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🏉 The Big Swarm returns to Twyford Avenue as Wasps Ladies welcome Richmond FC for a showpiece event in the Tyrrells Premier 15s season. Kick-off is at 3pm – stay tuned for ticket news due to be released shortly.
Wasps Ladies play their final home match of the regular season and if 2019 is anything to go by the 2020 edition of the Big Swarm will draw a bumper crowd to west London this afternoon.
Last year Wasps overcame a spirited Bristol Bears side 25-17 in their annual season finale, a victory that secured the hosts a fourth-placed finish in the Premier 15s and with it a place in the end of season play-offs. And with Wasps currently fifth in the table and closing in on the top four today’s Big Swarm match could be a must-win for the Twyford Avenue side.
Standing in Wasps way this afternoon are London rivals Richmond FC, who themselves are likely to have all to play for as they seek valuable points to ensure they do not finish bottom of the Premier 15s table.
Ones to watch: Wasps scrum-half and England international Claudia MacDonald will look to pull the strings for the hosts while teammate and fellow England international Abby Dow is a big try-scoring threat in the backs. If both are fit and firing Richmond FC could be in for a very long afternoon.
🏉 Kick-off is at 3pm.
🎟️ Ticket details for the Big Swarm will appear here shortly.
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Public transport is recommended. Ealing Common tube station – which is on both the District and Piccadilly lines – is the nearest station. Likewise West Acton tube station on the Central Line is within walking distance of the ground. Car parking is available on site if driving to the match.
📢 About the Premier 15s: The Tyrells Premier 15s is a competition featuring the best club sides in England taking place from August to April and run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). A top tier of women’s rugby union has existed since 1990 leading to an improvement in England’s fortunes on the international stage which saw the ‘Red Roses’ win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014 and finish runners up in 2017.
The Premier 15s (also known as Women’s Super Rugby) was launched in September 2017 to support the Red Roses’ ambition to be the number one team in the world. 10 teams were invited to take part in the competition – largely drawn from existing Women’s Premiership teams – which receives a multi-million pound investment from the RFU to help deliver the minimum standards expected and provide high-quality coaching, facilities, training environments and community engagement plans. Saracens Women were the inaugural champions beating London rivals Harlequins in the play-off final.
There is no relegation or promotion for the first three years of the competition and each team plays each other, both at home and away – over a total of 18 rounds – with the top four teams going through to the play-offs. The winners of the two semi-finals progress to the Grand Final in April 2020, which in 2019 was held at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens ground.
The play-off final winners will be crowned the 2019/2020 Premier 15s champions. The current champions are Saracens Women who beat Harlequins 33-17 last April at Franklin’s Gardens.
The Premier 15s teams for season 2019/2020 are Bristol Bears Women, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Firwood Waterloo Ladies, Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Harlequins Women, Loughborough Lightning, Richmond FC, Saracens Women, Wasps FC Ladies and Worcester Warriors.
In the London area there are 4 teams to watch; Saracens Women (who play their home matches at Allianz Park), Wasps Ladies (Twyford Avenue Sports Ground), Richmond Women (based at Richmond Athletic Ground) and Harlequins Women (based in Guildford and Twickenham Stoop).