Under the Posts – Mar 16-22 features a few of the rugby social media challenges and viral moments from the last week. We’re continuing our theme of trying to highlight the positive news around the rugby world rather than the depressing stuff…
In XVs news Rugby Africa Gold Cup announced earlier in the year that this tournament would include women’s and men’s matches. A huge step forward and we applaud it! The tournament has been postponed but we look forward to it occurring in the future. We also look at an article by Gemma Hallett of Wales and her perception that Wales has failed their players. We also cover Uganda’s new women’s coaches for XVs and 7s along with Wales announcement that the absent Rowland Phillips has left his post as Women’s National Team Coach.
Only one article in 7s this week and it’s a quick feature on Papua New Guinea and their preparations ahead of the now postponed World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.
In miscellaneous news we cover Bristol’s Daisie Mayes and her struggle with body image, Babalwa Latsha heads home to South Africa from Spain, and Gayle Broughton of New Zealand pursues a career as a personal trainer. We also look at the week’s media posts, quite a few!
Lastly we have tons of #RugbyJobs…get applying!
Coach: “Girls, make sure you keep on top of all your studies over the next few weeks please”— SGSFiltonFemaleRugby (@SGSFemaleRugby) March 23, 2020
Girls: ... ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/JgwvLpbmhl
We’re seeing lots of social media challenges pop up and we thought we’d highlight a few of our favorites!
Teams are busy sharing their favorite trys, workout challenges, rugby skills with toilet paper and a few rugby commentators are getting in on the action. Without any live games to commentate, they are taking on the challenge of commentating everyday life.
Rugby Afrique have told us that they aim to expand the Gold Cup from a four team invitation tournament to six teams, and eventually a two tier competition with promotion and relegation - but finance is the main barrier. https://t.co/zksRLzjSM5— Scrumqueens - Women’s Rugby (@ScrumQueens) March 16, 2020
Rugby Africa has announced that the Gold Cup will feature men and women’s matches this year. On the women’s side the same four teams as last year will be invited back with an eye towards a six team format in the future. The tournaments were originally scheduled to start March 30, but have since been postponed due to COVID-19.
Gemma Hallett of Wales Rugby pens a raw and passionate opinion piece around how Wales has failed their women’s rugby programs. In 2009, Wales seemed to be on the rise as they bagged their first Six Nations Triple Crown and beat England for the first time.
“This position was handed over to the WRU with a strategic plan … Whilst this sounded like a great foundation on which to build the women’s game in Wales and push forward, what followed was a series of inadequate strategic leadership decisions and the decimation of this foundation by design. This ultimately led to the situation that the national women’s rugby team find themselves in, a poignant time of reflection with Wales losing heavily to both France and England. Where we were once so close, we are now worlds apart from other women’s rugby teams and here is why.”
Even though England didn’t get to finish their 2020 Six Nations campaign, head coach Simon Middleton is proud to see what his team has achieved. When they played the Wales recently, they had a record crowd ofd 10,974 at the Stoop. Just a few years ago they were barely getting 3,000 at smaller stadiums.
Middleton credits part of that to England going professional and with the success of the Tyrrell’s Premier matches. Fans are getting behind that league and then they are coming to national team matches.
“You could see how much they love their Quins players here and how much they love Hannah Botterman and Sarah Bern – when they came off the bench.”
The Welsh Rugby Union confirms that Rowland Phillips has left his role as National Women’s Head Coach and Performance Programme Lead, having been in post since July 2016. https://t.co/bUojwbG8z8— Your Scrumhalf Connection - Women's Rugby (@yscrugby) March 20, 2020
Wales has confirmed that Rowland Phillips has left his role as National Women’s Head Coach and Performance Programme Lead. We thought this might be coming at the end of the Six Nations campaign as Phillips has been absent much of the year. With COVID-19 cancelling the rest of the Six Nations, we imagine it moved up the announcement. No word on a replacement as of yet.
Uganda Rugby has announced new coaches for their women’s national teams. Leonard Lubambula is the new head coach for the XVs team and Charles Onen is the new head coach for 7s.
Papua New Guinea and others were looking forward to the World Sevens Series Challenger Series but it has since been postponed due to COVID-19. PNG had assembled in South Africa but has now dispersed with players determined to continue training at home.
Daisie Mayes of the Bristol Bears opens up about feeling of insecurity around her body image. It’s an issue she has faced for as long as she can remember but she is now facing it by putting her support behind the Bristol Bears Community Foundation. The Foundation is designed to “challenge and discuss some of the wider issues faced by young girls across society.”
Babalwa Latsha was in Spain playing for the Eibar Rugby Club but will return home to South Africa because of COVID-19. She faces an uncertain future like many other rugby players but she wished safety to all in her Facebook post.
Gayle Broughton of NEw Zealand recenly graduated from the New Zealand Institue of Health and Fitness and has qualifed as a Personal Trainer. Broughton hadn’t studied since high school and was quite nervous to return to studying.
“I haven’t studied since high school and I was kicked out at the age of 15. I wasn’t good at school and it’s been a long time since I was in front of a book. I was questioning whether I was going to achieve it or not. But I really stuck at it and I have to give thanks to my study buddies in the team. We still have a study group in the Sevens squad and they definitely helped me when my eyes started to turn a bit dark.”