Kick-off for the women’s club rugby season is imminent, with 16 teams in action in the Deloitte Ulster Women’s Premiership and Championship over the next two weekends.
The competitions have a fresh look about them this season, as well as a new sponsor. Deloitte, who currently sponsor the Ulster Women’s and U18 Girls teams, have also committed their support to the domestic game as title sponsors of Ulster Rugby’s Women’s Premiership and Championship for the next two years.
The Deloitte Ulster Women’s Championship begins this Sunday 22nd September, with five ties to be played. The fixture between Queen’s University 2nd XV and Ballyshannon is a particularly interesting one, with the students entering a new development team this season, and Ballyshannon also returning to the Championship after putting a lot of work in to develop women’s rugby in the area.
The following Sunday, 29th September, will see six teams in action in the opening round of the Deloitte Ulster Women’s Premiership. With Malone earning promotion to the All Ireland League, the Premiership is set to be a hugely competitive league with several teams aiming for the title. Included in those are Queen’s University and Dungannon who were promoted from the Championship last season, and City of Derry who will be aiming to build on their campaign last season which took them to the Junior Cup final.
Fixtures will generally be played on Sundays, however, in a new initiative, there will be two ‘Super Saturdays’, which will aim to drive increase awareness and visibility of the women’s game.
Pictured at the launch of the Ulster Rugby women’s domestic competitions are Jackie Henry, Office Senior Partner at Deloitte, Ulster players Kelly McCormill, Shannon Buller, Neve Jones and Beth Cregan plus representatives from each of the women’s clubs.