Warning Lichfield Ladies elite league snub will damage rugby at all levels

The decision to leave Lichfield Ladies out of a new elite rugby competition shows the emphasis is not on building the sport across all levels, the club has claimed.

There has been widespread condemnation of the decision to leave the city side, which currently sits second in the Premiership, out of the line-up for the Women’s Super Rugby league, with more than 4,500 people signing a petition.

However, the RFU has so far shown no indication of a u-turn on the line-up.

A spokesperson for Lichfield RUFC said: “We have not yet received any further clarity on why we were not selected. The summary reasons initially provided were at a very high level and in our view were also largely subjective and without any real substance.

“The primary logic behind the decision appears to be that simply acting to improve the conditions for and the standard of the current elite players is more important than working to increase participation levels through successful community clubs like ours.

“We firmly believe that these two things can and should be done in parallel, as greater numbers are crucial to improve the quality of the players rising to the top of a larger pyramid.”

Lichfield has until tomorrow (March 8) to decide its next step – and the club insists it is ruling nothing out.

“We continue to assess our grounds for appeal,” the spokesperson said. “As defined they are quite restrictive, so our options need to be fully considered and we are currently seeking legal advice.

“While we consider the next move, we continue to support the players and the coaches of Lichfield Ladies as they are the ones that are most affected by and need to come to terms with the real impact of this decision.

“The RFU have decided that whilst they recognise us as ‘an outstanding community club’ we are no longer good enough to eat at the top table. A decision that is particularly galling and even ironic given that over the last 25 years we have done more than most to support the RFU in building that table and putting the food upon it.”

The club is urging supporters to show their solidarity and support by attending Lichfield Ladies next game – their last Premiership fixture, against Richmond – on March 25. Entry is free.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

3 Comments

  1. Darryl

    7th March, 2017 at 9:34 am

    It’s so difficult to know whether there’s mileage in protesting and appealing if they don’t let the club know exactly what the reasons for the exclusion were.

    The only team to be excluded after so many years in the Premiership just seems utterly bizarre, but what are the reasons??

  2. david lambert

    15th March, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Cannot believe the Rugby hierarchy have taken this stance .

    They could make the new “super league ” with 11 clubs, to include Lichfield , and thus have a one up and one down at the end of the season – it will take away the embarrassing stance of the Rugby hierarchy , and allow real competition throughout and at the end of the season .

  3. John Griffin

    15th March, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    My source who is a team manager, not for Lichfield, says it is the development issue, Lichfield has the best in the UK but RFU wants total control and the end of Lichfield Girls. I do not know if this is true, few people know anything. They have even had a protest from the management of the current Ladies Premiership

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