THE current club of Drybrook World Cup winner Natasha Hunt has hit out at the RFU after they were excluded from the newly announced Women’s Super League.
Lichfield, who have two senior teams in the Premiership and Championship respectively, hosted the RFU Women’s National Cup finals last April when Drybrook Ladies came home with the National Junior Cup.
“Lichfield RUFC is surprised and extremely disappointed by the decision by the RFU to exclude Lichfield Ladies from the new women’s elite competition,” a statement from the club read.
“We have made every effort to follow the application process and in doing so have confirmed that we can meet all the required standards as specified.
“We do not accept the scant reasons given as to why we have not been selected and on the contrary believe that we are one of a very few clubs that can, as of today, already satisfy the necessary conditions regarding players, coaching and facilities.
“We have one of the oldest Ladies sections in the country and have continually evolved over the past 25 years to be one of the best clubs in the country for both women’s and girls’ rugby.
“We are immensely proud of our ability to continually produce not only strong club players, but also international players and some of the best leaders in the ladies’ game.
“Very few clubs can boast a tradition and pedigree as strong as this, yet it appears to have been completely disregarded in the selection process.
“However, for the good of the game we will continue to support the RFU and direct all our efforts and emotion into completing the 2016/17 season.
“We will continue to grow the game and develop players to reach their full potential and we shall continue to work closely with the RFU to prepare for the next opportunity to once again participate at the elite level.”
Gloucester-Hartpury were one of the 10 teams selected by the RFU, alongside Bristol, Wasps and Worcester Valkyries, who boast Hunt’s national teammate and former Drybrook RFC centre Ceri Large among their ranks.