Under the Posts – Jul 20-26

Under the Posts – Jul 20-26 starts with the leaked World Rugby document on transgender rugby players, England and Canada’s return to rugby, the first official New Zealand women’s rugby match in 1985, 7 player features, 4 media interviews and 2 #RugbyJobs.

Featured Women’s Rugby News

A leaked World Rugby report took us all by surprise early in the week. The report states that World Rugby is considering banning transgender women from playing women’s rugby. 

We’re of the mind that rugby has always been about diversity and inclusion and it should remain that way. Period. We’re joining other voices in this Change.org petition in asking…

“World Rugby to reconsider its recommendation and remain aligned with IOC guidelines on the inclusion of transgender athletes, support an evidence-based investigation into injury risk from trans women inclusion, open a meaningful dialogue with transgender rugby players around the world, and keep rugby open to all as it was intended to be, including trans women.”

Weekly News

World Rugby has announced a revised temporary 2020 international calendar. It should accommodate the remaining Six Nations matches as well as a few other Internationals. More to come…

We also look at England and Canada’s return to play plan. England is back to full contact training and we’re expecting an announcement on Premier 15s very soon. Canada isn’t quite there and is starting with touch and flag rugby. 

We also feature an article on Mark Cadogan who has taken over as head coach of the former Premier 15s Richmond team. He’s taking it as a personal challenge to get them back into the top competition.

Player Features

We’ve got seven player features for you this week:

  • New Zealand’s Portia Woodman and how she’s coping on being out of the game for almost two years
  • USA’s Phaidra Knight’s non-profit promotes health and well-being to underserved youth through rugby and yoga
  • Wales Sioned Harries is looking to make it to a fourth World Cup
  • Sale Sharks and England star Katy Daley-McLean answers fans questions
  • Ireland’s Sene Naoupu on immersing herself in the Irish culture
  • Scotland’s Lucy Winter talks about her move to Premier 15s
  • Worcester Warrior Narcisse Jordan talks about her rugby journey


  • Race, rugby and the women’s game – Part Two with England World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, Red Roses forward Shaunagh Brown and Sevens player Deborah Fleming
  • Rugby Hive Podcast – Kayla Moleschi
  • BBC’s LGBT Sports Podcast – Sue Day
  • Sky Sports – Shaunagh Brown


  • England Women’s S&C Lead
  • Railway Technical Skills Development Coach

Join Us

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.

Featured News

A leaked World Rugby report on trans rugby players hit the web this week. The Guardian was the first to report it and essentially took it on face value. They report that WR are “considering banning trans women from playing women’s rugby because of significant safety concerns that have emerged following recent research.”

While a number of academics and organizations participated in the forum it also included an anti-trans campaign group called Fair Play For Women. It seems their voice was quite loud and World Rugby was listening…

We urge you to review the Guardian article as well as the responses from Pink News (Athlete Ally) and International Gay Rugby (IGR). As for us, we stand behind all rugby players, rugby has always been a symbol of diversity and inclusion. We shouldn’t move away from those values now.

Take Action

Women's Rugby News

World Rugby has recommended a revised temporary 2020 international calendar. A temporary international window between 24 October and 5 December has been recommended.

This window should accommodate the unplayed Six Nations matches as well as a few other International events.

England is now among the countries returning to play. They are looking forward to finishing their campaign in the Six Nations including a home and away event with France. More to come!

We put the good news first…so here’s the bad. England 7s players have been told that funding for their contracts will expire on August 31. There has not been confirmation that contracts will be renewed or if they are, they could be significantly less. This isn’t unexpected with the ongoing pandemic but it makes you wonder what will happen to Unions that didn’t have contract players…

Canada is also returning to rugby, but not in the form of contact. They’re focusing on modified options like touch and flag rugby.

We’ve known Victor for a long time and we agree…it’s not responsible to hold rugby practice right now in the USA. Almost half of the states in the USA are seeing either climbing cases or climbing deaths due to the ongoing pandemic.

Mark Cadogan has left the Quins as an assistant and has taken over the head coaching role for Richmond. Even with Richmond being dropped from the Premier 15s, Cadogan is confident they will be back tehre soon enough.

“There’s a three year cycle that gives us a great opportunity to reinvigorate the women’s section and also develop great existing talent,” he said.

[We can] look towards helping those players realise their potential and get the squad as a whole to a point, come that next opportunity in three years, that we are absolutely in contention.

So yeah, for me this is a minimum of a three-year project to get us to that point where we are competitive and viable for going back into the Premier 15s.”

30 years ago on July 22 1989, the first official New Zealand women’s rugby team took to the field, against a touring side from the United States at Lancaster Park in Christchurch.

The match was a curtain raiser to Canterbury’s match against Argentina and the New Zealand side came away with a 13-7 victory.

Player Features


Looking for a job in rugby? Make sure to check out our listing of #RugbyJobs. Or even follow the hash tag on Twitter.

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