Harlequins is proud to announce today (Tuesday 28th February) that its newly formed Women’s team has been offered a place, subject to contract, in the new women’s domestic competition, which starts in September this year.
The Club has been working in partnership with Aylesford Bulls this season and will formally bring the team under the Harlequins umbrella, combining the current Harlequin Ladies, and Harlequin Amateur girls programmes. The Harlequins squad competing in the Women’s Super Rugby competition will be coached under the expert guidance of Gary Street and Karen Findlay.
Women’s Super Rugby is a major development for the women’s game in England and the Club’s entry is a statement of its ambitions to grow and develop this format of the game.
In 2016, the Harlequins Foundation launched its Switch programme which encourages girls that have not played rugby before to get involved in the sport. The project is now engaging with over 600 girls across five schools in the Twickenham and Richmond boroughs and is successfully creating a sustainable platform for girls’ rugby.
Harlequins Global Academy Director Tony Diprose commented: “We are delighted to have been offered a place in the new Women’s Super Rugby Competition.
“A lot of hard work has gone into getting Harlequins into this position and I would like to thank Harlequin Ladies, Aylesford Bulls Ladies and Harlequins’ own community and rugby departments for their efforts.
“This is a very exciting time for women’s rugby in this country and we are looking to provide more opportunities for girls and women across the south east of England by creating a pathway from grassroots initiatives, like our Switch programme, through the Harlequin Amateurs and Ladies teams and into Super Rugby. The end goal is for Harlequins to create international players to represent the Club around the world.”
Women’s Super Rugby will commence its first season in September 2017 and is the first tier of the women’s English rugby union league system, run by the Rugby Football Union. It will be contested by ten English clubs.
The competition’s structure has all the teams playing each other on a home and away basis. The top four teams at the end of the home-and-way season qualify for the play-offs which follow a 1 v 4, 2 v 3 system. The two winners will play in the final. There is no promotion or relegation in the first two seasons of the competition.
Further information on the Women’s Super Rugby competition, and the Harlequins team, will be announced in the coming months.