Under the Posts – Week of May 20, 2018

The top headlines from last week include teams prepping ahead of the 2018 RWC 7s in San Francisco, CA in July, changes at the helm for England’s women, 28 professional contracts for New Zealand players and plenty of USA Rugby Championships results.

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The Mexican national women’s rugby team arrived in Saskatchewan, Canada earlier this week to train for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. Robin MacDowell, a Canadian native is leading Mexico’s national women’s rugby team and brought them to Canada for a proper training environment.

The players say finding suitable space to train at home can be a challenge. “[In Mexico] we train probably in a 50 metre [by] 20 metre [field]. It’s not a big field,” said Michelle Farah Chalita, a seven year veteran.

A few Roses have already announced their retirements, Danielle Waterman and then Izzy Noel-Smith. Matt Ferguson, England women’s forwards coach isn’t retiring but moving on to join the Northampton Saints from the 2018/19 season as assistant coach.

After initially working with the Red Roses as a forwards coach from 2009 to 2011, Ferguson moved on to stints in the men’s game at Cardiff Blues, Bristol Rugby and London Welsh before returning to Twickenham in 2015 to sculpt a dominant set piece and driving maul for England’s women.

The Black Ferns will make their debut on American soil when they play the opening match of a triple-header against the United States at Soldier Field on November 3. The bill also includes a Six Nations showdown between Ireland and Italy and the Maori All Blacks vs the USA.

However, the fixture will clash with preparations for the start of the 2018/2019 Sevens World Series. Allan Bunting, sevens coach states that they “will sit down with the fifteens coaches, and we will see how that looks. It’s a great opportunity for wahine to play rugby which is awesome.”

The Rugby Weekend takes place in Chicago, IL on November 3 and will feature three action packed matches on US soil. Get more info at https://www.therugbyweekend.com/.

In the elite bracket, Lindenwood avenged their loss to Penn State on the first day of USA Rugby’s Collegiate Club 7s Championships, to claim their second 7s National Title. This follows the their XVs national championship that they won two weeks ago.

In the open bracket, Air Force defeated Chico State in a thriller to claim their first USA Rugby’s Collegiate Club 7s Championship.

At the High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Kahuku and Catholic Memorial faced off in the single school championship with Kahuku winning 33-29 at the buzzer.

In the club division of the At the High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT) United repeated as champion winning over 15-5 over North Bay.

South Africa has been holding player camps as they work to make selections for their tour to the UK in November. They will play two tests against Wales, as well as games against the UK Armed Forces and the Crawshays (also known as the Welsh Barbarians).

Twenty eight of New Zealand’s top female rugby players have become the first-ever 15s players to be offered Black Ferns contracts, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced today.

Newshub.co.nz give us the details on why New Zealand’s new women’s contracts don’t include World Player of the Year Portia Woodman, Sarah Goss, Kelly Brazier and Stacey Waaka. They will remain on more lucrative full-time sevens deals. They can still play 15s for the Black Ferns and will collect weekly payments for any involvement.

“We’ll be having discussions in coming weeks around who of those players would be available at certain times of the year, which take into account workloads and injuries,” says Black Ferns head coach Glenn Moore.

England’s Rugby Football Union has lately been embroiled in allegations of a culture of sexism within the organisation. In a statement, the RFU did not deny the allegations but insisted it wants to make the sport more inclusive.

A spokeswoman said: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring that rugby is a progressive, modern and inclusive game, with strong values at heart. We are committed to our diversity and inclusion strategy and plan which we are now delivering across volunteers, employees and our fanbase to ensure rugby is an inclusive sport, at every level.”

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