Under the Posts – Apr 27-May 3

Under the Posts – Apr 27-May 3 starts with a 2009 video from the Under 23 All Star Tournament with a match between MARFU and Pacific. 

The featured section focuses on all our hopes and dreams collectively. When will rugby return? Sadly…not soon. We also look at an article by Sara Orchard who highlights the challenges with rugby returning and the expected hardiness of players. Also Katie Sadlier confirms that the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup won’t be postponed.

XVs news follows the theme of when rugby will return as we discuss options for the Six Nations, and England’s Daley-McLean talks pay cuts. We also look at the upcoming virtual Energia AIL Awards and Warriors Lyndsay O’Donnell speaks about working as a physiotherapist during the pandemic.

In 7s we look at three athletes who were/are hoping to play in the Olympics and the Women’s Rugby World Cup. With 40 days separating the end of 7s and the start of 15s…that will be tough for anyone.

In misc news we’re looking at the first ever women’s referee panel in South America and the explosive growth of women’s rugby in Argetina. We also have all the media…podcasts, videos…you name it.

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.

Video of the Week

This week we’re taking a look back at a 2009 match between the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union and Pacific. Two select side teams made up of all under 23 players. 

This was the seeding of the USA Rugby Women’s National Team and you’ll see current Eagles on both rosters.

Featured

As the world comes to grips that contact sports won’t return until 2021 we are seeing some nations start to cultivate their return-to-play plans. Clearly part of this is keeping players, coaches, administrators and fans engaged and giving them something to plan for. But some of these unions are still holding on to events occurring this summer, let’s face facts, our sport has excessive amounts of contact and it’s not coming back anytime soon. As we said on Twitter this week, it hurts to type that but we all need to convert to tag rugby ASAP or get ready to wait.

We’re also featuring a great article from Sara Orchard who points out that returning to rugby isn’t an overnight thing. A great example is the scrum:

“Every player is going to be different, none more so than props who haven’t scrummaged for five to six weeks,” said Harlequins and England scrum-half Danny Care on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

“Your body will change and I think it will take a fair while for them to get used to scrummaging against people again.

“They’re going to have to build up their neck muscles, core, ankles and the calves.”

Katie Sadlier has also indicated that the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup won’t be postponed and that 2021 is going to be a golden year for women’s rugby:

“I talk about 2021 being the golden year for women’s rugby I don’t think there’ll ever be a time again, hopefully, that you’ve got the Olympic Games and a Rugby World Cup this close together and in the same year so you know that provides such an amazing opportunity in terms of a long term profile campaign of lifting the game,”

One has to wonder that if rugby returns in early 2021, the focus will be the Olympics and then the Women’s Rugby World Cup. It’s clear that athletes will have to choose their style this year or train back-to-back for these events. Can teams have meaningful warmup matches and perform at these events? 2021 looks to be the test of time for these teams and athletes.

XVs

Trailing on our featured section, there is talk about making changes the Six Nations and that is something we’d be a fan of, but it further complicates the 2021 calendar. Changes would include a new window for the women’s competition so it doesn’t directly conflict with the men’s competition.

The competition hasn’t been able to attract a title sponsor on the women’s side and the pandemic may or may not help with that. Again, time will tell…

Ireland is hosting the Energia AIL Awards on May 8th virtually on Energia’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Awards include:

  • Player of the year
  • Try of the Year
  • Rising Star of each division
  • Coach of the Year
  • Club Scene Award
  • Positive Energy Award

The new Postitive Energy Award will be awarded to the team or player who has embraced the positive energy mentality and went above and beyond for the league.

Warriors Women captain Lyndsay O’Donnell is another NHS frontline worker risking her own life to save and care for patients affected by the Coronavirus. 

O’Donnell is a Chartered Physiotherapist at Worcestershire Royal Hospital where she helps identify COVID-19 patients who need extra help breathing. Delivering a range of rehabilitation treatments, Lyndsay also has the job of assisting patients in order to clear the airways of secretions, further underlining the crucial role she plays in the fight against the virus.

Katy Daley-Mclean joins other athletes who have stated that they would  be willing to take a pay cut to to help ensure the long-term future of the Rugby Football Union after the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Regardless of how you look at money, at finance, we’re very lucky that we’re in a position as female rugby players, given where the game stands at the moment, to be contracted, full time to our union,” said Daley-Mclean in her first newspaper interview since announcing her move to Premier 15s newcomers Sale Sharks

“If, by taking a small percentage cut of our wage, it saves people’s jobs in the long term, then that’s the right thing to do. That might not be the view of all, but it’s certainly my view. Everybody is in very different financial situations, I can only speak for myself.”

7s

Fiji’s Lavenia Tinai plays 7s and XVs but the postponement of the Olympics may mean she has a tough choice to make. Of course it’s not all up to her, the selections will be made by the coaches but she’s aiming to try for both…even with a compressed timeline.

South Africa’s Zenay Jordaan is also an athlete that plays 7s and XVs and was the first woman to accept a contract to play for the Boks. South Africa is fighting for a core spot on the HSBC Sevens Series and they would have been participating in the HSBC Sevens Challenger Series.

Of course that was canceled because of the pandemic and all plans are on hold for now…

Our third feature on dual athletes features England’s Emily Scarratt. With just 40 days between the end of the rescheduled Olympic games and the start of the Women’s Rugby World Cup…it would be “really tough” for players to make the switch.

“I felt like I needed two years to get back into the swing of things, let alone forty odd days,” Scarratt told Telegraph Sport. “That was the decision I made, obviously everyone is different. But it would be fun to give it a crack in a less formal and serious situation than the World Cup and the Olympics. 

“I certainly wouldn’t want to write anyone off for doing both. Some people may be able to within their own unions, but it would be really tough. Obviously they’ve never clashed before and that’s one of the main points which has enabled players to do both.”

Misc News

The South America Rugby Union has announced their first panel of female referees. This first panel has twelve members from six countries in the region:

Women’s Referees Panel:

  • Nerea Livoni (Argentina)
  • Nadia Ferenz (Argentina)
  • Brenda Camacho (Argentina)
  • Amanda Macedonio (Brazil) 
  • Gabriela Graf (Brazil)
  • Natasha Olsen (Brazil)
  • Cristina Futuro (Brazil)
  • Pierina Laguna (Chile)
  • Paola Bolvaran (Chile)
  • Laura García (Colombia)
  • Dalia Pereira (Paraguay)
  • Camila Cabrera (Uruguay)

Women’s rugby has been growing strongly in Argentina, 121% in the last 5 years. Compared to 2018, last year there was a growth of 15%.

Today there are 6084 girls who play rugby in the country, according to statistics from the end of 2019. At a competitive age, that is, from March 15 on, there are 5142 girls.

Media

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