Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester have agreed on a brand new partnership which seeks to help grow women’s rugby and inspire more women to take up studies at the University alongside elite rugby.

To reflect the significance of the partnership, Warriors Women, who compete in the Allianz Premier 15s, will now be renamed ‘University of Worcester Warriors’.

The partnership will give female students the opportunity to combine their academic life with playing rugby in an elite environment at Sixways Stadium through a number of scholarships and business placements.

Warriors and the University will combine to increase opportunities for women and girls at all levels to participate in sport and maximise their potential.

The University will also draw upon its experiences of working with its own female sport franchises in women’s basketball, women’s wheelchair basketball and Severn Stars netball to contribute towards the current and ongoing success of Warriors’ elite and development programmes for women.

University of Worcester Warriors Director of Rugby, Jo Yapp attended the University, where she undertook an undergraduate degree, before embarking on a PGCE there.

She went on to be capped 70 times by England and has since helped develop women’s sport at Sixways.

"I am very appreciative of the support the University of Worcester gave me when I was a student there as it enabled me to balance my studies with playing rugby for England and Worcester," Yapp said.

"The women’s game has developed significantly since then and the game at international and club level is now much more professional but players still need support on and off the pitch to enable them to fulfil their potential.

"The partnership between Worcester Warriors and the University of Worcester is a significant development in encouraging and inspiring more women rugby players to study at the university while continuing to grow and strengthen the women’s game at Sixways."