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OPINION: Why the Allianz Premier 15s is heading in the right direction for the 2023/24 season

If the Allianz Premier 15s wants to advance, it is essential that all clubs can prove they have the capability to meet the growing demands of the level to reduce the chances of failure.

As the season begins to close and the new campaign lurks in the shadows, the league is going to be temporarily affected by the change in scenery to progress the women’s game.

Eyes remain on the Allianz Premier 15s debutants Ealing Trailfinders and Leicester Tigers after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) decided a change was needed.

Initially only eight sides were named, reducing the league competitors from 10, which caused uproar after discontinuing teams in the North of England but, Sale Sharks were saved. It was DMP Sharks and Wasps Women who were not destined to be viewed amongst the top flight clubs of Saracens, Harlequins and Gloucester-Hartpury.

Amongst the cuts and promotions, Trailfinders are putting their stamp on the league as they announce England’s star winger Abby Dow as their first contract signing after her short stay at Harlequins.


Without doubt, the women’s rugby scene is becoming bigger every year and more money is being invested into the game.

The league is expecting a £174 million revenue, where the clubs will pull together and invest £48 million into the top division.

To develop the Premier 15s, it is essential that the league has a strong financial backing to support the pathway for players and to increase their visibility and protect the future of the sport.

Particularly with the fall of the men’s Premiership side of Worcester Warriors, clubs are expected to have strong financial backing to be successful in the tender process. Worcester Warriors Women were included in the league because of the split between the men’s and women’s club.

The RFU need to be strict

There is no automatic promotion or relegation system for the top division. With that, the governing body need to be thorough with club’s applications to make sure they will survive the growing Premiership standard.

It has been proven that club facilities are crucial for the support of the women’s game, as there is a greater demand for the sport, it is expected that the women have the same resources and support as the men.

Like any other sport, the league needs to protect itself and be able to insure that the standard of rugby meets the criteria for the demands of the game.

Calls for a more professional environment

As the standard of the game is constantly on the upward trajectory, the number of views and fans for the game has grown.

This year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations fixture between the Red Roses and France saw a World Record crowd of 58,498 in the first-ever standalone women’s fixture at Twickenham Stadium. Cardiff Arms Park and the DAM Stadium have also been sold out.

Under the international standard, Premiership sides have also increased their visibility across the media and taken to greater stadiums. This weekend, Gloucester-Hartpury welcome Harlequins at Kingsholm Stadium instead of the Alpas Arena. This wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

Gloucester-Hartpury Women on the Alpas Arena rugby pitch.

Since then, the progress has been undeniable and if the RFU want to continue on this path then increasing the media exposure for each club is essential to attract an even wider support base.

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