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Rugby News

Leicester Tigers team to join Women’s Championship

Leicester Tigers will kick off a first competitive season in the Women’s Championship North in 2022/23.

Announcement of the league structure comes after a year of working alongside the Rugby Football Union and partner club Lichfield, with the Leicester Tigers team playing in the second tier of women’s rugby.

Tigers Head of Women’s Rugby, Vicky Macqueen, expects the team to have a very competitive season.

“It’s brilliant news to finally have a Leicester Tigers team in the women’s leagues,” said former England international Macqueen.

“Our work with Lichfield during this season culminated with a second-place finish in the league and 100 players regularly involved in our training sessions. We are hoping we can have an even better season in 2022/23 as a Leicester Tigers team.”

Echoing the men’s partnership with Nottingham Rugby, Tigers will continue to work closely with Lichfield to develop the women’s game in Leicestershire, Rutland and Staffordshire, with Tigers providing coaching for the Championship squad and two Lichfield teams who will act as a primary pathway for the squad.

“The partnership with Lichfield is crucial not only for next season to ensure we have the best talent available, but also for our ambitions to have a team in the top division from 2023,” said Macqueen.

“Lichfield have a huge heritage in women’s rugby and that will continue through working with Tigers.”

Tigers will play at least six home games in Championship North at Mattioli Woods Welford Road while the squad will train at the club’s Oval Park base.

The stadium hosted a record crowd of more than 15,000 for a Women’s Six Nations fixture when England met Ireland this season.

Leicester Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen said: “Holding the Red Roses game in front of a record crowd showed us that there is a huge appetite for women’s rugby in the Midlands and East Anglia.

“We hope to develop that support as we work on the further development of women’s and girls’ rugby, and we will be offering a free season ticket to Tigers women’s matches for anyone who plays women’s or girls’ rugby in our region.

“It is hugely important to the club that we run a successful women’s team and intend to play at the highest level possible. This place in Championship rugby next season is a first step and we will be applying for a place in the Allianz Premier 15s for the 2023/24 season.”

Representatives of the Leicester Tigers’ first-ever women’s squad will be announced on the pitch at the Gallagher Premiership semi-final on Saturday alongside details of how supporters will be able to watch the team in action.