So Much Rugby, RUCK OVER!

Keep Calm and Rugby OnSo much rugby news these days…don’t blink because you’ll miss something! We want to make sure that doesn’t happen so we’ve put it all together for you in one post. Read on for news on Olympic Qualification, USA Rugby Club Championships, the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the Rugby Goddess, Banned Coaches, #HERRUGBYCOUNTS, the Men’s Rugby World Cup and more…

NACRA 7s & Kaunas 7s

There are two Olympic Qualifiers on tap this weekend where another two spots will be solidified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. At NACRA 7s we’ve got USA, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Guyana fighting for one spot. USA, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago are the heavy favorites on the weekend.

At Kauana 7s, it’s the first of two legs of the European qualifier and the teams include Belgium, Sweden, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Georgia, Poland, Finland, Moldova, Hungary, Lithuania and Norway.  This is a deep and wide pool of teams but favorites are Belgium, Sweden and Romania.

Watch both events on USA Rugby TV.

USA Rugby Club Championships

Alongside these premier events, the USA Rugby Club Championships for DI & DII will be crowned this weekend. In the women’s DI we’ll see the Seattle Saracens battle Beantown. The Saracens (formally the Breakers) have been growing leaps and bounds each year and this year was no different. At Regionals they quickly dispatched each of their opponents, beating Denver Black Ice 31-10  on day one and dominating Santa Monica 47-0 on day two. Beantown isn’t to be ignored though as they’ve had an undefeated season in the Atlantic North. They performed well at Regionals with a close match on day one against Chicago North Shore, ultimately winning 25-13 and then blowing out Pittsburgh on day two 48-17. This one will be close but we feel Seattle has the upper hand.

For the DII Championship it’s Wisconsin vs the Sacramento Amazons. Wisconsin is joined at Championships by their Men’s team and have that little extra to play for as a result. Wisconsin didn’t face too much trouble at Regionals as they beat Burlington 26-15 on day one and the Augusta Furies 41-12 on day two. Sacramento came to Regionals with a few losses but made up for it by defeating the Kansas City Jazz 39-10 on day one and barely outlasted the Austin Valkyries on day two by one point, 21-20. We’re leaning towards Sacramento as they’ve got plenty of size and power that will be tough for Wisconsin.

Watch both matches on USA Rugby TV.

2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup

In very exciting news it was announce that Ireland will be hosting the next WRWC! With matches in Dublin and Belfast at UCD, Queen’s University Sport and Kingspan Stadium…who doesn’t want to go?

Women’s Rugby World Cup is being brought forward by one year to 2017 to maximize synergy with the Olympic Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens cycles for the world’s top female players. The event will return to a four-year cycle after 2017.

2015 Men’s Rugby World Cup

Speaking of World Cups, the Men’s RWC is under 100 days away and we couldn’t be more excited. Ever since we watched our first World Cup in 2003 where Jonny Wilkinson slotted that beautiful drop goal for the win…we’ve been addicted. The tournament kicks off September 17 and continues through October.

The US have several warmup matches before the RWC with playing Samoa on July 18, Japan on July 24, Harlequins F.C> on August 30 and the Quantas Wallabies on September 5.

Women’s Soccer World Cup

Yes, not rugby but another bada$$ women’s sporting event that we should all support. The first USA game against Australia shattered viewing records as 3.3 million viewers tuned in. And critics say there isn’t a market for women’s sports?

While the viewership is up, the equality continues to be down as the women are also being forced to play on turf while the men play on grass. It’s well known that turf is horrific on the body and can lead to more injuries but FIFA has ignored the teams requests.

French Revolution?

Scrumqueens has been talking about the French and their growing interest in the women’s game. This week Toulon has announced their interest as well, Mourad Boudjellal is a French businessman, publisher, and President of the Toulon Rugby Union club, He was interviewed by French rugby website Rugbyrama recently and the conversation turned to the women’s game which, it has to be said, Boudjellal had previously shown no interest at all. But that has changed (this is a rough translation):

“We are working on a women’s section which will be launched in 2016-17. I have been impressed by the women’s rugby, but I think more the XVs game than sevens.

“In sports, two things are important: first the script, and in sevens, we know the murderer very quickly. Second important point is the spectacle – the “coup de theatre” – and in rugby that is the try. But in Sevens it is not there. And we felt the same about women’s rugby.

But then watching the Women’s World Cup, we all found a certain visual comfort with a rugby that we knew, a rugby from the past. It had an amazing impact, this competition. I said, “there is something in this.” That is why I want to run women’s section.”

Georgia Page – The Rugby Goddess

Maybe you’ve been living under a rock if you aren’t sure who Georgia Page is. She burst into internet stardom last week when her a video was posted of her smashing her nose in and then continuing to play. While this isn’t uncommon to the normal rugby player this isn’t something that normal society is necessarily used to. 

While we don’t agree with all of the angles the media is taking with this, we are excited that it has helped raise the awareness of our sport. Lets keep the message of “tackle like a rugby player” going!

#HERRUGBYCOUNTS

Related to Georgia Page is a topic very dear to our heart, the treatment of women’s rugby teams at the Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC). It’s safe to say that the women are treated very differently from the men at that tournament and we’ve been highlighting it for years. Well this year it’s been taken to new heights by a petition, hashtag and an incredibly dedicated following of rugby players (of all sexes!).

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year

World Rugby has announced the shortlist for the prestigious Women’s Sevens Player of the Year 2015 award, with the winner set to be revealed at the World Rugby Awards dinner at Battersea Evolution, London, on 1 November.

After the thrilling and record-breaking Women’s Sevens World Series 2014-15 concluded in Amsterdam last weekend, this year’s nominees are: Charlotte Caslick (Australia), Sarah Goss (New Zealand), Nadezhda Kudinova (Russia) and Portia Woodman (New Zealand).

To view a video showcasing all four nominees, click here.

New Zealand Women’s Rugby Coach Banned

We’re seeing more and more coaches in prominent positions being disciplined. The most recent example is the New Zealand Women’s Rugby Coach who verbally abused an Assistant Referee and Match Official. While he wasn’t abusing said officials at a women’s rugby event, the ban will cause him to miss the upcoming Super Series in Canada.

International Women’s Rugby Super Series

Canada is hosting England, USA and New Zealand at three different venues in Alberta – Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton –on 27 June, 1 July and 5 July.

The tournament kicks off in Calgary at the Calgary Rugby Park on 27 June, with Canada facing the Black Ferns and the USA playing England.

Red Deer Rugby Park hosts the second round of matches between North American rivals Canada and USA on Canada Day (1 July) and New Zealand taking on England, a nation they beat in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup finals.

The final round, to take place on 5 July at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton, sees Canada up against England in a repeat of the WRWC 2014 title decider, while New Zealand re-enact their fifth place play-off against the USA Women’s Eagles.

2018 Rugby World Cup 7s

In an exciting announcement, San Francisco will host the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s. With a competing field of 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams, a total of 105 matches will be played over the course of three days. The non-stop rugby action will be held at two venues: San Francisco’s AT&T Park and Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

Match dates, ticket sales and television broadcast rights of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be announced at a later date.

2020 Olympics

World Rugby has welcomed the confirmation by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board of the venue location for rugby at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The sport will be played at Tokyo Stadium, which has previously staged several big rugby matches, including university championship fixtures and Top League games. The 45,000-seater stadium is centrally located, enjoys excellent transport links and is well-known to generate the sort of electric atmosphere that has become the hall-mark of top-class international rugby sevens in recent years.

#‎distactinglysexy‬

Again not really rugby related but we stumbled across this this afternoon and had to share. Take a peak!

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