tigers, our players, coaches, staff and supporters.”

“A lot of hard work went into the preparation of our application and to be successful is a huge step forward for the women’s program at Tigers.

“The club will now work with the RFU to navigate the necessary next steps, with the vision of making our debut in the Premier 15s next season.”

Vicky Macqueen, Head of Women’s Rugby at Leicester Tigers, added: “We are delighted and equally excited by today’s news that our bid to be part of the Premier 15 has been successful.”

“Since the launch of the women’s program and pathway in partnership with Lichfield, there has been a clear plan to work our way up to being part of the elite tier of women’s rugby in this country and that opportunity has now come.

“The working relationship and commitment to this plan from everyone at Tigers, Lichfield and the wider Leicestershire community has been an integral part of the steps we have taken to date and will continue to take – together – towards the Premier 15.

“This is a big day for Leicester Tigers, a big day for women’s rugby in our region and I’m delighted for everyone at the club that through the hard work of everyone involved we have managed to get to this point.”

RFU STATEMENT: Allianz Premier 15s Update | Bidding process for the 2023-24 season

The RFU can confirm that the tender process has selected eight clubs to be offered a place in the Allianz Premier 15s competition from the 2023/24 season, subject to the signing of shareholder and other agreements.

The clubs selected at this stage following a competitive bidding process that resulted in strong proposals being submitted are:

  • Bristol carries women
  • Ealing Trailfinders women
  • Exeter Rugby Club
  • Gloucester-Hartpury Women RFC
  • Harlequins FC
  • Leicester Tiger
  • Loughborough Lightning/Northampton Saints
  • Saracens

The league has capacity for ten teams and although a number of clubs have not yet been selected to take part at this stage, there is a possibility of clubs joining the league at a later date. The RFU and Women’s Premier 15 Ltd (WP15) will continue to work with these clubs on their potential to participate in the league.

The selection panel also made a strong recommendation for the RFU and WP15 to explore how to achieve greater geographical diversification in the league.

This process will begin in January when discussions with clubs and institutions take place and will form part of the wider review of the RFU structure of women’s competitions in England.

The RFU, as part of the review of the women’s competition, have been working over the past six months to come up with a solution for those clubs who have not been offered a place at the time and for those wishing to join the Premier 15 in the future, now know , who is concerned, it will proceed with the last phase of this work. The RFU will work with clubs to consult and discuss options in the new year.

Clubs that have not been offered a place in next season’s Allianz Premier 15 can appeal and this process is expected to be completed by the end of February.

Alex Teasdale, RFU Women’s Game Director, said: “I would like to thank all the clubs currently competing in the Allianz Premier 15s competition for their part in making it the success it is today. Her contribution has been invaluable and the league has set the benchmark for women’s football around the world.

“We had a wide range of clubs and institutions that submitted proposals and we want to thank them for all the hard work, time and energy they put into the bidding process.”

Charlie Hayter, RFU Women’s Rugby Performance Manager, said: “This process is part of the 10-year strategy for the Premier 15, which aims to build on the success of the current league and continue to see the league as the most competitive, progressive and sustainable league to advance in the world. We want to create a league that inspires both players and fans and continues to develop talented athletes at the highest level.

“This will happen concurrently with work on a broader women’s and girls’ plan to accelerate the growth of women’s football in this country.”

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