Leicester Tigers are excited to announce a ground-breaking agreement with women’s rugby standard-bearers Lichfield RUFC which will see a Lichfield Leicester Tigers team competing in Championship North 1 in the new season.
This is the next step in the Tigers’ women’s rugby programme created this summer to inspire and develop players at all levels.
Lichfield have a long and proud record of work in developing the women’s game and this multi-year partnership will honour the efforts of everyone at the club who has worked so hard in putting women’s rugby on the map.
The partnership will feature matches played both at Mattioli Woods Welford Road and at Lichfield’s Cooke Fields while coaching will be co-ordinated with the other women’s team at Lichfield.
Tigers will also support Lichfield through development work in the local community and with coaching of the girls’ junior teams.
Leicester Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen said: “We have been determined to come out of the pandemic a better club, and that means a club for all.
“We have had a good relationship with Lichfield over many years and their influence on the women’s game has been massive, not least in developing numerous internationals including Vicky Macqueen, Emily Scarratt and Heather Fisher.
“Lichfield will be fantastic advisors on our journey and we will work with them at all levels to ensure their legacy continues and more women and girls take up the game.
“We can’t wait to see Lichfield Leicester Tigers in action while continuing to develop the women’s and girls’ game across our region with clubs, schools and universities.”
The Lichfield agreement follows the announcement of a performance partnership with Nottingham Rugby for the men’s team and former England international Vicky Macqueen who has been appointed head of the women’s rugby programme at Tigers feels it is a crucial element to Tigers development pathway.
She said: “Lichfield were pivotal in my own development as a player and I am very excited to get started with the support of such a great club and to offer some great opportunities to the players.
“By partnering with a club like this, we feel we’ve hit a good balance of working towards an elite team while not taking players away from teams across the board.
“We will, though, be looking for more players to get into the game through our trial days.
“The goal of the women’s team will be to play at the highest level possible but, with the Allianz Premier 15s line-up ring-fenced until the 2023/24 season, Leicester Tigers will take the next two years to build the right relationships and make sure we are a force for developing the women’s game.”
After a long history of operating at the highest level, Lichfield missed out on a place in the top league when it was restructured in 2018 but have since consistently operated at the top of the Championship and have another women’s team playing at Level 3.
Roz Jermine, Head of Ladies’ Rugby at Lichfield, said: “Lichfield are really excited to be involved in this opportunity and for the team to run out at Mattioli Woods Welford Road for the first time will be amazing.
“We’ve always worked really hard to get as many involved in playing rugby as we can and then give all of our girls the chance to get as high as possible in the game.
“Everyone at Lichfield is really looking forward to working with the Tigers team on a regular basis and getting even more players into the game and them progressing into successful Lichfield and Tigers squad for years to come.”