TOP BAR - Fixtures

Susie Appleby reacts to Women’s Super Rugby competition announcement

Kingsholm

Head Coach Susie Appleby admitted today that she was ‘over the moon’ at the news that Gloucester-Hartpury Women will participate in Women’s Super Rugby next season, but knows that the hard work starts here.

The former England international, a legend of the Women’s game, is currently in her third season as Head Coach of the team and, speaking to the Gloucester Rugby website today, was delighted at the news.

“We’re absolutely over the moon. Obviously we’ve been building towards this, but we didn’t anticipate that we’d have the opportunity to play in the Premiership so quickly.

“We’ve been building the squad, building the side, establishing the infrastructure for a few years now. We were aiming for the Championship initially, but to then have the opportunity to step straight into the top tier is just a massive bonus.

“I’d like to thank both Gloucester and Hartpury for their support in getting us to where we are today and helping us meet the minimum standards required to play in Women’s Super Rugby.”

The team has been making steady progress since its formation ahead of the 2014-15 season, but today’s announcement marks a whole new chapter in Gloucester-Hartpury’s history.

“It’s a new beginning for us in a way. We’ve got players who have been doing really for us, but this will make us really push ourselves to reach the next level to get to where we need to be to take on the teams in the top flight of the Women’s game, which is probably the top domestic club league in the world at the moment. We’re just really excited to be part of that.”

And, with Gloucester-Hartpury set for their first appearance of the season at Kingsholm on Saturday when they take on Worcester Ladies IIs after the conclusion of the Gloucester vs Harlequins game, Appleby says today’s news is real motivation.

“It’s a huge boost for the team ahead of the game at Kingsholm at Saturday. It’s slightly ironic that ourselves and Worcester are in the same situation and we’re playing each other at the weekend.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase the Women’s game in the best place we can, at Kingsholm in front of a passionate Gloucester crowd. It’s a massive week for the club, we’re incredibly excited.”

But the Head Coach isn’t looking too far ahead, preferring to focus on the immediate task in hand.

“First and foremost, we’ll focus on finishing this season as strongly as possible to try and ensure that we top the league. We’re also in the semi-finals of the Intermediate cup which is fantastic, and play that a week on Sunday with a chance to make a cup final and show where we’re at.

“Then we’ll probably need a little bit of time out and just prepare for a big, big preseason because we know where we need to get to. We’ve got everything in place but this is just the start of the hard work.

“We know we need to step up but it’s such positive news. It’s where we want to be, where we need to be, in the best competition.

“We now need to focus on getting the players to the best place they can possibly be to represent not only Gloucester-Hartpury but also, going forward England. That’s our role, to develop players to the point where they can put on the England shirt when their time comes.

“We’ve got players coming into the University programme, by the end of the season we’ll be in the BUCS Prem, so the whole pathway we’ve set up at Hartpury is the best it can be to facilitate those players who want to play for their country.”

Latest News

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy