Under the Posts – May 4-10

Under the Posts – May 4-10 begins with a 2010 USA Rugby Round of 12 match between Atlanta and Belmont Shore. Two powerhouse teams, take a bit of time to relive this one!

Our featured section looks again at potential return-to-play scenarios. World Rugby has released their guidelines and there really aren’t any surprises. As rugby is a contact sport, play may not really return until a vaccine is available. But World Rugby has released a plan that includes return to small trainings, non-contact training and full-contact training…but without timelines. Understandably timelines will have to be set by each country and rugby union.

Lots of 15s news and the theme of speaking with players and how they’re training during the pandemic continues. This week we’re featuring Siwan Lillicrap, Kayleigh Powell, Timaima Ravisa, and Rachel Malcolm. We also look at an article from Laura Kapo of Waterloo and her anguish around Richmond being dropped from Tyrrell’s Premier. 

7s news continues the theme, Jakiya Whitfeld, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe, and Abby Gustaitis talk pandemic and the Olympics. We also took a closer look at ‘Next Olympic Hopeful’ DeAira Jackson.

The miscellaneous news section begins with Bill Beaumont being re-elected as World Rugby Chair. But the executive committee continues to  be a sausage fest with only one female member. 

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

The video of the week is from 10 years ago, in Austin where the Blacks hosted the 2010 USA Rugby Round of 12. Atlanta took on Belmont Shore on day one of the tournament. 

Featured

We continue looking at the various return-to-play plans, hopes and rumors. The week started with World Rugby publishing their COVID-19 return to rugby guidelines.

  • Guidelines intended to assist unions and competitions in devising own framework that is compliant with respective national social-distancing and travel environment
  • Detailed document outlines phased approach to returning to training and playing
  • Guidance developed in full collaboration with union chief medical officers, International Rugby Players and infectious diseases experts

The quick summary is that rugby will likely return but as suspected will be very different for some time. The hope is to start with small group training (must have adequate screening capacity), then move to full squad non-contact and finally full contact training. 

No concrete timeline is given as each country, region and county is going to have to be flexible.

XVs

Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap is determined to make the most of the ‘lockdown’ period.

“It can be tough training on your own but we have weekly programmes to follow, we’ve got nutritional support and we’ve used the time to learn and develop our understanding of what we do so it’s been good from that point of view. It’s important to stay on top of training as well as other commitments such as work and family. I make lists at the start of the week and that helps me to get a sense of achievement.

“It would be easy to sit back at the moment but if we do, others will make those gains on us. That provides an added motivation to help complete some savage sessions at times.”

Kayleigh Powell of Wales talks with Rugby World Magazine about her origins in rugby and her goals.

Fiji’s Timaima Ravisa is in Japan on a rugby contract and is missing her family and friends. 

The former Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s winger says “the first thing she will do when the lockdown is lifted is come home and spend quality time with her family and just continue training.”

Timaima Ravisa

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm talks about the rollercoaster season that her team has been experiencing. 

Hopeful that when rugby gets playing again, she will have more opportunities to lead the team, she said on the experience: “Getting the opportunity to captain Scotland this season has been an absolute honour and I have loved every second of it. It was quite a unique year for us, with lots of changes, new opportunities and new challenges, so it was quite a busy year on a personal level having to manage all of those things.

Laura Kapo chatted to Talking Rugby Union after Richmond failed in their bid to stay in the Premier 15.

NSCRO has named their 2019-2020 Women’s All Americans. Congratulations to all on the list!

7s

Australia’s Jakiya Whitfeld made her senior debut in 2018 and she is looking for all the caps and experience she can get. Her hopes are pinned on the 2021 Olympics and coach John Manenti thinks she and a few of her younger teammates will benefit from an extra 12 months.

“I’m really delighted that in the last six months we’ve made really good progress physically and developed some young girls.”

“Some people questioned and said, ‘Why do you keep pushing young girls in there?’ but you’ve got to be thinking of the future and in that sense, we’re the only team of the top four or five teams really developed young girls into their program into the last 12 months.

Ireland’s Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe should have been traveling home from Langford 7s this week. The indefinite suspension of the season, and uncertainty around the immediate future, presents many challenges.

But the goals for Murphy Crowe are clear:

“For me, the goals are clear. I’m working to get faster, fitter and stronger through this period,” Murphy Crowe tells IrishRugby.ie. “I’ve worked hard with Allan [Temple-Jones, Sevens Head of Athletic Performance] and Ed [Slattery, Sevens Athletic Performance Coach] on my strength over the last couple of years and now is the chance to build on that.

USA’s Abby Gustaitis’ speaks with The Guardian about training during lockdown and the acceptance of the Olympics being pushed back. 

“It took me a few days to wrap my head around it. I went from being sad, to angry, to just numb, and not really knowing how to feel, to talking to a lot of my team-mates, the coaches. It was nice to know we’re all on the same page, and then just to spread it to everyone worldwide. It’s an even playing field.

“We’re looking at it as a second chance. If there were things that you didn’t do in this year leading up to the Olympics, you have another shot, an opportunity to do it better.

‘Next Olympic Hopeful’ DeAira Jackson had never played rugby before she won the competition to train with the USA Rugby Sevens team. A former soccer and track and field athlete from Fontana, California, Jackson is learning more and more about the sport.

She was one of six athletes chosen from the talent-identification competition to continue on with training in an Olympic sport, and the opportunity has shifted where she sees herself in five years.

Misc News

Bill Beaumont narrowly won re-election at World Rugby Chair. Beaumont continues to indicate that women’s rugby will be at the forefront…but looking at the World Rugby Executive Committee is effectively an “old boys club” writes Fiona Tomas for Telegraph.

For the second successive term, Angela Ruggiero remains the only woman on the 12-strong board. But this issue doesn’t seem to be only a Beaumont issue, not a single union nominated a female council member for one of the seven executive positions available in last week’s ballot.

In a ground-breaking initiative, World Rugby’s High Performance, Match Officials and Training and Education functions are sharing knowledge and expertise online via a series of webinars as part of a reset and readiness strategy for when global rugby activities are safe and ready to resume.

UK Soldiers and sailors have turned the cancellation of a historic fixture women’s rugby fixture into triumph. They completed more than 160,000 burpees and raised £18,000 for NHS Charities Together.

Former France international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Nathalie Amiel, who won 56 caps and experienced five Rugby World Cups as a player and a coach, discusses her incredible career in the game.

Former USA prop Jamie Burke talks to World Rugby about her transition into coaching, providing opportunities for female coaches and her inclusion in the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Media

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