GISELLE Mather has stepped down as Wasps Women’s Director of Rugby.
Mather led the club to back-to-back Premiership titles in 2003 and 2004 during her first coaching spell with the club.
And Mather, who was a World Cup winner with England in 1994, was the first woman to earn level 3 and level 4 coaching badges.
She led Men’s side Teddington on a 63-game unbeaten run and became the first female to undertake a full-time coaching post at a Premiership club.
Following the recent announcement of major future investment from the RFU into the women’s game, Mather has decided now is the right time for a new head coach to take the club forward.
Mather said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead Wasps Women over the past six years and to work with so many talented and committed athletes and staff, you have been amazing!
“The progress of the women’s game has been exponential during this time. It has been fantastic to be involved at the heart of it and I am very proud of what we have achieved at Wasps thus far.
“The Club, both at the FC and the RFC, have embraced the Premier 15’s and I would like to thank everyone behind the scenes for all they have done to allow the team and its individuals to progress, it would not have been possible without you.
“I believe now is the right time for new challenges for both the team and myself. However, all those who know me well will appreciate that Wasps will always hold an incredibly special place in my heart. I wish the club every success in the future. As the saying goes, ‘Once a Wasp, Always a Wasp’.”
Wasps Group CEO, Stephen Vaughan, added: “Giselle has been a pleasure to work with during our time together at Wasps.
“Her passion for the game is infectious and she is a major reason why the women’s game has seen such huge growth in recent years.
“On behalf of everyone at Wasps, I would like to thank Giselle for her incredible work, commitment and loyalty to Wasps.
“Giselle is a true legend at this club and will always be a part of the Wasps family. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”
Richard Green, Chairman of Wasps FC, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work alongside Giselle, her passion and enthusiasm for the game is infectious.
“I know how much this club means to her, and everyone involved with Wasps will be forever grateful for what she has done, not just for the women’s game but for rugby in general.
“On behalf of all of us at Wasps FC, I would like to thank her for the incredible contribution she has made, and wish her all the best for whatever comes next.”
The club have revealed that a new head coach is close to being appointed and an announcement will be made imminently.