Under the Posts – Week of Mar 12, 2017

Red Roses secure Grand Slam with Ireland win
Red Roses secure Grand Slam with Ireland win

The top headlines last week covered results from the final round of the Six Nations, the lack of female coaches, the US Women’s Hockey team is boycotting their championships and US based Seattle Saracens will not defend their National Championship.

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.

Richie Gray, Scotland’s defensive contact consultant, breaks down rucks. With over 160 rucks estimated per match, this is an area that we can all conquer.

The Berkeley All Blues in California are searching for a new head coach. The All Blues participate in the USA Women’s Premier League and have a long and storied history as a top women’s team.

Interested? Submit a coaching resume as well as a brief statement of coaching philosophy to allbluespresident@gmail.com. It is strongly encouraged to apply by Friday, April 7th 2017 as applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For additional information about the Berkeley All Blues, please visit the club’s website at www.berkeleyallblues.com.

The USA Falcons have been busy this year and coach Emilie Bydwell shares with The Rugby Breakdown how important these events are. They most recently attended Vancouver 7s and went 4-3, finishing behind the Maple Leafs and South Africa Selects, and defeating Stars 20-0 inside BC Place Stadium for third. Putting players directly into the HSBC women’s series can be a huge amount of pressure but these developmental tournaments are just the right step for players to get a taste.

The Falcons don’t have any upcoming planned events but there are some U18 events to come – like the Tropical 7s in Florida and European U18 championship in September.

This year’s Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens tournament has some extra spice for the women as it will be a qualifying tournament for the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series. 12 teams, South Africa and Kenya (Africa), Jamaica (Americas North), Argentina and Colombia (Americas South), Japan, China and hosts Hong Kong (Asia), Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands (Europe) and Papua New Guinea (Oceania) will participate and the winner will replace the bottom teams on this year’s series.

World Rugby has announced the draws for women’s series qualifiers and the seventh round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong next month.

Pool A features Japan, China and the Netherlands – who have all previously played on the series – as well as Jamaica, while Pool B will see Argentina play Kenya, Belguim and hosts Hong Kong. South Africa are the top seeds in Pool C and will face Colombia, Papua New Guinea and Italy.

“The girls very are excited about this. It’s a great opportunity to get on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series,” said Hong Kong women’s sevens coach Anna Richards after the draw.

Cool throwback to the USA Eagles in 2008 at Hong Kong 7s.

World Rugby announced some global law variations earlier this year but they are in effect for North America as of March 1.

The USA Rugby Trust has announced a meet and greet with the women USA Rugby Eagles on March 31 in San Diego, CA. The Eagles are playing Canada in a two match CAN-AM event and all funds raised will benefit USA Rugby Trust and the USA Women’s National Team.

Get your tickets for the aforementioned CAN-AM event!

Scotland’s number eight Jade Konkel and fly-half Helen Nelson discuss how and why they play and love rugby. With the future of the women’s game looking bright, Nelson hopes more girls get involved in the sport to further grow the game.

USA Women’s Hockey plans on boycotting the IIHF Women’s World Championship unless “significant progress has been made on the year-long negotiations with USA Hockey over fair wages and equitable support.”

The move mirrors the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s ongoing fight with USA Soccer to receive equal pay to that of their male counterparts. But going by reports, the women’s hockey team isn’t even asking for equal pay — just a contract that gives the women’s game, at both the grassroots and elite level, a fair shake.

GiftTime Rugby interviewed Natalie Marchino about her Olympic rugby experience and how rugby has affected her life.

ScrumQueens’ John Birch has crunched the numbers and discovered that only out of approximately 100 women’s teams, only nine have women head coaches. Shocking, right? Austria, Cook Islands, Jamaica, Netherlands, Uganda, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka make the list…

Birch also discusses why there is a lack of female coaches and some of the hurdles females may experience.

Ireland has raised their profile ever since their first Grand Slam win in 2013 but should they go professional like England and France? Fiona Coghlan would love to see it happen in Ireland, she doesn’t feel that it’s feasible quite yet.

“I think it’s really easy to say ‘oh it should be professional’,” she tells The42 following the #SupportHerSport conference earlier this week. “There’s way more to it.

“People have to look at things outside of that. Our number base is still too low. We need more numbers playing that the standard of the game keeps rising and that people are really challenging for positions on teams.

“Who’s going to fund it? That’s a huge thing. It’s easy to say ‘oh, the IRFU have money’, but they do put a lot back into grassroots, they are trying to keep the provinces going, and they are trying to keep the national team at the standard that they’re at. They’re the ones that generate the money.

“The men’s game is driving the women’s game at the minute, financially. I think the women’s game has to start looking at itself.”

The announcement that the Seattle Saracens won’t be attending the 2017 USA Rugby National Club Championships was quite the shock last week. While speculation as to why this happened went rampant, we wanted to get the facts. Most assumed that USA Rugby made the decision but we have to remember that there are committees that make these decisions, not USAR staff.

We first reached out to the USA Rugby Club Strategic Committee as they were the most likely to have reviewed the waiver. Several members of the committee responded to our inquiries and we discovered that the waiver was granted but Seattle has been unable to meet the requirement of playing six matches with USA based teams. The committee overwhelmingly felt that Seattle should be able to defend their title but did need to meet already established match requirements and go through the playoffs like everyone else.

Since Seattle is already participating in the BCRU and because of their unique geographic location with no other close by D1 teams, they decided to forgo the competition this year. A tough decision but we can see why they ultimately had to make this decision.

Looking forward at the USA Rugby 2020 Strategic Plan, does this decision to require teams to play USA based teams fit? We don’t think it does, teams should play rugby and seek better competition. GROWING RUGBY is the ultimate goal, right?

Paula Fitzpatrick has won the Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman Award for February. Congrats!

Scottish Rugby launches campaign #BeTheBestYou to encourage more women to take up rugby. The initiative has been designed to change perceptions about women’s rugby and capitalise on its growing popularity in Scotland as a participation sport.

The England Women U20 were beaten 27-12 by their French counterparts at Stade Guy Boniface, Mont-de-Marsan on Friday.

England secured the 2017 Six Nations title after defeating Ireland 34-7. The Red Roses scored tries through Amy Wilson Hardy, Laura Keates, Amy Cokayne, Emily Scarratt and Lydia Thompson with Scarratt ending the match with a personal haul of 14 points.

Ireland scored a consolation try of their own through hooker Leah Lyons but it was not enough to prevent England’s first Six Nations win in Ireland since 2011.

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