The new competition begins this weekend

All you need to know about the Allianz Cup 

Premier 15s’ new competition the Allianz Cup begins on Saturday and it is aiming to give more game time to wider squad players.

The cup fixtures will be played during the international window, giving more opportunity to inexperienced stars. But how will the new tournament work and what are the first fixtures? Here’s all you need to know…

What is the Allianz Cup?

The Allianz Cup will work in a pool stage, semi-final and then a final. It will run throughout the season, covering international windows during the autumn internationals and the Six Nations.

The ten clubs in the women’s top-flight have been split into two pools based on their finishing places last season. At the end of the pool stage, the top two teams from each pool will go through to the semi-finals on 16 April and the final will then be played on 22 April.

Pool A consists of Harlequins, Wasps, Gloucester-Hartpury, Bristol Bears and DMP Durham Sharks. While pool B has Saracens, Loughborough Lightning, Exeter Chiefs, Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks.

What are the Allianz Cup fixtures?

There are just four fixtures in the opening round as Wasps and Exeter Chiefs have a bye week.

Saturday 30 October

Sale Sharks v Loughborough Lighting (2pm)

DMP Durham Sharks v Harlequins (3pm)

Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol Bears (4.45pm)

Sunday 31 October

Worcester Warriors v Saracens (2pm)

What has been said?

RFU director of performance rugby Conor O’Shea said: “The calendar gives greater profile and exposure to every Allianz Premier 15s round and the introduction of the Allianz Cup is a welcome and exciting development, and provides vital game time for the wider squad players.”

And players have spoken about the opportunities it will present.

Loughborough Lightning and England hooker Lark Davies told The Rugby Paper:I think it’s definitely a massive positive for all the clubs to showcase and use different players. You’ve got a large squad in most teams and it’s great to see people get more game time.

“There’s so much young talent out there it’ll be exciting to see what the games look like when the cup gets running.”

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