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Lichfield RUFC “surprised and extremely disappointed” as ladies team are left out of Women’s Super Rugby line-up

Lichfield RUFC is “surprised and extremely disappointed” not to be included in the list of clubs for the new Women’s Super Rugby league.

Emily Scarratt

Emily Scarratt. Pic: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin

The city club – which has been a breeding ground for a number of England internationals, including Sarah Hunter and Emily Scarratt – had applied for one of the spots.

But despite sitting second and one point off the top of the Women’s Premiership, Lichfield have been left off the list for the new elite competition.

In a statement, the club said there was no obvious reason for its omission.

“We have made every effort to follow the application process and in doing so have confirmed that we can meet all the required standards,” they said. “We do not accept the scant reasons given as to why we have not been selected.

“On the contrary, we believe that we are one of a very few clubs that can, as of today, already satisfy the necessary conditions regarding players, coaching and facilities.”

The line-up for the Women’s Super Rugby competition includes six of the eight current Women’s Premiership teams.

But despite being a breeding ground for some of the sport’s top female talent, Lichfield now faces an uncertain future in the elite game.

“We have one of the oldest ladies sections in the country and have continually evolved over the past 25 years to be one of the best clubs in the country,” the statement added. “We are exceptionally proud of the achievements of our players, coaches and backroom staff and standards they have reached in creating new home-grown talent year after year.

“We have helped to produce more than 30 England internationals and currently have eight Lichfield players performing in the 2017 Six Nations Championship, as well as supplying a number of World Cup winning players, Olympians and members of the England 7s squad.

“Our two senior ladies’ teams currently both lie second in the Premiership and the Championship respectively, hence providing two teams in the top 12 nationwide. We are immensely proud of our ability to continually produce not only strong club players, but also international players and some of the best leaders in the ladies’ game.

“Very few clubs can boast a tradition and pedigree as strong as this, yet it appears to have been completely disregarded in the selection process.”

Despite the disappointment, Lichfield insist they will still continue to nurture talented female rugby players.

“For the good of the game we will continue to support the RFU and direct all our efforts and emotion into completing the 2016/17 season,” they said.

“We will continue to grow the game and develop players to reach their full potential and we shall continue to work closely with the RFU to prepare for the next opportunity to once again participate at the elite level.”

Lichfield players past and present have posted their disappointment over the decision on social media:

 

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Nigel Gregory

    12th March, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Typical shortsighted rfu, just like football leaving out Doncaster Belles. Youcn bt it involves money.