• Tyrrells Premier 15s launched at Twickenham
  • £2.4m investment from RFU

The inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s season launched on Thursday with all 10 club captains, and coaches attending an event at Twickenham Stadium.

The new women’s domestic competition will see an investment of £2.4million from the RFU over the next three years with clubs benefitting directly.

The competition is expected to improve standards of the women’s game, as well as increase the talent pool available for selection for England in the future.

The event previewed the season ahead, which starts on the 16 September, and saw England Women’s captain Sarah Hunter, Wasps director of rugby Giselle Mather and Nigel Melville discuss how the new competition will change the existing landscape of women’s domestic rugby.

Raising the standard

“It’s about raising the standard of the game and giving the athletes as well as clubs the support they need to be better,” said director of professional rugby Melville.

There was a gap between our club game and our international game, so we wanted to put in place a competition that was aspirational for younger players.

“We hope to double the number of women and girls playing the game over the next four years to 50,000 players and a lot of them will want to participate in this league.

“This will help create better players.”

Red Roses captain and new Loughborough Lightning assistant coach and player Hunter added: “The new Tyrrells Premier 15s is where the game needs to be in terms of professionalism, high-quality coaching as well as support from strength and conditioning as well as medical teams. It’s great to be involved in it on and off the pitch.”

‘Huge buzz’

Alongside the multi-million pound commitment from the RFU, title partner Tyrrells will also invest significantly into the competition bringing the partnership to life as part of on-pack promotions over the next three years.

And Mather added: “I can already see the difference the increase investment is having at my club.

“The athletes are really excited, there is a huge buzz about the place. We have an S&C department now, the medical team has improved and everything is there for them because of the sponsorship we have got. The excitement is palpable. We can’t wait until the 16th for the competition to begin.”