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(W) Premiership Women’s Rugby ~ Match of the weekend: Trailfinders v Bristol Bears

🏉 A new era continues following the launch of the 2023/2024 Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR) season in place of the Premier 15s.  Three London teams – Saracens, Harlequins and Trailfinders – are competing in the top tier of women’s club rugby in England.   

The final Allianz Premier 15s title was decided in June 2023.  Gloucester-Hartpury were crowned champions.  They beat Exeter Chiefs 34-19 in the Grand Final in front of a record crowd at Kingsholm.  Aptly-named Queensholm for the occasion.  Shortly afterwards Premiership Women’s Rugby launched a new era for women’s rugby in England.

👀 READ ON for season so far news, matches coming up in London and how you can be there!

9 sides are contesting the new Premiership Women’s Rugby season over 18 regular rounds starting this autumn and finishing in June 2024.  Saracens – the 2021/2022 champions – are one of three London Premiership Women’s Rugby teams, along with Harlequins and new entrants Trailfinders.   Joining the sides from the capital are the reigning Premier 15s champions Gloucester Hartpury along with Bristol Bears, Leicester Tigers, Exeter Chiefs, Sale Sharks and Loughborough Lightning.

SEASON SO FAR – LONDON PREMIERSHIP WOMEN’S TEAMS

After eleven rounds of fixtures, 2022 Premier 15s champions Saracens are at the PWR summit on 45 points.  The north London side bounced back from a bruising defeat to Gloucester Hartpury with a convincing 48-17 victory against Trailfinders and followed that up with a comeback win against Harlequins last time out.  Dubbed ‘The Duel’, Saracens battle with their fierce London rivals lived up to the billing.  Quins took the early advantage in the match but Sarries battled back and a last-minute penalty try from Zoe Harrison sealed maximum points for the north Londoners.

Harlequins’ rollercoaster season continues.  After back-to-back defeats against Loughborough Lightning and Bristol Bears they put in a masterclass against Sale Sharks (running in nine tries in a 53-12 home win) only to come up agonisingly short against Saracens.  Quins remain in sixth place.

Trailfinders registered a first win in their history when they beat fellow PWR newcomers Leicester Tigers 36-7 in early December.  Trailfinders also scalped Sale Sharks before the year was out.  However the west London side have come back to earth with a bump in 2024.  Back-to-back defeats against high-flying Exeter Chiefs and reigning champions Gloucester Hartpury respectively were followed by a 45-21 defeat away to Loughborough Lighting and a 48-17 loss to leaders Saracens.

The west London have showed an impressive fighting spirit despite their run of defeats.  They look to get back to winning ways when they take on Bristol Bears in the early evening kick-off on Saturday 2 March.

🕒 PREMIERSHIP MATCHES COMING UP IN THE CAPITAL

Saturday 2 March: Trailfinders v Bristol Bears KO 5pm ~ Sunday 3 March: Saracens v Leicester Tigers KO 1pm.

🎟️ TICKET NEWS LATEST: Harlequins ~ Saracens ~ Ealing Trailfinders

ABOUT PREMIERSHIP WOMEN’S RUGBY (PWR)

A new era for women’s rugby in England started in July 2023 with the launch of Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR).  This replaces the previous Premier 15s which started in September 2017.

Premiership Women’s Rugby will manage the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby club competition, which starts in the autumn of 2023 and takes place over eight months with the semi-final play-offs and Grand Final set to take place in June.

PWR exists to deliver a ten-year strategy for women’s rugby in England.  The launch of the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby league is part of that strategy.  This is a partnership between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the clubs.

The mission of Premiership Women’s Rugby is to be the world’s most competitive, progressive and sustainable domestic competition.  The PWR vision and mission is to create a generation of players and fans inspired by world-class club competition over the next decade.

A top tier of women’s rugby union has existed since 1990.  It lead to an improvement in England’s fortunes on the international stage.  This ultimately saw the ‘Red Roses’ win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014 and finish runners-up in 2017.

September 2017 saw the commencement of the Premier 15s designed to support the Red Roses’ ambition to be the number one team in the world.  10 teams took part.  Saracens Women were the inaugural champions beating London rivals Harlequins in the play-off final.

Teams for 2023/2024

Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester-Hartpury, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Loughborough Lightning, Sale Sharks, Saracens, and Trailfinders.

The three London Premiership Women’s rugby teams are Harlequins (based at Twickenham Stoop and Guildford).  Saracens (who play their home matches at StoneX Stadium).  Trailfinders (based at Trailfinders Sports Club).

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