WARRIORS Women chiefs have revealed their disappointment at the decision to force them to reapply for a place in the top flight of English women’s rugby.
Following an independent audit conducted by the Rugby Football Union as part of the Tyrrells Premier 15s cycle, the top six ranked teams have been invited to join the next three-year league structure covering seasons 2020/21 to 2022/23.
Warriors Women have not made the top six teams and will therefore have to reapply for a place in the league.
In a statement, club chiefs said: “We are disappointed not to have finished in the top six of the audit process, which was conducted in November 2019 at a time of significant transition for Warriors Women, however, we are positive going into the re-tendering process with the support of owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring.
“Since the audit was carried out, former England Under-20s coach Jo Yapp has been appointed Warriors Women director of rugby and under her guidance we have dramatically improved our on-field results, with three successive home wins moving us up from tenth to eighth place in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.”
Among the other changes introduced since the audit was carried out was an increase in full-time staff from one to six which include team manager Josh Payne, lead coach Sian Moore, strength and conditioning coach Ethan Kinney and head of medical Declan Iles.
Warriors co-owner Jason Whittingham said: “As owners we are committed in our support of the Women’s team. Jo has done an incredible job since assuming the role as our women’s director of rugby and we are proud of the team that she is building and the progress that she has made.
“We will continue to fully support Jo and her team through the reapplication process and fully expect to be playing in the Women’s Premier 15s next season.”
“We have automatically been shortlisted and will be interviewed and assessed by a selection panel, with a decision to be made in due course.”