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Ealing Trailfinders successful application for women’s first-team squad and will be joining Allianz Premier 15s

The borough’s very own rugby club, Ealing Trailfinders is to have its own women’s team which will be competing in the Allianz Premier 15s next year.

Following an application to the Rugby Football Union, Ealing Trailfinders Women will compete from the 2023/24 season and will join an eight team league featuring Bristol Bears Women, Exeter Chiefs Women, Gloucester-Hartpury Women, Harlequins Women, Leicester Tigers Women, Loughborough Lightning/Northampton Saints and Saracens Women.

Ealing Trailfinders Women will be based at Trailfinders Sports Club, with its world class facilities, coaches and support staff, with home fixtures taking place on the main stadium pitch, with a current capacity of 5,000.

Director of women’s rugby Giselle Mather, who joined the club in July 2022, said: “This is a very special day for everyone involved with Ealing Trailfinders. It’s one of those moments that will be highlighted in our history for years to come.”

Ms Mather added: “We are incredibly proud to have been successful and delighted to have the opportunity to bring elite female athletes, coaches and support staff to Ealing Trailfinders. The programme will not only benefit the 45 players selected in our Premier 15s squad, but will have a hugely positive impact on the growth and development of women’s rugby at all levels.”

Simon Sinclair, chief operating officer of Ealing Trailfinders Academy and Women’s Programme, added: “This has been a huge effort and an enormous achievement from everyone involved at the club. Over the last few years we have invested heavily in building sustainable development pathways from the
bottom up. We have partnered with several PODs (Places of Development), clubs and schools with thriving girl’s and women’s programmes, and created pathways for their talent to progress to elite rugby. Having a clear and extensive pathway from school and club rugby to Premier 15s at Ealing Trailfinders will provide players with enormous opportunities.”

Ben Ward, managing director of Ealing Trailfinders revealed what a great year it has been for the club. “This is a landmark moment in our club history and one that we’re extremely proud of. This season our objectives have been clear. Promotion to the Men’s Premiership, BUCS Super Rugby for our
Men’s Academy at Brunel University and the formation of a Women’s Premier 15s squad. To achieve one of these objectives just before Christmas, and be on track with the other two, is a huge testament to the investment and hard work of everyone involved in this process. I would like to thank the entire
team at Ealing Trailfinders for their hard work during the application, with a huge thanks to the considerable investment and long-term support of club owner Sir Mike Gooley.”

Ealing Trailfinders Club captain Steven Shingler is looking forward to seeing the women’s team compete and also to share training with. “It’s absolutely brilliant to have a Premier 15s team here at Ealing Trailfinders. It highlights how far the club has come and will create an incredible playing atmosphere. Having the opportunity to train alongside female rugby players in a highly driven and elite environment will be a massive benefit to us all.”

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