Under the Posts – Nov 25-Dec 1

Trying out a new look this week, let us know what you think! Tweets are grouped by 15s, 7s, miscellaneous news, #rugbyjobs and results. 

The week starts out with Fiji qualifying for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, the Baa-Baas defeated Wales 29-15, Japan rises in the World Rugby rankings, and Scotland announces two additional player contracts.

In 7s, we look at some rosters, and highlight three different referees that are on the HSBC Sevens Series. 

In miscellaneous news we cover quite a bit including several series of quick fire questions, a special feature from WRWCA on mothers and sons in rugby, and The Rugby Journal’s photographer of the year competition.

Can’t wait a week? Join us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as we will be posting daily. We have a bit more dialogue on Twitter if you’d like to join in.

15s

The Oceania Rugby Championship concluded this weekend with the Black Ferns developmental team taking the overall cup title. But the biggest news of the weekend was the Fiji got third and as a result has qualified for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Remember that Tonga dropped out due to health concerns but they will play in 2020 for their chance to qualify.

In the third Barbarians match of the year, the Baa-Baas defeated Wales 29-15. This brings their overall record to 2-1 with their only loss against England with a score of 40-18.

Stay tuned for next week when we have video of the Barbarians fabulous free kick play that had the internet in a ruckus.

Japan backed up their superb 17-17 draw away to Women’s Six Nations 2019 runners-up Italy with a thrilling 24-20 win over Scotland at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday.

The Sakura 15s remain below Scotland in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings but only by one place – in a historic high of 12th – as opposed to four before kick-off. 

Canada, Australia, South Africa and Fiji are also on the rise, view the updated World Rugby rankings.

Scotland has upped their number of contracted players from eight to ten. Elizabeth Musgrove (Darlington Mowden Park) and Hannah Smith (Watsonians) will receive support through 2021 contracts.

The contracts come in varying forms and support players either through direct monetary support or through a partnership agreement with their place of work that allows them the time they need to train and compete.

In an exciting double header matchup, Australia has announced that their men will contest the Bledisloe Cup in Melbourne and the Wallaroos will take on the Black Ferns in their first ever Test at home. 

2020 New Zealand Series 

  • Saturday 8 August – Wallaroos v New Zealand, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

In other double header news, the Army vs Navy men and women’s Inter Services fixture will be played at Twickenham Stadium for the first time on May 2, 2020.

In Australia’s Super W competition, the Waratahs have unveiled their 2020 extended squad and a new coach to go with it. Former assistant Campbell Aitken will take over the coaching reins from Matt Evrard, becoming the team’s third coach in as many seasons.

Tyrrells was back in action this week and the Harlequins have  a narrow lead over Saracens by one point. They’re being chased by Gloucester-Hartpury, Loughborough, and Wasps. 

This weekend Wasps host Harlequins and next week the top two teams face off along with Gloucester and Loughborough. The next two weeks are shaping up to be a cracker!

7s

Dubai 7s is next week and we saw squads released for the Black Ferns, Kenya, USA, Ireland and Australia. Dubai is the second stop for the women, with  USA winning the first stop in Glendale, CO last month. 

This is the first of six events held alongside the men’s competition and showcasing the shorter Olympic format. Mainly the difference is on Sunday where there are less matches.

Seven coaches from rugby sevens and the 15-a-side game have been selected to participate in the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches (WSLA HPC) as part of a pilot program in partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

This is in part due to Recommendation 6 of the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project where World Rugby is looking to increase the proportion of female coaches at the Olympic Games.

Participants in this select group include (pictured left to right) Berta García (Spain), Rachel Taylor (Wales), Marithy Pienaar (South Africa), Filoi Eneliko (Samoa), Inge Visser (Australia), Royce Chan Leong-Sze (Hong Kong) and Victoria Grant (New Zealand).

Black Fern Selica Winiata has been selected for two stops on the HSBC Sevens Series. She makes her debut this weekend at Dubai 7s after an impressive performance at the Oceania Rugby Women’s Sevens Championship last month.

“Last year I kind of considered what would be another pathway for me when I finally decide to give up rugby, and I wasn’t too sure,” Winiata told World Rugby. 

“I want to stay in the game if possible and that’s when I thought about reffing. 

“I thought, well, you could still be out there running around with the teams and it wasn’t until this year that I decided to pick up the whistle and see whether or not it was for me. 

“Things have happened a lot quicker than I expected.”

Aimee Barrett once told her mother that she was going to be in the Olympics. She always thought it would be as a player but at Rio in 2016 she made her debut as a rugby referee. 

Aimee sat down with Ruda Landman of BizNews for a candid chat about overcoming obstacles, laying down the law, and daring to make your wildest dreams come true.

Inside Women’s Rugby talks with Sara Cox about becoming the world’s first professional female match official.

Misc News

Ireland rugby captain, Ciara Griffin answers quick fire questions for Irish Rugby TV and tells how rugby has given her the discipline to create a good work/life balance.

University of Birmingham Women’s Rugby club (UBWRFC) is officially the biggest women’s university rugby team in the United Kingdom after reaching more than 100 paying members earlier this month.

They credit their success with a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere and to efforts around the  UK’s This Girl Can initiative. 

Scotland’s vice-captain Helen Nelson spends five minutes with Scotland Rugby answering question about her Tyrrells Premier season and more.

Fiji Rugby Union will soon establish a High Performance Unit for women with the assistance of World Rugby. They are seeing threats from rugby  league as players can get contracts. 

FRU Chief Executive John O’Connor indicates they  are committed to 7s and 15s as well and are exploring contracting players.

APO Group (APO-opa.com), the Main Official Sponsor of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa, presents the story of Flavia Agenorwot, a rising star of the Ugandan Women’s Rugby Sevens team whose inspiring story demonstrates passion, resilience and an eagerness to teach her peers to reach for the sky.

The Rugby Journal is looking for Rugby Photographer of the Year in six categories. This competition will celebrate the very best of rugby photography, both amateur and professional, culminating in a two-month exhibition at the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham.

Two-time Rugby World Cup winner and Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup commentator Melodie Robinson of New Zealand discusses the challenges she faced when starting life as a sports journalist. 

WRCRA brings another great feature article on their site, this time looking at mothers and sons of rugby. They spotlight Amy Rusert and her son Joe, and Mary Money and her son Matthew.

South Africa’s Babalwa Latshaer shares her harsh reality, that the rugby field is the only place she feel safe. 

About 3,000 women in South Africa were murdered in 2018, which is more than five times higher than the global average, according to the World Health Organization.

#RugbyJobs

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