Premier 15s side DMP Durham Sharks says they could have to withdraw from next season's competition due to a “shortfall in funding”.
They launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help cover “the running costs necessary to compete in this league this season” as well as to “keep women's elite Rugby alive in the North East”.
According to the RFU, it is working with Sharks in order “to achieve a satisfactory outcome”.
The new Premier15s season begins on the 19th of November.
Sharks were last season's bottom team, losing 18 of their games and conceding 1,240 point.
After a January Saracens loss of 104-0, the RFU declared it would
RFU has stated: “DMP Durham Sharks currently are not in a place to secure the funding required to compete at the 2022-23 Allianz Premier 15s.”
“The RFU Sharks and DMP Durham Sharks will work together to achieve a satisfactory outcome in light of the circumstances. We are aware that this is a time of uncertainty and difficulty for everyone involved. We will keep you updated as soon as we can.
Sharks are part Darlington Mowden Park, a community club. They are not affiliated to any club with a Premiership men’s team.
They stated in their crowdfunding statement: “There's a lot of talent in the area that will go unnurtured or underdeveloped if the club doesn't have the ability play and coach.” Women and girls from the North East would be denied an opportunity to compete at the highest levels and develop or pursue their dreams to play for their country.
They added that the club played a significant role in the development and representation of over 50 England international level players over the last 15 years.