Source: Mark Fletcher

The End of the Premier 15s Line

Thoughts on the 2022-23 Season The sixth season of the (Allianz) Premier 15s league was always going to be dramatic, but few could have imagined how earth-shaking. The end of the second 3-year-block would see a review of the ten clubs’ performances, with the unavoidable possibility of one or two repeating the demise of Richmond

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Source: @AshSportsPhotos

Thoughts on the Premier 15s Final

A number of firsts: Glos-Pury’s first victory The first final to involve two clubs outside London. The first final to be played on the home ground of one of the finalists, a feature not to be repeated. But how to be sure? Choose HQ? Vickii Cornborough did suggest it six years ago. The first time

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Source: Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

The Latest Transfers

News that Sale Sharks have signed Morwenna Talling (pictured above) has its significance. It adds a second Red Rose to their ranks after Detysha Harper made the same move from Loughborough Lightning. Both these players have northern roots, Harper in Manchester, Talling in North Yorkshire. It is highly welcome news that at last the north-south

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Source: Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs v Saracens

Never before have I seen two head coaches so wracked with anguish. The tension was pretty unbearable for the neutrals – any of them present, apart from the media? – for Susie Appleby and Alex Austerberry it seemed like a choice between heaven and hell. In the time-honoured phrase, there was little love lost between

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Second Semi-final

Exeter Chiefs v Saracens It’s a hard life. You finish the season with the same number of wins and losses as your coming opponents, but you have to travel around 200 miles to play them, because they scored three more bonus points than you. This is the key battle of the two semis. Second versus

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The First Semi-final

Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol Bears In the glib phrase ‘What’s not to like?’ the answer is very little. A local derby, international players everywhere you look, fans fizzing with anticipation. Then you discover that Ioan Cunningham and his staff will be present to run their eye over the Welsh players on view. Cunningham is pleased: many

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How the ten AP 15s clubs look – pre-semis

The New Recruits The two new clubs, Leicester Tigers and Ealing Trailfinders, have only two examples to follow of clubs arriving fresh-faced into the elite league.  But Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks provide very different stories.  In short, the simplest solution to survival is money, and plenty of it. Leicester Tigers are doing the big

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Source: Ash Goodchild @AshSportsPhoto

Pro-Rugby – Castles in Spain? Part Two

Since I wrote my earlier piece comes news that London Irish have been suspended by the RFU for the 2023-24 season. That makes three Gallagher Premiership sides to drop out in one season. The news from Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers is scarcely more encouraging. Both have received financial backing from their owners to help

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Source: Bruce Perkins

The Final Curtain

Allianz Premier League – Round 18 Wasps v Bristol Bears The largest crowd of the season saw the Swarm win the first and second quarters, then the last minute to record their second bonus point of the season. It was an heroic display in the last ever elite match to be staged at Twyford Avenue,

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