What is Women’s Elite Rugby?
Elite Women’s club rugby in England began in a league format in 1986. This competition became known as the Women’s Premiership at the turn of the century, and continues to pride itself on providing the highest level of women’s club rugby union in the world.
The Women’s Premiership Group formed in 2012 with the prime aim of safeguarding the welfare of players and creating a consistently high quality player experience.
Who am I?
My name is John ‘Max’ Maxwell and I am the MD of RuckinRugby, a website design and hosting company focused on all things Rugby. Rugby is a huge part of my life and after meeting Catherine Spencer some years ago, I became interested in the women’s game at the highest level. The World Champion team of 2014 were something very special and I immediately became aware of how important our domestic game would become in maintaining the sort of national side that I, and many others love to watch. This inspired me to do whatever I can to promote Women’s Elite Rugby in England.
2017 and the Premier15s
This season saw a big change in the top tiers of women’s domestic rugby in England. 40 Clubs were invited to claim a place in the newly formed (and RFU backed) Premier15s League, to replace the Women’s Premiership. 10 were successful and controversially, Lichfield Ladies we not one of them – their place being taken by a brand new club the Loughborough Lightning. You can read more on that here.
2017 and WER
This new 2017-18 Season has just me running the WER (Women’s Elite Rugby) Website, Twitter and Instagram. I have added all the clubs, fixtures and league tables and extended the coverage to 2 Tiers – covering the Premier15s, Championship 1 North and Championship 1 South – 26 clubs in all.
We have dropped the Elite … like we dropped the ‘Prem’ before and hopefully we have found something to settle on! We are now Women’s Club Rugby, after all, that’s what we’re all about isn’t it? Scrumqueens cover the International scene and Premier15s is sort of taken care of by the RFU.
We at #WCR(Women’s Club Rugby) are at a point now where we can no longer run the website on not only a voluntary basis, but actually at a sizeable loss – when you add in the domain registration, web hosting, web security and updates etc – as well as the actual time spent, it’s costing us real money.
During the summer of 2019 a decision will be made on whether or not the website can become viable and therefore continue to provide the fantastic service it has been providing to Tier 2 Women’s Rugby Clubs in the UK, and their vibrant community of followers.
A letter was sent to each Tier 2 club asking if they would be willing to pay £10 a month to contribute towards our running costs. At time of writing this around 8 clubs think it should be doable, with 1 club (Thank you West Park Ladies Leeds!) confirming and only one club responding negatively.
What will this cover?
If enough teams agree to contribute, then all fixtures, results and standings will be available for 2019/20 as they were for the 2018/19 season. In addition, all contributing clubs will continue to have a team page with information on who and where they are like this:
Contributing teams will be able to add their sponsor and contact details to these pages as well as their social media channels.
If we can first become viable, then future plans include adding in the Top Tier of Women’s Rugby from Wales, Ireland and Scotland – as well as Tier 3 in England. I also intend to offer the same service as above to Premier 15s teams at £25 pcm and Tier 3 teams at £5 pcm, to fund the expansion and the additional time and resources required.