Gloucester-Hartpury Women

Gloucester-Hartpury Women's Rugby Football Club is a women's rugby union club based in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England. They are the unified women's team of Gloucester Rugby and Hartpury University R.F.C. They were founded in 2014 and as of 2017, play in the Premier 15s.

Gloucester-Hartpury Women
Full nameGloucester-Hartpury Women's Rugby Football Club
UnionRFUW
Founded2014
Ground(s)ALPAS Arena
League(s)Premier 15s

HistoryEdit

In 2014, Gloucester and Hartpury College came together to found a women's team to be run under the jurisdiction of Gloucester Rugby to capitalise upon the popularity of women's rugby in the area. Hartpury College already had a women's team competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sport rugby union leagues.[1] In their first year, Gloucester-Hartpury Women only played friendly matches, some of which were at Gloucester Rugby's home ground Kingsholm Stadium,[2] whilst the Rugby Football Union decided which league to place them in. The team originally started with numbers as low as 4 and grew to a much bigger squad. The first captain was Stacy Payne (Hardie) and vice-captain Jessica Morgan. The team won the Junior Cup in their first season.

In 2015, the RFU placed them in National 2 South West.[3] In their first season they finished second in the league.[4] The following season, they were unbeaten.[5]

In 2017, to take advantage of an increase in women's rugby participation following England's victory in the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup,[6] it was announced that Gloucester-Hartpury Women were awarded a franchise in the new women's top flight, initially known as Women's Super Rugby and now as Premier 15s, as part of a reorganisation of women's rugby in England, despite never competing in the Women's Premiership or Women's Championship and moving up two leagues as a result. This was controversial as, despite the franchises being awarded by an independent body,[7] Gloucester-Hartpury Women were awarded the position in top flight at the expense of Lichfield Ladies who had been competing in the top flight of English women's rugby for 15 years.[8] There was speculation that this was due to geographical considerations.[9]

Season summariesEdit

League
Season Competition Final position Points Play-offs
2017–18 Tyrrells Premier 15s 4th 60 Semi-final
2018–19 Tyrrells Premier 15s 5th 50
2019–20 Tyrrells Premier 15s 4th 39 Season annulled
2020–21 Allianz Premier 15s 5th 50

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runners-up
Pink background denotes relegated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gloucester & Hartpury join for women's rugby". Severn Sport. 21 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ Burrows, Tom (5 July 2016). "Gloucester-Hartpury Ladies Team confirm fixtures for the 2016–17 season". Gloucester Rugby. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Gloucester-Hartpury Women". Womens Club Rugby. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  4. ^ "The history of rugby through its competitions". Rugbyarchive.net. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Lichfield Ladies left out of new premier women's rugby competition". ITV. 10 March 2017. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Gloucester-Hartpury grab one of ten places as Women's Premiership rugby reinvents itself". Hartpury.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Rugby Football Union announces 10-team Women's Super Rugby competition". ESPN. 28 February 2017. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Lichfield Ladies left out of new premier women's rugby competition". ITV. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  9. ^ Tomas, Fiona (28 February 2017). "Women's rugby: Chronicle columnist Fiona Tomas examines the RFU's controversial changes to the women's game". Reading Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.