Rugby team hugged together

New season, new laws and a new sponsor for Premier 15s

Mike Bovill
Authored by Mike Bovill
Posted: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 07:03

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed the new Premier 15s season will start on Saturday 10 October after also announcing a new headline sponsor for the women's elite league.

The competition will be called the Allianz Premier 15s and the insurance company will also provide funding to grow girls and women's rugby in England. 

Exeter Chiefs will make their debut away at westcountry rivals Gloucester-Hartpury whilst fellow newcomers Sale Sharks are at home to Loughborough Lightning. 

The first nine rounds of matches will be played under adapted laws to help lessen the risk of exposure to Covid-19. In particular, the number of scrums in matches will be reduced after an RFU study showed there are far more scrums-per-game compared to men's elite matches but fewer smother tackles.

The main changes will see more advantages played for knock-ons, free kicks rather than scrums for forward passes, players prevented from joining mauls if they were not in an original lineout and - most controversially - matches reduced to 35 minutes a half.

Nicky Ponsford, Head of Women’s Performance at the RFU said: : “After the early ending of the 2019/20 campaign due to Covid-19, it’s been a real whole-game effort to get the Allianz Premier 15s back and I’d like to thank all clubs and departments who have worked together to reach this point."


Saturday 10 October

Bristol Bears v Wasps FC (1400)

Saracens v Worcester Warriors (1400)

Gloucester-Hartpury v Exeter Chiefs (1430)

Sale Sharks v Loughborough Lightning (1500)

Harlequins v DMP Durham Sharks (1600)

Share this