The Runner Sports

An Expanded Women’s Premier League Poised For Opening Rounds Of 2017 Season

There are some good rumblings for the future of women’s rugby in America.

After landing a 4th place at the 2017 Rugby World Cup, USA Rugby looks to further expand its development of female rugby competition. The highest caliber women’s league gets underway this weekend with the opening round of the Women’s Premier League’s (WPL) 2017 season. Founded in 2009, the league features the top female talent in club competition, and is made up of 10 teams from across the country each competing for attendance at the WPL National Championship in autumn. Originally formed with eight teams, this season also sees the addition of two new squads into the competition with the arrival of Chicago North Shore RFC and the aptly named Beantown RFC hailing from Boston, Mass.

The teams are chomping at the bit to get the season underway. This weekend sees two matches in the Eastern Conference and one match in the West. Beantown celebrates its return to the WPL with a match against the Atlanta Harlequins, and the Washington DC Furies take on the always competitive Twin City Amazons. Likewise, in the Western Conference, the Glendale Merlins head north to take on their Golden State rivals the Berkeley All Blues in what is expected to be a blisteringly hot match in San Jose. A bye weekend occupies the schedule for the remaining four clubs who don’t see action until the following Saturday. Each team will look to make a strong start in a season that features a healthy distribution of rivalries and far from predictable outcomes.

According to World Rugby rankings, the USA Rugby Women’s Eagles team currently enjoys a position in the top 5 teams, rubbing shoulders with the likes of top-tier nations England, France, and New Zealand. The expansion and continued organization of the Women’s Premier League will provide an instrument through which potential Eagle talent can be spotted, assessed, and supported towards increasing the depth of the squad and overall performance of our women’s program.

Eric Sweigert

Eric Sweigert

Currently a teacher-athlete up in Northern California, I was first introduced to rugby in college (go Aggies) and haven't looked back. Nowadays you can find me teaching American History and writing about a sport that provided many good memories and more than enough stitches.
Eric Sweigert