Name
English Premier 15s

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League Badge


Poster


Established
2017 (7 years old)

First Recorded Event
2020-10-10

Current Season
2023-2024

API Football ID
15

Sport
Sport Icon Rugby

Location
United Kingdom

Gender
Female

TV Rights


Logo
Team logo

Upcoming
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Results
22/06 Gloucester-H home team badge 36 - 24home team badge Bristol Bear
09/06 Gloucester-H home team badge 50 - 19home team badge Exeter Chief
09/06 Saracens Wom home team badge 21 - 29home team badge Bristol Bear
02/06 Loughborough home team badge 24 - 33home team badge Saracens Wom
02/06 Sale Sharks  home team badge 27 - 24home team badge Bristol Bear
01/06 Gloucester-H home team badge - home team badge Worcester Wa
25/05 Harlequins W home team badge 25 - 47home team badge Bristol Bear
25/05 Saracens Wom home team badge 33 - 31home team badge Gloucester-H
25/05 Worcester Wa home team badge - home team badge Exeter Chief
19/05 Exeter Chief home team badge 7 - 57home team badge Saracens Wom

Description
Available in:

Premiership Women's Rugby, officially known as Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby or The Allianz PWR, is an annual semi-professional women's rugby union club competition at the highest level of the English rugby union system, and is run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). It is contested by nine clubs who play two series of round-robin matches to determine the four participants of a single-elimination tournament. It began play in the 2017–18 season, superseding the former Women's Premiership, and introducing elements of professionalism in the sport's highest level. In its first six seasons, the competition was known as the Premier 15s. Gloucester-Hartpury are the current champions, while Saracens have won the most championships (3).

Premiership Women's Rugby runs concurrently with the Allianz Cup, a similar annual competition contested by the same clubs, in which the teams are instead split into two pools, and only play one series of round-robin matches to determine places in the competition's tournament. The Allianz Cup began play in the 2021–22 season and has been won twice by Exeter Chiefs.

History
2016–2023: Premier 15's

The RFU founded the competition as "Women's Super Rugby" in October 2016, committing to a three-year, £2.4 million investment. A bidding process was opened to clubs seeking to operate a franchise in the new league, with the RFU initially planning to have all eight Women's Premiership teams and two new teams compete. Minimum standards were raised for aspiring franchise owners, such as requiring clubs to invest in professional training facilities and coaching resources.

After interviews with twelve clubs at Twickenham Stadium, the RFU announced the league's ten foundation clubs in February 2017. The decision to admit all Premiership clubs (Aylesford Bulls Ladies being taken over by Harlequins to become Harlequins Ladies) except for Lichfield Ladies, despite their fifteen-year presence in the top flight, was controversial. As the club expressed being "disgusted, disappointed and dumbfounded", Leicester Tigers, and Member for Lichfield Michael Fabricant, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the decision, with the latter claiming the selection of only ten teams violated the Equality Act 2010, as the men's Premiership Rugby had twelve teams. The Thurrock T-Birds, who won the 2016–17 Championship 1 South season, also unsuccessfully attempted to appeal their exclusion.

The seven Premiership clubs would join Gloucester-Hartpury, Loughborough Lightning, and Waterloo in the inaugural season of the league, which had been rebranded to the "Premier 15s" prior to its start. Potato crisps manufacturer Tyrrells obtained its naming rights for three years, in what was described by the RFU as "the biggest ever financial investment in women's club rugby."

Financial services company Allianz began their naming rights sponsorship ahead of the 2020–21 season. The two independent clubs, Richmond and Waterloo, were replaced with the Premiership Rugby-affiliated Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks. The RFU stressed the need for financially viable clubs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worcester Warriors were temporarily suspended during the 2022–23 season due to financial difficulties. These were resolved within a month and Worcester were unsuspended.

2023 onwards: Premiership Women's Rugby

Trailfinders and Leicester Tigers were admitted into the league in the 2023–24 season, as the competition rebranded to "Premiership Women's Rugby". Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors were initially excluded from the 2023–24 season alongside DMP Sharks and Wasps. Sale and Worcester were given conditional invitations by the RFU to rejoin for the 2023–24 season, in order to maintain the number of clubs in the league at ten.

Withdrawal of Worcester Warriors Women

On 17 October 2023 the owners of Worcester Warriors Women, Cube International, notified the RFU and PWR that they intended to withdraw Worcester Warriors Women from Premiership Women's Rugby and the Allianz Cup. The impact on the season's fixtures was not announced, however Worcester's next fixture, the Allianz Cup match against Bristol Bears Women was cancelled.

Structure
League season

The Premiership Women's Rugby league season typically runs from September to June and comprises 18 rounds of matches, with each club playing each other home and away. In the 2023–24 season, each club also had bye weeks. The results of the matches contribute points to the league as follows:

4 points are awarded for a win
2 points are awarded for a draw
0 points are awarded for a loss, however
1 losing (bonus) point is awarded to a team that loses a match by 7 points or fewer
1 additional (bonus) point is awarded to a team scoring 4 tries or more in a match

Playoffs

Following the completion of the regular season, the top 4 teams enter the playoffs, which are held in June. The top two teams receive home advantage, the league leaders hosting the 4th ranked team, and the 2nd place team hosting the 3rd place team. The winners of these semi-finals progress to the final, with no set venue, with the winner of the final being crowned champions. In the inaugural season, the play-offs comprised back-to-back home and away fixtures, with the winner being determined by an aggregate score. This was changed to single matches from the following season onwards.
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Seasons

calendar
2023-2024
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2022-2023
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2021-2022
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2020-2021
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Teams
Team Badge
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Bristol Bears W
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DMP Durham Shar
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Exeter Chiefs W
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Gloucester-Hart
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Harlequins Wome
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Loughborough Li
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Sale Sharks Wom
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Saracens Women
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Wasps Women
Team Badge
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Worcester Warri

Key
() Missing Artwork
(- 4) Missing 4 Players: Data and Artwork
(green tick) Team Complete

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