OA Saints to compete in top flight
OA Saints WRFC received the exciting news that they have been promoted to the elite women’s rugby Premiership, the top flight of women’s rugby in England. The Saints will now compete along with the other top 8 women’s sides in the country, no mean feat considering the growing sport now has over 170 senior sides.
At the start of the season the Saints celebrated their 20th Anniversary, with this promotion topping off an amazing season for the club. St Albans WRFC was formed in 1989 by a group of friends after a challenge in a St Albans pub. Playing, and winning, their first match against Eaton Manor with a squad of just 15 players the club has gone from strength to strength. Moving to Woollams, the home of Old Albanians in 2003, the Saints now boast over 60 players and 2 successful teams. Over the years the club has had many successes reaching the Premiership for a short spell in 1997, and having home grown international players for England, Ireland, and Italy over the 20 years.
The Saints had a fantastic Pre-season, the recruitment of new players was good, particularly from the talented u18’s squad at Welwyn Garden City RFC, and the return of some home grown talent complemented an already strong squad and allowed the club to achieve its primary aim of winning the league.
The results, 13 wins from 14, scoring 75 tries-a staggering 30 more than any other team in the league, they were ready to step up a level but were disappointed that the National Governing Body (RFUW) had decided to hold any promotion due to the impact of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August 2010. However, luck was on the Saints side when a Premiership side from the north asked to be relegated soon after the Saints won the North v South Championship Cup and the rest is history…
Reaching the Premiership is a culmination of 3 years hard work, setting and achieving goals with the ultimate aim to end up in the Premier League. Reaching the Premiership is a massive achievement and a true testament to the spirit of the club and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and on the pitch.
This achievement is not just down the players on the pitch each week, but testament to the dedication of coaches Ed Knighton, Glyn Barraclough and Andy Weldon, and the never ending support of OA Rugby and fantastic facilities at Woollams.