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RFU statement: Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks docked points

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Alex Davidson/RFU for Getty Images)

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has imposed five-point league deductions on Premiership Women’s Rugby teams Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks Women for not meeting the required average of 13 English Qualified Players (EQP) in their match day squads.

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This decision follows the regulations set for the 2023-24 season which all clubs agreed to prior to the start. The penalty applied automatically today offers no right of appeal but does not affect the teams’ league standings.

This measure supports the RFU and Premiership Women’s Rugby’s (PWR) commitment to the development of domestic talent and the ambitions of the Red Roses ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025.

RFU statement: “The RFU can confirm five-point league deductions have been placed on Premiership Women’s Rugby clubs, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks Women.

“Following the conclusion of Qualification Period 1, as defined in the Premiership Women’s Rugby Competition Regulations 2023-24, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks Women failed to achieve a minimum average of 13 English Qualified Players (EQP) in their match day squad.

“All PWR clubs signed up to the regulations prior to the start of the 2023-24 season. The deduction will take place automatically today and there is no right of appeal. This will not impact either club’s league position.

“The EQP principle has the full support of both the RFU and Premiership Women’s Rugby as part of its partnership to support the ambitions of the Red Roses, especially with the Women’s Rugby World Cup taking place at home in 2025.

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“The RFU and Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR) welcome athletes from all over the world and appreciate everything they bring to rugby in England,” the statment concludes.

Despite this focus on English talent the RFU and PWR continue to welcome and value international players contributing to the sport in England promoting a blend of local development and global talent – the union claim.

Leicester Tigers have issued a statement saying: “While disappointed, Leicester Tigers accepts the findings and would like to reiterate our support, as a club, for the EQP regulations within the competition.”

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Comments

2 Comments
N
Neale 130 days ago

Why is the EQP bar set so ridiculously low anyway? It’s an RFU league so why aren’t they insisting on at least 17 or 18 EQP out of 23? If Leicester and Sale can’t even manage 13 they deserve kicking out. Ditto the men’s Premiership… if they want the RFU to bail them out with millions, EQP levels should be much higher than 15. Sort yourself out Sweeney!

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