Thurrock T-Birds will not be promoted to the Women's Super League after an appeal regarding their application was rejected by the RFU.

T-Birds won the Championship One South division last season but were told they would not be allowed to compete in the newly formed league, after the governing body cited Thurrock failed to meet the minimum standards in a number of set criteria.

And the club have now released a statement.

"It is with extreme disappointment that we received the result of our appeal.

"The club believe that our application was of greater quality and substance than we were given credit for during the initial review process and interview stage.

"But we want to voice our concerns about the process of selection and the bias that Thurrock Rugby Club believe has been shown against them.

"We received a letter saying we had been unsuccessful in gaining a place in the new competition for the following three reasons.

"Those were the financial model to deliver the programme, the experience and expertise to deliver a step change to a high performance programme and the uncertainty and lack of an appropriate governance structure.

"We are asking for our application to be reviewed again.

"This is a huge challenge going forward and we believe the decision is to the detriment of the women’s game."