“This is the biggest women’s fixture we’ve ever had” – Cheltenham Tigers Rugby chairman Steve Ratcliffe on Sunday double header and the future ambitions of the club

Cheltenham Tigers Rugby chairman Steve Ratcliffe is hoping for continued success for the entire club after a landmark day which saw both women’s teams win their top of the table clashes at Newlands Park.

Tigers’ first team, who currently sit top of the Women’s Championship North 1, comfortably swept aside second-placed West Park Leeds 59-7, while the second team, setting the pace in the Women’s NC 1 South West (East), defeated Ellingham & Ringwood 26-12.

Both teams are setting their sights on silverware this season and Ratcliffe has not ruled out the possibility of another super Sunday after placing a seismic label on the day.

“This is the biggest women’s fixture we’ve ever had,” Ratclife boldly stated. “Both teams won their top of the table clashes and hopefully the second team can go on to get promoted.”

“Hopefully we will have more double-headers. Personally, I like playing under the lights on a Friday, but some of the opposition teams would have to set off on a Thursday.”

While the first team are in the box-seat for promotion to the Premiership they would not be granted the step-up as they are not affiliated with a men’s Premiership side, but for Ratcliffe his definition of success is not measured by the division especially as so much effort has gone into another area of the club in recent times.

“We just want to be successful, whatever level we’re playing at,” he said. “Over the last ten or 15 years most of the focus for the club has been on developing the facilities and they are now pretty impressive for the level we’re playing at.

“We’ve got an artificial pitch and three other grass rugby pitches and the one the women’s seconds played on is full size and in pretty good condition.”

While also having two women’s fixtures this past weekend, the club were represented by two men’s teams and a junior team leading to a very busy week for those involved at the club.

It’s all about preparation so most of the work is done during the week,” Ratcliffe revealed.

“We had a Colts game on Friday night. The men’s firsts and seconds were both away yesterday in league fixtures and all three teams won, so a pretty successful weekend.”

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