Usually we start our women’s rugby digest with a featured video of the week. But the world as we know it changed (again) on May 25, 2020 with the brutal murder of George Floyd. Floyd isn’t the only victim of police brutality but his death reignited the BLM movement.
After reflection and consultation with a few trusted rugby folk we decided to fully and completely support the Black Lives Matter movement. Our site has been solely dedicated to the advancement of women’s rugby but we’ve stayed out of larger societal issues. The time has come that this isn’t acceptable anymore.
Some have asked what this has to do with rugby…and to us, it’s simple. Rugby is a sport for all and when ANY of our community is under attack, we must respond. For more about this, read our post on ‘Standing Up’.
Of course we’re not alone in our effort to support the movement, we’ve highlighted a few other brands that are also standing up including Maggie Alphonsi, XV Foundation, the Rugby Union Weekly podcast and World Rugby 7s.
Since we went dark for a few days and focused solely on Black Live Matters, this post will serve as a catchup of news up to June 14.
We’re focusing on women’s sport and how the pandemic continues to affect it. The top WPL team in the US has had their program cut by the City of Glendale, Tyrrells Premier won’t renew their sponsorship in England and Maggie Alphonsi speaks with the Telegraph about the consequences of not sticking up for women’s sports.
Women’s Rugby News
Lots of women’s rugby news in the last few weeks but we’ve picked the biggest ones. Rugby Europe canceled their 2021 WRWC qualification process along with Africa and Asia. This is putting immense pressure on the global calendar as all of these matches would need to be completed ahead of the WRWC.
The Farah Palmer Cup is baaaack and will feature 13 teams starting in August. They are the first women’s rugby competition to return to play.
The Major League Rugby organization announced Dallas as their newest team (in 2021) and our friend Elaine Vassie was tapped as General Manager and Assistant Coach. Congrats!
Clubs continue to highlight players and this week we’re looking at Canada’s Charity Williams and Bianca Farella, England’s Emily Scarratt and Hong Kong’s Doris Chow who was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
We really enjoyed Joy Neville’s interview with World Rugby as well as Rupert Cox chatting about the state of the women’s game. Give them all a listen!
Please note we’ve paused our regular #wrugby programming. We’re standing with @Mvmnt4BlkLives & invite you to take part in Defense of Black Lives. This is an opportunity to uplift & fight alongside those in the streets. #DefundPolice #DefendBlackLife #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/nA5Hm5sEvx— YSCRugby - Women's Rugby 🏉🏳️⚧️✊ (@yscrugby) June 3, 2020
#RugbyUnionWeekly special pod. In light of recent events @chjones9 & @ugomonye speak to @maroitoje, @ObanoB, @anthonywatson_, @natenate174, @ChristianWade3 & Premiership winning coach Colin Osbourne on racism in society, in rugby and hopes for the future https://t.co/lQgcpdey1u pic.twitter.com/AoBN2xHeBm— YSCRugby - Women's Rugby 🏉🏳️⚧️✊ (@yscrugby) June 10, 2020
We've unfollowed @Rugby7sMagazine this morning on all social media. They've conveniently shut themselves down (head buried in sand) because of racist comments they made. Instead of being open to different conversations and being aware of their actions...they're hiding.— YSCRugby - Women's Rugby 🏉🏳️⚧️✊ (@yscrugby) June 4, 2020
Rugby is a sport for everyone. As champions of inclusivity and diversity, we stand in solidarity with our players against any form of discrimination, including racism, which has no place in our sport or wider society #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/afZQHijEHJ— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 11, 2020
As mentioned above and over the last few weeks, we are unequivocally supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. We will work to balance our women’s rugby news along with action and awareness posts around systemic racism and other societal issues.
When coronavirus swept the sporting calendar in March there was absolutely no difference between male and female sport as every competition was brought to an immediate halt.
Now, as restrictions are being eased and competitions are attempting to return, that is no longer the case. Instead, we are seeing a real disparity. Basically, male team sport is returning and female team sport is not – and that is incredibly frustrating. Maggie Alphonsi
We couldn’t say it any better…
Case in point, Tyrrell’s Premier isn’t renewing their sponsorship of England’s women’s top flight rugby competition and the City of Glendale has cut funding for the 2019 Women’s Premier League Champion and their D1 side.
Rugby Europe has canceled their qualification process for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup. They indicate that they are working with World Rugby on alternative dates.
All women’s regional level tournaments planned for 2020 in Africa and Asia have now been cancelled. As Scrum Queens rightly notes, this with the above Rugby Europe cancellation…this is putting immense pressure on the 2021 WRWC organizers and the associated unions.
Finally…some good news! New Zealand deployed a swift and efficient lock down and has effectively squashed the coronavirus. As a result Super Rugby and the Farah Palmer Cup will restart play soon.
The 2020 Farah Palmer Cup will feature 13 teams and nine weeks of play. This is a step up from last year and we can’t wait for play to start!
World Rugby continues their feature on the 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup final. This article talks with Deborah Griffin, Sue Dorrington and Carol Isherwood join Sean Maloney and they discuss the stories behind the first ever women’s Rugby World Cup.
The Major League Rugby organization announced Dallas as the newest 2021 team. Shortly after the Jackals began revealing their coaching staff. Among them is Elaine Vassie, who will be the MLR’s first female General Manager of a team.
Emily Scarratt in lockdown. In her biggest-ever interview she covers everything from growing up on the farm (and her recent return), 12 from 12, Olympics, World Cups, professional rugby and what's next. A mammoth 8,000-worder. Order ➡️ https://t.co/1FGv7xvQnH— Rugby Journal (@JournalRugby) May 27, 2020
📷 @philip_haynes pic.twitter.com/W04fGvkJlS
“I really respect that referee, because at the end of the day we are human”@JoyNevilleRef chats with @Seanny202 about the transition from player to referee, in #BetweenTheLines presented by Tudor.— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) May 25, 2020
⏰ Tuesday, 21:00 BST
📺 World Rugby Facebook, YouTube & IGTV pic.twitter.com/q9HshZwo4X
New pod this week!! The WRP travelled to Iran (via Skype) another @WorldRugby #tryandstopus #unstoppables ambassador @NahidBRJ talks to us about the growth of women’s rugby in Iran. Really fascinating insight. @KSadleir pic.twitter.com/GxxURp4V1c— Women’s Rugby Pod (@podwomensrugby) May 28, 2020
Cornish Men’s ▶️ Imperial College Women’s ▶️ Finchley ▶️ Richmond.— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) June 10, 2020
Sue Dorrington takes @seanny202 through her rugby journey in #BetweenTheLines.
Watch the full episode 👉 https://t.co/MTbDYNs4CD pic.twitter.com/ZMIQ5Cp2HE
In case you missed it?? We had a super heroine on the pod this week! @sharni2388 Australia Sevens Captain Sharni Williams - Talks to us about the fears of the future but the fire is still burning strong. #inspiration #podcasting #motivation Available on all podcast outlets! pic.twitter.com/5HWr8e3PJ5— Women’s Rugby Pod (@podwomensrugby) June 12, 2020