Leicester Tigers and partner club Lichfield have enjoyed a strong start to the season with all three women’s teams at the top-end of their respective leagues.
The squads work closely together across the two clubs, with Tigers currently unbeaten in Championship North 1 while the Lichfield teams in Midlands 2 and NC2 Midlands have lost just once each so far.
Vicky Macqueen, head of the Tigers women’s and girls’ programme who also has close ties with Lichfield, said: “As a club, Lichfield have been very supportive in partnership with the Tigers and I’m really pleased that they are seeing benefits in terms of their own league position for their teams as well as the numbers involved in training and playing each week.
“That is a real achievement for everybody on the pathway.
“The results and the league placings at Lichfield are a credit to the coaches and players who are doing a great job in keeping the standards high and working hard together.”
The women’s squads from both clubs have joint training sessions each month on top of work at their separate bases, and several of the dual-trainers have also gained experience of Championship rugby already this season.
“It’s all right having a pathway, but you have to use it – if we’re going to talk the talk, we have to walk the walk!” added Macqueen.
“We have two sessions a month with all of the players together so they get used to system and the structures, and we’ve given people chances and in each case they have 100 per cent deserved it.
“That pathway is effective. Everyone needs to feel involved and understand they are in contention for places. We’ve are proved that with those players who’ve already been involved in the Tigers squad. They’ve taken the shirt and done well in it.”
Paul Massey, Chairman of Lichfield RUFC, added: “Lichfield are really pleased with progress over the first few months of the partnership. Tigers are helping us to deliver more and higher quality coaching to our girls and ladies, which has already resulted in increased numbers at training and some impressive early successes in our matches.
“It’s also pleasing to see the success of a number of our old players now wearing the Tigers shirt, but probably even more important for us that our players can now see ex-team-mates clearly demonstrating that there is a real and achievable pathway for them to aspire to follow.”