Leicester Tigers’ women’s team will begin life in the second tier of the domestic game in the 2022-23 season.
Tigers, who announced a merger with Staffordshire club Lichfield last year, will play in Championship North One and intend to apply for a Premier 15s place the following season.
Lichfield were runners-up to champions Cheltenham in the 2021-22 campaign.
“It is hugely important that we run a successful women’s team,” said Tigers chief executive Andrea Pinchen.
“We intend to play at the highest level possible – this place in Championship rugby next season is a first step and we will be applying for a place in the Allianz Premier 15s for the 2023-24 season.”
Lichfield applied for a licence to play in the inaugural Premier 15s in 2017, but were not successful.
Every three years, the Rugby Football Union opens a bidding process for clubs to have a team in the league, meaning there is no promotion or relegation.
“It’s brilliant news to finally have a Leicester Tigers team in the women’s leagues,” said former England international Vicky Macqueen, the club’s head of women’s rugby.
“The partnership with Lichfield is crucial not only for next season to ensure we have the best talent available, but also for our ambitions to have a team in the top division from 2023.”
Tigers plan to announce some members of next season’s squad during Saturday’s Premiership semi-final between Leicester’s men’s team and Northampton Saints.