FOREWORD by Max
I’d just like to say that this is an end of an era for me. The first thing I ever knew about Women’s Rugby was coming on leave form Northern Ireland in the 90s and going to the Pepsi Cafe for my Full English before heading to the Sun Inn to watch the rugby on TV (Standard leave protocol), and bumping into an Army mate who was on her way over the road to play for ‘Richmond Ladies’ – which was pretty much the only place she could get a good level of rugby to play. I also met Mel Antao many times in the Sun Inn and often saw the team in celebrating after a game.
It was also Julie Marchant-Craig – a Richmond player – whom I met in the pub in Hampton some 8 or more years ago to hatch the very first ‘concept’ of this website and everything that it has become. So, Richmond are a very large part of my understanding and experience of women’s rugby at a club level and they will be sorely missed. I wish them all the very best in the future, as they are a large part of what women’s grass roots club rugby is all about.
RICHMOND RUGBY STATEMENT: PREMIER 15s
Richmond Rugby has today made the following statement regarding our Tyrrells Premier 15s future:
Richmond Rugby has been at the forefront of women’s rugby for nearly 35 years and to this day remain one of the most successful women’s clubs in world rugby. We continue to deliver an exceptional programme for our players, providing elite opportunities within a community rugby club, whilst remaining financially secure.
The club has worked hard over the last three seasons and throughout this process to ensure that it complies with the minimum operating standards set by the league. We have approached every stage of the re-tender process with an open mind and with an intention to succeed.
As such, today’s announcement is very disappointing and upsetting for our current and former players, coaches, staff, sponsors, members, volunteers and supporters.
We strongly believe in our community approach to growing the game at every level. Our Women’s Programme has always maintained a significant ability to produce successful teams and successful players through ‘The Richmond Way’; providing an inspiring environment for all, where a culture of ambition promotes rugby excellence, enjoyment and friendship, alongside a sustainable financial model.
The decision to remove us from the league is yet another blow for traditional rugby clubs, like ours, that pride themselves on providing rugby to all as part of a community rugby environment.
We remain fully committed to our Women’s Programme and will embark on the next stage of our long and proud history with the same spirit and determination to succeed as we always have. Last season we regularly had more than 60 players at training and we look forward to welcoming them all back to the Athletic Ground once it is safe to do so.
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed and supported our club over the last three seasons, in particular our players, coaches, medics and support staff. We look forward to sharing the next stage in the Richmond journey with you all.
To read the full RFU Statement please CLICK HERE.
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