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Women's Premiership

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Women's Premiership
SportRugby union
CountryEngland (RFUW)

The Women's Premiership, also called the RFUW Premiership is the top level of women's rugby union in England. It was formed in 1990 and is run by the Rugby Football Union for Women.

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Women's rugby in England was initially run by the Women's Rugby Football Union on a British Isles-wide basis. The Women's Premiership was formed in 1990 as the top tier of women's rugby in the British Isles.[1] In 1994, the Rugby Football Union for Women was formed and took over the management of women's rugby in England, including the Women's Premiership, after Scotland, Ireland and Wales left the Women's Rugby Football Union.[2] At the start, most of the teams in the league were University teams.[2] Since the RFUW took over and Professionalism was permitted in 1996, the university teams were gradually replaced by women's clubs associated with professional and semi-professional men's clubs as they were able to give the women's team the funding to be able to compete.[3]

Promotion and relegation in the Women's Premiership is determined by the lowest placed team playing against the winner of the Championship 1 North-South playoff.[4] If the Premiership team wins, there is no promotion and relegation that year. It is noted that promoted teams often fail to win during the regular league season during their first season in the Women's Premiership, including Old Albanians Ladies and Thurrock T-Birds,[5] who were relegated in 2013 after losing to Aylesford Bulls Ladies in the 2013 playoff.

During seasons that precede the Women's Rugby World Cup, promotion and relegation is suspended for that season.[4] In 2014, Thurrock appealed against this ruling to the RFUW, claiming that some Women's Premiership clubs were actively attempting to block promotion and relegation in Women's Rugby World Cup years.[6]

Premier 15s

For the 2017-18 season the RFU Council proposed to create a Super League, the Premier 15s with up to ten teams. The new system to be considered new and distinct from the existing Premiership. It was expected that all 8 teams from the Premiership would apply for the new league, together with several top Championship teams.[7] Seven of the eight Premiership teams were accepted into the Super Rugby competition (Lichfield being excluded), together with Gloucester-Hartpury Women, Firwood Waterloo and Loughborough Students (Lightning).[8]

2013-14 Teams and Locations

Below is listed the locations of the teams that participate in the 2013-14 Women's Premiership.[9]

Locations of the 2012–13 RFU Championship teams
Team City/Area
Aylesford Bulls Ladies Aylesford, Kent
Bristol Ladies Bristol
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks Darlington, County Durham
Lichfield Ladies Lichfield, Staffordshire
Richmond Women Richmond, London
Saracens Women Southgate, London
Wasps Ladies Acton, London
Worcester Ladies Worcester, Worcestershire

Clubs Since 2003

[citation needed]

Seasons Team Dates
4 Aylesford Bulls Ladies 2014-2017
1 Blaydon Ladies 2007
13 Bristol Ladies * 2003-2005, 2008-2017
8 Darlington Mowden Park Sharks 2010-2017
5 Henley Ladies 2003-2007
15 Lichfield Ladies 2003-2017
2 Old Albanians Ladies 2011-2012
15 Richmond Women 2003-2017
15 Saracens Women 2003-2017
3 Team Northumbria Ladies 2008-2010
3 Thirsk Ladies 2004-2006
1 Thurrock T-Birds 2013
2 Vale of Lune Ladies 2006-2007
15 Wasps Ladies 2003-2017
15 Worcester Valkyries Ladies 2003-2017

Dates are the year the season ended.

  • Bristol Ladies was called Clifton Ladies RFC until 2008.


Team Wins Winning Years
Richmond Women 5 2010-2012, 2014, 2016
Saracens Women 5 2006-2009, 2015
Wasps Ladies 3 2003-2005
Worcester Valkyries Ladies 1 2013


  1. ^ "RFU Women's Premiership". Scrum Queens. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  2. ^ a b "Women's Rugby – Then and Now". RFU. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  3. ^ Paul Trow (1996-11-24). "Lessons of the sisters in arms". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  4. ^ a b "Bulls Ladies secure Premiership place". Kent Sports News. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  5. ^ "Premiership race going to the wire". Scrum Queens. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  6. ^ Clark, Frazer (2014-01-29). "Saracens and Richmond Borough to blame for T-Birds". Thurrock Gazette. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  7. ^ "England reveal top new women's competition". Scrumqueens. October 2016.
  8. ^ "Women's Super Rugby to launch in England". Scrumqueens. February 2017.
  9. ^ Ali Donnelly (2013-09-05). "Women's rugby Premiership preview". BT. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
This page was last edited on 9 December 2017, at 22:36
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