Lichfield RUFC Ladies have agreed a multi-year partnership with Leicester Tigers to join forces as ‘Lichfield Leicester Tigers’ in Championship North 1.
Matches will be played at both Leicester home ground Mattioli Woods Welford Road and at Cooke Fields in Lichfield.
The deal also includes the development of female players in the girls junior team, as well as local schools.
Lichfield hopes the move will provide “a clear pathway for our best female talent to progress into the professional game.”
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.”
‘We can’t wait’ – Tigers CEO
Leicester Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen added: “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.”
Ex-international Macqueen: Lichfield pivotal in my development
Former England international Macqueen, who has been appointed head of the women’s rugby programme at Tigers, gave her thoughts on the partnership.
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.”
Click to follow Sport in Staffs for all our latest articles on: