Lichfield RUFC continue to assess and react to the decision by the RFU to exclude Lichfield Ladies from the new women's elite competition.
- We are amazed and delighted by the support we have received from so many other clubs, organisations and individuals, across and beyond the rugby world. In particular, from the number of people (already in excess of 4300) who have signed the online petition https://www.change.org/p/rfu-rfu-to-review-lichfield-ladies-bid?recruiter=374232268&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
- This support echoes our own view – that on all rugby-related criteria this decision is unjustified and grossly unfair.
- We continue to assess our potential grounds for appeal. As defined they are quite restrictive so our options need to be fully considered and we are currently seeking legal advice. We have until March 8th to decide our next step.
- We have not yet received any further clarity on why we were not selected. As we commented in our previous statement, the summary reasons initially provided were at a very high level and in our view were also largely subjective and without any real substance.
- The primary logic behind the decision appears to be that simply acting to improve the conditions for and the standard of the current elite players, is more important than working to increase participation levels through successful community clubs like ours. We firmly believe that these two things can and should be done in parallel, as greater numbers are crucial to improve the quality of the players rising to the top of a larger pyramid.
- Whilst we consider the next move, we continue to support the players and the coaches of Lichfield Ladies as they are the ones that are most affected by and need to come to terms with, the real impact of this decision.
The RFU have decided that whilst they recognise us as ‘an outstanding community club’ we are no longer good enough to eat at the top table. A decision that is particularly galling and even ironic given that over the last 25 years we have done more than most to support the RFU in building that table and putting the food upon it.
Finally, if anyone wants to show further support and solidarity with our plight please join us at the Lichfield Ladies next home game – their last premiership match, against Richmond on Saturday March 25th. Admission for this and the preceding Men’s match will be free and we would love to see as many as possible at Cooke Fields.
Lichfield Rugby Club