After the Grand Final on 29th April, the season for Tier 1 and 2 of Women’s Domestic Rugby in England will be over. While our Twitter following has grown to over 4.7k people and our Facebook Group too, the website has been in slow decline.
At the start of the season I was posting full team selections for every premier15s match, despite the fact that only 2 or 3 clubs were actually sending them to me – the rest I had to search for and untangle from posts on Twitter. I’d then post the results immediately, adding the scorers names and the minute they scored in. All of this was a massive amount of work, but I really did hope it would catch on and the website would remain an online resource alongside the Premier15s own website. The official site simply records the results and the table – so I figured my additional work would be appreciated by both the players/clubs and the fans too. But I was wrong. I even added over 350 players’ profiles, giving each their own page – where I thought they could post their personal sponsor and give them some addition coverage – these pages were set up to automatically record a players stats each week when they played and scored. No interest.
I’m sad to say that the brutal truth is, the only thing the Premier15s clubs are really interested in is themselves and the England set up. And that is fine, it isn’t for me to judge, this is just how it all panned out. To that end, there isn’t really anything I can do here on the website, outside the RFU official site and the official websites of the participating clubs – that might be of any real interest. So, when you consider the amount of work involved – particularly when the players and the clubs themselves are clearly not interested in working with us – it really doesn’t make any sense to carry on. It is no good having some clubs buy into something like this, it has to be all the clubs … it’s the only way statistics work.
A few weeks ago when I made the decision to hang my hat up at the end of the season, I did think it might be a fine opportunity for a young, rugby loving, media savvy individual to take it all on – but again I was wrong. No interest at all.
So, before I go I should say some thank yous to all the fab people who did try to help me in one way or another.
Thank you to Premier clubs Worcester, Saracens and Harlequins for making contact with me and including me in their comms each week. Thank you also to Waterloo, Eccles, Cheltenham, Hove and of course the fabulous Lichfield for pinging me messages and sharing stories throughout this season.
And thank you to Julia Marchant and the WPG who for a short time before the crisp people came on board, did what they could to take the Women’s Top 2 Tiers of Domestic Rugby to another level. I am sure it is testament to their efforts, that the RFU felt compelled to come in and take over – you can all be proud of that – so thank you Mark Francis, Jan Anastasi, Heidi Mercer-Chapman, Rhi Chandler-Day, Claire Purdy, Tamara Taylor, Sian Hobday and Laura Eddie.
All the best for 2018/19 and beyond and I look forward to seeing what prevails once promotion and relegation finally come in to force.
I’m using a photo of Heather Fisher in full flight as my ‘featured image’ for this post as 1) It was one of the first images I was ever sent (thanks Worcester) and 2) Because Heather is such a lovely person and one those people who reminds you why you love rugby so much, every time you see her.
Many thanks all.
Yours in rugby,