The beginning of this week to the end couldn’t be any different. We went from Int’l leagues announcing their return to play after the Six Nations, news about a few 2021 WRWC Qualifiers and teams were announcing their squads ahead of the HSBC 7s Challenger Series. Underneath all of that, the COVID-19 pandemic was brewing and by the end of the week, pretty much all rugby across the world had been canceled.
Rather than listing everything that has been canceled so far (it’s pretty much everything as of this morning (3/19) and we assume if they haven’t announced yet, they will shortly) we thought we’d focus on some of the more positive news of the week. We will still cover some of the matches or leagues that have playoff or WRWC implications.
This week in XVs we’re focusing on recent wins by Tonga, Colombia, Guatemala and Russia. Their fate in the 2021 WRWC is still up in the air but we’ll let you know once we know something. We also have an update on USA Club and College competitions, Tyrells Premier still looks good for an April restart (really??) and Ireland postpones play ahead of the Energia Finals.
In Misc News, Fiji has committed to advancing their coaching development and the women’s game, Rugby Africa appointed a Rugby and Referee Manager and we feature Royce Chan Leong-sze of Hong Kong.
This World Rugby article came out on March 9 and we’d like to celebrate wins for Colombia, Guatemala and Russia over Brazil, El Salvador and Netherlands.
Colombia looks to be on a path to face Kenya for a place in the WRWC 2021 repechage but again we don’t know if those matches will actually occur or when as they’ve been postponed due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, history was made as Guatemala and El Salvador competed for the first time at international level, a testament to the work being done to grow the game in the region. This match did not count towards the rankings as neither are full member unions of World Rugby.
In the Rugby Europe Women’s Championship 2020, Russia recently defeated Netherlands. The eventual winner of the now postponed tournament will join Italy, Ireland and Scotland in the region’s play-off for WRWC 2021 in September.
Colombia 23 Brazil 19
Guatemala 50 El Salvador 5
Russia 27 Netherlands 21
On March 13, Kenya and Colombia announced that their April 18 WRWC 2021 repechage qualifier was postponed due to COVID-19.
Tonga and Papua New Guinea finally faced off this week in their WRWC 2021 Qualifier. It was originally postponed due to the measles and then delayed further by 24 hours because of Visa issues. In the end, Tonga outlasted PNG and will face Samoa at a future date.
Tonga 36 Papua New Guinea 24
League Results & Updates
At the time of this article’s posting, clubs were in the middle of their playoff runs and looking towards USA Rugby National Club Championships. That is no more as USA Rugby has postponed play until mid April and if we’re being positive, it could begin again but that is highly unlikely.
Also since the article has posted, USA Rugby has cancelled their USA Rugby College Championships across all divisions.
In Red River DI, Utah traveled down to Texas and split wins on the weekend. First they faced the Dallas Harlequins and they had a big win 95-5. On Sunday they faced Austin and it was an opposite story, they lost 42-5. In DII, San Antonio dispatched the Dallas Reds 60-0 and remain on the top of the table.
In the South DII, Florida defeated Indian River 48-7, Orlando improved winning over Jacksonville and Knoxville hosted Memphis for a 34-0 win.
Pacific NorCal DII has a clear leader in Berkeley as they won 51-7 over Sacramento. SFGG played its final game at the Ray Sheeran pitch and clubhouse and squeaked out a 12-10 win against San Jose. Tacoma remains undefeated as they beat South Sound 100-5.
Pacific South DI saw San Diego upset Tempe 54-31 and Santa Monica toppled Belmont 78-14. In DII, Las Vegas handled Old Pueblo 31-17.
Frontier DII saw St. Louis beat Queen City 66-7.
Tyrells Premier is one of the lone leagues that hasn’t made an official announcements regarding their return to play. The Men’s division has suspended but no indication for the women. They are supposed to return April 18 but we would be shocked if that happened.
Another example of a quick turnaround, top spots were being declared in the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League but bythe 12th, play was suspended.
This article was posted in early February but we missed it the first time around. Fiji seems to be getting more serious about developing their women’s game and held a level 2 coaching clinic with 10 coaches from 10 Provinces round the country.
Rugby Africa has appointed a women’s rugby and referee manager for the first time. Ms Maha Zaoui takes on the Women’s Rugby Manager position and Mr Mudiwa Mundawarara takes the reins as Referee Manager. Both newly created positions are key strategic pillars for actively driving the expansion of rugby in Africa.
Former Hong Kong hooker Royce Chan Leong-sze talks to World Rugby about “giving back” to rugby and how Jo Hull helped inspire her to concentrate on coaching. Chan started rugby in her mid-20s and recently hung up her boots following the 2017 WRWC. Since then she has worked as a women’s high performance coach at the Hong Kong Rugby Union.
Sheffield Ladies RUFC are looking for a new Head Coach to take us into the 2020/21 season. An ambitious team with big aspirations, wanting to take the opportunity to build on previous seasons!— Sheffield Ladies RUFC (@SheffLadiesRUFC) March 13, 2020
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