London Irish stated this morning on their official website, that they have now declared their intention to launch a professional side to enter the Women's Rugby Premiership. According to their website, 'preparations are underway with a view to formally applying for a place in the Allianz Premier 15’s for the next intake of teams, due in 2023'.
With so many sides showcasing early success by growing their Women's sides early, it seems like the logical next step for any top team looking to expand their sporting empire. You just have to look at Wasps and Saracens, and the engagement they are getting from promoting the Women's game to understand that there is a real opportunity to draw new demographics to Rugby.
See London Irish's official statement below:
'The decision to add an elite tier of women’s rugby at the Club builds on and supports the vision for the women’s game at London Irish. With participation in the women’s game at an all-time high, the decision to introduce a women’s team is a natural next step for London Irish. The Club recognises the growth of the women’s game worldwide and closer to home in the UK – and the desire to introduce a Premier 15’s side that will provide a dual pathway for elite players to progress on both domestic and international stages.'
When asked to comment on the ambition of creating a Women's Rugby side, London Irish CEO, Mark Bensted, stated, 'this is a welcome development for London Irish Rugby Club. It is a logical next step for us and we are excited about getting all the building blocks in place in support of our application to join the Premier 15’s in 2023. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but we are committed to this project as the Club continues to grow following its move back to London.’'
'As a Club, London Irish is well-placed to develop and nurture talent from a wide area, providing a platform for players to flourish working in tandem with the various rugby bodies and importantly, in partnership with our educational partners.'
See the full article on their website here: https://www.london-irish.com/news/london-irish-declare-intention-to-launch-topflight-women-s-team/bp2957/