Under the Posts – Week of May 27, 2018

The top headlines from last week include teams continuing their prep for the 2018 RWC 7s in San Francisco, CA in July, more about the New Zealand player contracts and the potential for a Super Rugby division, more test match announcements and the 2018 USA Rugby Club Championships.

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In 2016 the PNG government and Rugby Union had a falling out over accusations of political interference. Mediators met with both parties and they’ve come to an agreement on a new interim board, which took effect earlier this year.

The Interim board has already held several meetings and the independent chairman, Syd Yates, said everyone involved with rugby in PNG has had enough of infighting and wants to move forward.

“When we leave we want to make sure the new board will have a good sound structure, they have good relationships with the key stakeholders, including World Rugby and Oceania and all our key sponsors that have helped us before,” he said.

“So they can then get on with a framework of managing the game and developing the game.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do – I mean we’ve gone nowhere for a couple of years – so if we can get those things in place for the new board it will be fantastic.”

We covered this last week but this article takes it a step further and reveals that discussions are already under way to ensure equality for both men’s and women’s domestic competitions.

“The next thing we’re working on is a Super Rugby type competition and we’ll make decisions on it over the next couple of months to launch next year.” said New Zealand Rugby chair Brent Impey.

“There’s quite a gap between the Farah Palmer cup (the domestic competition) and the Black Ferns.”

The hope is that the men’s game is mirrored in the women’s to further nuture the Black Ferns.

Another exciting test match has been announced with Ireland hosting the USA on November 18 in Dublin, Ireland. These teams last met at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup where 18 points from Niamh Briggs helped Ireland to a hard fought 23-17 win.

South Africa has announced that Stanley Raubenheimer, SA Rugby Academy coach, will be in charge of the Springbok Women team on their UK tour in November. He will be assisted by Lungisa Kama and Eddie Myners, both of whom were members of the SA Select Women’s coaching team to England last year.

The Springbok Women will play two Tests against Wales, on November 7 and 17, as well as games against the UK Armed Forces (November 2) and the Crawshays (also known as the Welsh Barbarians, November 11), on the tour.

Kenya defeated Uganda 29-7 to take the 2018 Rugby Africa Women sevens tournament in Gaborone over the weekend. South Africa decided not to compete at this year’s event, opting instead to focus on their Rugby World Cup Sevens preparations.

Kenya went through day one without conceding a try, beating Senegal 42-0 and Madagascar 41-0 to book their slot in the last eight as the top team from Pool A. Uganda started their pursuit of the title with a 22-0 win over Zimbabwe and followed it up with a 10-10 draw with Tunisia in Pool B.

Day two saw Kenya continue their unbeaten run with comfortable wins over Zambia (43-7) and Madagascar (27-0) securing them a place in the final. Uganda joined them there after defeating Senegal and Tunisia.

The tournament concluded a week of activities dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa, including a three-day conference on women’s rugby development in Botswana.

This year marks the decade mark for the USA Rugby Women’s Premier League, league play starts Aug 18 and ends at Championships October 26-28 at Life University in Atlanta, GA. The WPL All-Star Match is returning this year as well, and will be the main event of the Rugged Rugby Tour Denver at Denver University July 28th, 2018. Tickets to the All-Star match are available through the Rugged Rugby Website.

Want to attend the 2018 RWC 7s Tournament? Enter to win tickets https://www.nbcsports.com/rugby-sevens?utm_post=ond&utm_network=social&utm_sport=rugby&utm_source=TW&utm_event=RWC7_Sweeps&utm_tags=ond:social:rugby:TW:RWC7_Sweeps&sf190630760=1. Contest ends June 10!

Teams are set ahead of the 2018 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club National Championships at Infinty Park, in Glendale, CO.

In the Women’s Division I championship game, it’s a rematch of last year’s, with the Life West Gladiatrix taking on the Raleigh Venom. Life West defeated Raleigh 39-17 last year and is looking for a back-to-back win.

In the Women’s Division II championship game, Charlotte and the St. Louis Sabres are each vying for their first USA Rugby title.

USA Rugby has rolled out a comprehensive women’s schedule for the remainder of the 2018 calendar year. The schedule makes a commitment to looking ahead to the 2021 World Cup; with a shared emphasis on succession planning for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and 2025 World Cup.

On the Women’s National Team side (fifteens), an August training camp, segment of the Women’s Premier League and Collegiate sessions will select the player pool for the 2018 November Tour. Overall, the fall tour will consist of three Eagle test matches and an “A” level game for the Women’s Selects.

On the Olympic Women’s Sevens side, USA rugby will introduce programming for a specific talent development group geared towards 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Termed as Hawk-Eye (Talent Development Program), a training camp will be run alongside final World Cup preparation in early July to evaluate and accelerate potential athletes. Subsequently, a Hawk Eye training group will also assemble for an inaugural summer intensive residency program, including an apprenticeship at the senior Women’s National team camp.

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