Italian back row Franco will rejoin her former side Rugby Colorno after a season-long spell with Harlequins Women, relocating to her native country to focus on her university studies and national team commitments.
Commenting on her departure, Franco said: “I want to say thank you to Harlequins for this amazing year. I’m sad we haven’t been able to finish the season, because this is a truly great team and we could have achieved something.
“From the players to the staff, everyone has always been amazing to me, I felt welcomed from the very first day I arrived. I just want to say thank you to such a great club, a club that is so committed to the off-field part of our lives too.”
Wing Hartridge and scrum-half Swords, also leaving the club after one-year stints, both part ways with the Quarters for work-related reasons, with Swords moving to North London for work-related reasons while Hartridge moves to the North of England to take the next step in her policing career.
Hartridge said: “I’m really sad to be leaving Quins – though also super excited for my new life up North. Though my season was cut short, I’ve had a truly amazing experience being part of such a progressive club and I am proud to have been able to call myself a Quin and all it stands for. I was blessed to have met and played alongside inspiring players and staff, from whom I have learnt so much. Truly amazing club, players, staff and friends.”
Swords said: “It’s a shame the way my season and experience at Quins ended but I would just like to express my gratitude to an amazing squad of girls, coaches and support staff for such a great time at the Club.
“I feel privileged knowing I was part of such a professional and well-run programme at Quins.
“Thanks to everyone for making such good memories!”
Commenting on the trio of departures, Forwards Coach Karen Findlay said: “Giada, Lydia and Emma have all had a cracking season with us and played a big part in the squad, not only through their on-field performances but their committed work ethic and resulting improvements in their own game. But just as important, being great individuals to have at the club.
“Lydia came to us through our Open Day, previously having not played at Premiership level, and has thrived in the environment and challenge and grown as a player who made her mark on the wing. We wish her all the best in heading to a new job and as a result her move North.
“Giada has had a similarly big impact through her prowess as an international back row, physical impact on the pitch and the cheeky Italian way – essential to the essence of Quins! – will be missed.
“Swordsy has been an experienced, talented, wise head at nine for us, whose positive attitude has not only helped her own game move on but also the game of those around her. Sadly, due to relocation the journey just becomes too far.
“All three have been a pleasure to work with and we wish them all the best in the next step of their rugby journeys.”