Sale and Worcester offered conditional Premier 15s places

Sale Sharks Women and Worcester Warriors Women have been given conditional offers to continue in the Allianz Premier 15s league for the 2023/24 season onwards, the RFU confirmed yesterday.

Last December’s tender process for entry into the next cycle resulted in eight successful bids, with the incumbent Worcester Warriors, Sale Sharks and Darlington Mowden Park initially left out.

Ealing Trailfinders Women and Leicester Tigers were announced as the league’s upcoming debutants.

The tense aftermath of the process was fuelled by the furore of many fans and commentators who pointed out the distinct lack of representation from the North, with Loughborough Lightning the farthest geographically northern team retained.

Belinda Moore, CEO of Women’s Premier 15s LTD said: “It’s a really exciting time for women’s rugby at all levels, and we’re really pleased to see 10 clubs now moving forwards in their preparations for joining Allianz Premier 15s for next season.”

Today’s selection marks the RFU’s response to the tender panel’s suggestion of exploring a wider geographical make-up for the league as Sale now take up the mantle as northern representation.

Sharks’ co-owner Michelle Orange said: “We’re delighted with the decision, and as a club, we’re really excited about the future of both our women’s team and girls and women’s rugby in the North.

“Northern rugby matters and that means doing all we can to grow both the men’s and women’s games and show off just how incredible this region is for rugby.”

This news comes less than two weeks after Warriors Women officially separated from the men’s team following their attainment of independent funding.

Cube International, a group of sports and retail experts, agreed an initial ten-year deal with the West Midlands outfit.

Jo Yapp, Director of Rugby of Warriors Women said: “This has been the most challenging season for staff and players.

“The thought of Worcester not being in the premiership after so many years was just heart breaking for the whole community, so it is great that we can now look forward with excitement and security.”

Worcester’s conditional offer is dependent on the club “providing the requested information by the RFU”, while Sale will need to adequately address the feedback from the initial tender panel.

Related Articles