The 2020/21 Allianz Premier 15s season kicks off this weekend and our clubs will be taking action to mark their commitment to Racial Equality.
Following consultation with and between player representatives from each club, every club has made their own decision on if and how they wish to mark and show their respect.
Bristol Bears Women will use a united gesture prior to kick off on game days to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. As a group of players, they will form a heart on the pitch. They will also utilise media and social media platforms to spread the message and inspire change in the rugby community. The club believe that this is a movement, not a moment and will continue the necessary discussions around race and racism among the squad to ensure they make a prolonged positive impact.
DMP Durham Sharks will have a Rugby Against Racism badge placed on one sleeve of their playing jerseys. They will be standing as one on the 10m line facing their opposition ahead of their opening match against Harlequins. The playing group have decided that keeping open and honest communication with the team is something they want to build into their culture, so have added a segment into their regular team Zoom calls. This will be a place to discuss issues, examples, learning material and ways they can make a difference in regards to race and tackling other inequalities.
Exeter Chiefs Women will stand in a circle with optional kneeling before their opening fixture at Gloucester-Hartpury Women.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women will stand in a circle with optional kneeling before their opening fixture against Exeter Chiefs Women. This weekend’s online match programme will include a full page on the topic.
Harlequins Women will choose to support either Black Lives Matter, Rugby Against Racism or both throughout Black History Month in October. They will kneel in restart positions for 30 seconds prior to kick-off in their opening game against DMP Durham Sharks, facing their opposition. Players will also wear black tape should they choose to do so.
Loughborough Lightning will show their support to the Rugby Against Racism movement by forming a circle on the pitch before their game against Sale Sharks Women. Those players who want to take a knee can choose to do so.
Sale Sharks Women will wear Rugby Against Racism t-shirts and stand socially distanced for 20 seconds before kick-off for their first game against Loughborough Lightning.
Saracens Women will take a knee before kick-off in their opening match against Worcester Warriors and will have ‘Black Lives Matter’ printed on match shirts to show a sustained commitment throughout the season.
Wasps FC Ladies will stand in a circular formation with club teammates and staff for a one-minute silence before kick-offs. Players and staff will kneel should they choose.
Worcester Warriors Women will wear Rugby Against Racism t-shirts and will make a formation with an optional taking of the knee.
This week, the RFU announced their commitment to improving Diversity and Inclusion across four key areas of the game: Fans, Followers and Partners; Game Play – Players, Coaches, Match Officials; Staff and Board and Game Administration – Volunteer leaders within Clubs, Constituent Bodies and Council.
More details can be found here.