Twelve months ago Richmond Ladies were in tatters.

Head coach Karen Findlay’s team had suffered the pain of losing out to Saracens in the race for the Women’s Premiership title and had learned half the club’s first team would be leaving the Athletic Ground.

Alice Richardson, Jo Whatmore, Claire Allen, Francesca Matthews, Alexandra Matthews and Natasha Brennan signed up as full time RFU professionals in search of Olympic glory on the sevens circuit, while Hannah Field and Fiona Pocock moved on.

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Head girl: Richmond Ladies coach Karen Findlay and her team has performed a minor miracle this term

Wind the clock forward and Richmond stand on the brink of a record ninth Premiership crown when they face Saracens in the inaugural Premiership final at the Stoop on Sunday.

And while Findlay may have a few more grey hairs for the experience, she hopes it will have been all worth it come Monday morning.

“This season has just been about ourselves. We have not thought about anything else,” she said.

“Seven or eight players from the top end of the club turned professional to try and reach the Olympic Games. It decimated the top end of the club, which was hard to recover from.

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“It has been a massive rebuilding job and I would challenge any professional club to achieve what we have with players who juggle playing for Richmond with international rugby, a job and, in some cases, bringing up a family.”

She added: “I’m delighted for the players to be playing on such a stage.

“These two teams have some of the best players in the women’s game.

“They were the top two in the table. It is right they are both in the final.”