Bristol Ladies

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Bristol Ladies
Full name Bristol Ladies
Union RFU
Founded 1984
Ground(s) Portway Rugby Development Centre

Bristol Ladies, formally Clifton Ladies RFC, is a women's rugby union team based in Bristol, England. They are a standalone, independent rugby club, running in partnership with Bristol Rugby since becoming affiliated to them in 2008[1] and play their home matches at Cleve RFC in the Premier 15s.[2]


Bristol Ladies were founded as Clifton Ladies RFC in 1984 for what was intended as a one off match against Weston Hornets. They eventually made it into the Women's Premiership before being relegated. In 2002, they defeated Nottingham Medoc Casuals in the RFUW Rugby World National Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton, Northamptonshire, which they won with thirteen international players in their side. They were the first club outside of the London clubs of Richmond Women, Saracens Women and Wasps Ladies to win the trophy.[3] In 2007, they were promoted back into the Women's Premiership and played one more season as Clifton RFC. In 2009, Clifton became affiliated to Bristol Rugby, who then took over the running of the team from Clifton RFC.[1] In 2012, they moved to Portway Rugby Development Centre from Dings Crusaders Rugby Football Club's ground that they were sharing with Dings Crusaders. This made them the first women's rugby club to own their own facilities.[4]

Notable players[edit]

Bristol Ladies and Clifton Ladies have provided players for the England national women's rugby union team. While the club was known as Clifton Ladies, Danielle Waterman received her first international cap for England.[5] Liza Burgess was called up to play for the Wales women's national rugby union team while at Clifton Ladies.[6] Former England captain Catherine Spencer along with Sophie Hemming, Kimberley Oliver, Charlotte Male and Marlie Packer all played for Bristol Ladies before going on to earn international caps.[7] Sophie Hemming, Isabelle Noel-Smith, Kay Wilson also play for Bristol Ladies and England.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Clifton Ladies". Clifton RFC. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Bristol Ladies". RFU. 2013-08-22. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  3. ^ "Women's Cup Final". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  4. ^ Bristol, The (2012-08-16). "Twelve sides line up in Robbie's memory". Bristol Post. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  5. ^ "Waterman selected for Wales test". BBC Sport. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  6. ^ Liza Burgess (2014-02-06). "Liza Burgess". WRU. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  7. ^ "Bristol quintet in England women's elite rugby squad". BBC Sport. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2014-02-28.