Under the Posts – Week of Feb 12, 2017

We’re a late again this week so please enjoy these two pictures of a future rugby star! Cole, our son just turned two and is already a die-hard rugby fan! Bonus fun, check out this video of him watching Sydney 7s.

The headlines last week were dominated by the second round of the Women’s Six Nations, the announcement of the pools and schedule for #USA7s and a message from Jennifer Murra about her husband Steve.

As a reminder, we are doing weekly posts recapping the top women’s rugby news. Can’t wait a week? Join us on Twitter or on our Facebook page as we will be posting daily.

France picked up their first win of the Women’s Six Nations, they dispatched Scotland 55-0. Up next they will face Ireland in 2 weeks, this will be their toughest opponent yet as the Irish are sitting on two strong wins. Scotland will also face another tough challenge as they face off with Wales who is 1 and 1.

England were in top form against Wales and ripped 11 tries over the line to win 63-0. A particularly disappointing loss for Wales as they’ve had the best prep to date with this Six Nations campaign (see last weeks BBC Special). England will see Italy next and we can imagine that they might do better than 11 tries?

RBS 6 Nations gives us a quick wrap-up of round 2 and looks forward to the action returning as the team’s take a week off. They also put together highlights from Round 2:

World Rugby released the pools for USA 7s in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3-5, 2017. Sydney winners Canada are in Pool A with France, Russia and the invitational side, which will be the winners from the Sudamerica Rugby Sevens later this month, in Pool A. USA hosts and is in Pool B with Fiji, Ireland and Spain. Pool C includes New Zealand, Australia, England and Brazil and can easily be labeled the pool of death.

A few days after releasing the pools, the USA 7s schedule was released as well. We’re so pumped that the men and women will be playing together at Sam Boyd Stadium but were disappointed to see that the women are playing first and EARLY (when the Las Vegas Invitational tournament) is taking place. We had hoped that the matches would be mixed up a bit so women’s fans didn’t have to arrive at the stadium by 8am to see the first matches of the day.

A number of Australia’s high-profile gold medal sevens stars – including co-captains Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry want to be able to play in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The Australian Rugby Union says it is open to the idea but they reserve the right to review requests on a case by case basis. Are the days of split athletes over?

This article focuses on Australian Rules Football but contrasts that to our beloved sport. AFL in New Zealand is incredibly popular and especially with female players and fans. Starting next season there will be a women’s AFL competition and they expect it to be really successful. How can NZL and other countries turn similar successes into a success for rugby?

USA announced their 44 player roster last week and head coach, Pete Steinberg has indicated that they are “encouraging players to come to San Diego when they can,” wrote Steinberg. “We can offer some support for a few of them, but others are trying to make it work. Our goal is to get as many of the squad together in late June and through July.”

With USA Rugby’s well known budget shortfall this year, it pains us to see that there will be no formal residency but rather “if you can come, please do”. How are we expected to compete with the best of the best if we don’t have regular International matches and can’t assemble our players?

This one hits close to home, we worked hand in hand with Steve and his wife for years when we were involved with the West All Star programs. We are in awe of Jennifer and the strength it took to bring this story forward. WITH YOU Murras.

The North African nation of Tunisia, bordering the Mediterranean Sea has been named as the host of this year’s Women’s Sevens Africa Cup. The tournament will also serve as the qualifying tournament for next year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, to be hosted by USA Rugby in San Francisco.

After a record 66 caps and five Women’s Rugby World Cup appearances, Gillian Florence will be the first woman inducted into the Rugby Canada Hall of Fame. Also, here is Rugby Canada’s press release which has some more details.

Scrumqueens rounds out the viewing audience numbers from the first two rounds of the Women’s Six Nations. While the women’s portion is seeking their first sponsor, viewing numbers are climbing with every match!

Pakistan’s women’s rugby team will make their international debut at the Asian Women’s Rugby Sevens in Laos this weekend. The team was formed last year but are looking to place among the top four in the tournament. The team has almost no funding but Coach Shakil Ahmad said “our team is a good team and has the capacity to win the tournament”.

We said it on social media but will say it again, very disappointed in this sanction. Rugby is based on respect and what that player did was in direct opposite of that. Get it out of the game, period.

Niamh Briggs of Ireland will miss the rest of the Six Nations due to a hamstring injury. She instead turns her focus to preparing for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The USA is sending a developmental squad to compete at the Okinawa Sevens invitational tournament in Japan. They will join Australia, France, Japan and the Netherlands.

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