England’s Rugby Football Union has agreed a deal with Tyrrells for the snack foods manufacturer to become title sponsor of its new women’s club competition.
The Tyrrells Premier 15s will begin on September 16, with the inaugural season to feature 10 teams.
The RFU said that Tyrrells would invest “significantly” in the competition as part of the three-year agreement.
Tyrrells’ investment, alongside the £2.4m (€2.69m/$3.1m) commitment provided by the RFU over the next three years, will seek to improve standards of women’s rugby in England and increase the talent pool available for national team selection.
Tyrrells will also serve as the official crisps partner of England Rugby, and as an exclusive supplier to Twickenham Stadium.
Nigel Melville, the RFU’s director of professional rugby, said: “The Tyrrells Premier 15s competition is an important step forward for women’s rugby to strengthen the foundations of the women’s game as it continues to grow in popularity. By investing at domestic level we can build a sustainable model to support the growth of the game at elite level.
“The competition will crucially expand the playing pool of players available for international selection which will enable us to reach our long-term objective of running dual professionalised 15s and sevens programmes and allow us to compete on all fronts at the highest level.
“This is a new competition and we are thrilled to have a title partner in major English brand, Tyrrells, on board from day one. We want to build a world-class competition that will inspire and attract new fans to follow the game and working with a brand like Tyrrells will enable us to bring the game to a new audience.”
The 10 teams set to compete in the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s are: Bristol Ladies, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Firwood Waterloo Ladies, Harlequins Ladies, Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Loughborough Lightning, Richmond FC, Saracens Women, Wasps FC Ladies and Worcester Valkyries.