Saracens Women included in new headline rugby tournament

Vicky Fleetwood, seen playing for England against Italy this weekend, will be part of the Saracens s

Vicky Fleetwood, seen playing for England against Italy this weekend, will be part of the Saracens side included in the new Women's Super Rugby competition. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA WIRE - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens Women have been announced as a founder member of the new Women’s Super Rugby Competition

Women’s Super Rugby is a major development for the women’s game in England and will significantly raise the standards of rugby domestically and help support the Red Roses’ ambition to be the number one team in the world.

It will feature 10 teams, six of whom are currently in the Women’s Premiership, and start from next season.

But Lichfield Ladies and Aylesford Bulls Ladies, currently second and third in the Women’s Premiership, are not included.

Saracens Women have a proud heritage in the top flight domestic game, having amassed a total of 12 Premiership titles, 10 cup titles and 9 national sevens trophies since the club was established in 1989.

Saracens Women’s Club chair Laura Eddie said: “We are absolutely delighted to learn that our bid was successful in a very competitive tender process which highlights how women’s rugby is becoming increasingly more popular across the country.

“Saracens Women have a history of success and we are looking forward to building on this with the support of the RFU.

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“We have been working hard for a number of years to develop strong partnerships with Saracens Ltd and Middlesex University and we are all excited to enter into a new era in the women’s game.

“Our focus is now on delivering everything we have set out to achieve in our bid to provide a first class experience for our players and supporters.”

All clubs offered a place came through a rigorous and independently-chaired application process.

All applicants will be required to deliver against a set of minimum operating standards, which are designed to create an infrastructure within the clubs to support an increasingly professional game.

The announcement reflects the increasing popularity and success of women’s rugby in England.

RFU director of professional rugby Nigel Melville said: “This is another significant development for women’s rugby in this country.

“Women’s Super Rugby will drive standards in the game, both domestically and at an elite level, and continue to encourage more women and girls to play the sport.”

The competition will see the 10 clubs play each other home and away before the top four contest the play-offs.

There will be no promotion or relegation in the first two seasons of the competition.

Further information on the Women’s Super Rugby competition will be announced over the coming months.