Rugby’s back! Premier 15s’ new season starts this weekend and new sponsor Allianz is unveiled
The Premier 15s have announced the new season will start this weekend and with it comes a new sponsor.
Insurance brand Allianz is replacing crisp company Tyrrell’s to create the new ‘Allianz Premier 15s’.
Allianz say they are committed to supporting the top flight of women’s rugby in England as well as England Rugby teams and the community game.
The value of the sponsorship deal with the RFU has not been disclosed.
The unveiling of October 10 as the re-start date for the league comes after it was suspended in March as a result of the pandemic.
The 2019/20 season was ruled null and void and so this weekend will see the beginning of an entirely new campaign.
There will be 18 rounds of fixtures which will build towards semi-finals and a final, the title decider being played on May 8.
While the game is returning there have been some rule changes to combat the spread of the coronavirus as testing will not be available for the league.
These law variations, aimed at significantly reducing the number of scrums, mauls and other face-to-face contact, will be used in the first nine rounds of the league when they will be reviewed.
The changes state: "A play advantage law from a knock-on reducing scrums by over 75 per cent, free kicks awarded to the opposition for a forward pass – reducing face-to-face contact by 6 per cent, removal of the option for a scrum at a free kick or penalty – reducing face-to-face contact by 7 per cent .
"A maul may only have one stop then the ball must be used to reduce the length of the maul, no players who are not in the start of a lineout can join a maul to reduce the number of players in the maul, it will only be possible to drive a lineout in 22m to reduce the number of mauls, strict social distancing while ball is out of play including set water breaks, named bottles, limited face-to-face warm up.
“Game time is reduced to 35 minutes each way to mitigate risk while also recognising the game will be faster with fewer stoppages and thereby supporting player welfare.”
Full first round fixtures:
Saturday October 10:
Bristol Bears v Wasps, kick off 2pm
Saracens v Worcester Warriors, kick off 2pm
Gloucester-Hartpury v Exeter Chiefs, kick off 2.30pm
Sale Sharks v Loughborough Lightning, kick off 3pm
Harlequins v DMP Durham Sharks, kick off 4pm