The First Ever Televised League Match in England
The Women’s Premiership Final has been confirmed for Sunday 17 January and for the first time ever will be hosted at a Premiership ground in a play-off format.
The season finale will take place at the Twickenham Stoop, with kick off scheduled for 17:30. This Sunday’s two games will decide which of the four remaining teams head to the Harlequins-hosted final in the new format knock out tournament. The final will immediately follow the Harlequins vs Cardiff Blues Challenge Cup and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 5.
RFU Head of Women’s Performance Nicky Ponsford said: “The RFU is delighted that Sky have agreed to televise the Premiership Final. It is testament to the importance the RFU and Sky are placing on the women’s game. It will be an excellent contest whichever teams make the final and a great showcase of the standards of the game.”
Presently at the top of the table heading into the final weekend with 63 points, Richmond will face Worcester in their opportunity to stake a claim at the title match. Both Richmond and Saracens have lost just one game this season, making them the likely title contenders, reminiscent of last season’s trophy battle in which Saracens took their first English Premiership title since 2009.
Saracens scored six tries that day to finish two points ahead of chasers Richmond. This time Richmond head into the penultimate weekend with a two point advantage but there is still all to play for with games scheduled on Sunday.
Both teams will play at home with Richmond set to take on Worcester, fourth in the table, at 14:30 at the RAA ground while Saracens face third-placed Lichfield at 15:30 at the Allianz. Tickets to both games are free.
Women’s Premiership Group Chairman Mark Francis said: “We’re delighted that TV coverage of the new play-off system will show the women’s Premiership to a wider audience. When we formed two years ago, the Women’s Premiership Group intended to improve both the welfare of our players and the profile of elite women’s club rugby.
“We’ve followed the progress of women’s cricket, football and hockey with great pleasure and believe that women’s rugby is also growing in the public consciousness thanks to the England team winning the last World Cup. In that light, we’re most grateful to Sky, Harlequins, Premiership Rugby and the RFU for all their support in making TV coverage of the play-offs a reality. The games over the following two weekends will be a fitting tribute to the standard and spirit of our competition.”
Meanwhile this Sunday in the bottom half of the table fight against relegation Wasps host DMP Sharks at Twyford Avenue at 2pm while Bristol host Aylesford at Trowbridge RFC also at 2pm. On the 17th January we will see the conclusion of the play-offs with the losing teams from Richmond v Worcester and Saracens v Lichfield playing off for 3rd and 4th places. The winners from Wasps v DMP Sharks and Bristol v Aylesford will play off for 5th and 6th places with the losing teams battling to avoid the Championship play-off. All 3 of these matches will be hosted at Cobham RFC with a 1:30pm kick off.
The Women’s Premiership is the pinnacle of ladies’ domestic rugby in England, and in the 2015/2016 season eight teams have contested the league over 14 matches. The Women’s Premiership features an all-star line-up with many England internationals lining up each week alongside several international rugby players from around the world.
Tickets for the final are available via the Harlequins website here.