Bath Rugby launch women's team in a bid to join Premier 15s from 2023

The Recreation Ground
The Recreation Ground
©Steve Haag

Bath Rugby have announced the launching of women's team as they aim to make it to the Premier 15s competition when the next cycle begins.

The news follows after London Irish also announced plans for a women's team earlier in the month.

The club will partner with Bath Rugby Ladies with Bath Rugby Ladies, who play in the Championship South - the second tier competition in the women's game in the country.

The current license for Premier 15s that include 10 clubs will come to an end in the summer of 2023 following which Bath are aiming to be part of the top tier competition.

"Women and girls don't have a clear pathway to the professional game, it's one of the biggest barriers to entry and one of the many stark comparisons against the men's game," Bath Rugby chief executive Tarquin McDonald said.

"What has been very important to us during this process, and will continue to be the case, is a sustainable approach. We want to ensure that the club is providing a pathway for the long-term growth of the women and girls' game, one that helps drive demand for the sport, answers that demand with playing opportunities and harnesses increased participation into a pathway for a successful professional team.

"We recognise that we're behind other Gallagher Premiership teams and many other sports who are already competing in the elite levels, producing exceptional talent both domestically and internationally. Today's announcement is about us taking responsibility for the future, and ensuring that we effect positive sustainable change across our region."

Bath Rugby Ladies head coach John Gould believes the move could accelerate the growth of women's game.

"This is a significant moment for women's rugby in the region. We have made huge strides on and off the field, recruiting over 100 members thanks to the efforts of Bath RFC, our players and volunteers, and the RFU's Inner Warrior programme.

"This opportunity with Bath Rugby will now help us accelerate those efforts, ultimately putting us on a path to the Premiership and encouraging more women and girls to take up the sport, developing future talent."

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