Under the Posts – Aug 3-9

Under the Posts – Aug 3-9 spotlights the #tackletransphobia campaign, RAN Rugby began their Women’s Online Forum, the 2020 Six Nations resumes in late October, the 2021 European Qualifiers are confirmed, 5 player features and 3 media podcasts/videos.

Featured Women’s Rugby News

We’re fighting for our transgender sisters this week, if you haven’t heard…World Rugby is considering a ban against trans athletes, specifically trans women in rugby.

This isn’t right and a direct about face from the rugby values of inclusivity and unity. This week we’re featuring an article by The Rugby Breakdown on Grace McKenzie. We also have an op-ed from Athlete Ally Ambassador and former US Women’s National Team soccer player Lori Lindsey. We round it out with THE tweet from Chris Mosier. 

Weekly Women’s Rugby News

We’re focusing on four areas this week, first, Rugby Americas North (RAN) is hosting their first Women’s Online Forum. We’re sharing the first three sessions and include a link to the additional dates of August 12, 19 and 26. 

Second, the postponed Six Nations and European Qualifiers have announced new dates. All matches will be done by December and so we still appear to be on track for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Third, a quick look at England, one of the richest rugby union’s in the world…is suffering hugely because of the pandemic. In response they are cutting community rugby program support and  even considering not funding their sevens contracts. If England is making these drastic cuts…what will happen to other unions and specifically their women’s rugby programs?

Fourth, we began an investigation into the Ivano Mirandi allegations on behalf of Crystal Cooke. We’re waiting for the USA Rugby disciplinary report as we discovered it had never been finalized or shared with the suspended players. 

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • Canada’s Denise Roy speaks with The Scrum about her return to rugby
  • Barbados’ Jara Emtage-Cave speaks with RAN Rugby about her anticipation of going to Harvard
  • England’s Emily Scarratt is featured by The Rugby Journal
  • Kenya’s Grace Okulu is dreaming about the  Tokyo Olympics
  • South Africa’s Babalwa Latsha became her country’s first professional rugby player joining Spain’s Eibar Rugby Taldea in January 2020

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • Trans Sporter Room speaks with New Zealand’s Alice Soper the the potential World Rugby trans ban
  • England’s Maggie Alphonsi speaks with World Rugby about her big aspirations for the future
  • Rugby Wrap Up looks closely at the recent World Rugby Tackle Height Law trial that facilitated a concussion study

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

Our featured women’s rugby news continues to focus on tackling transphobia in our sport. We’re focusing on a phenomenal article by The Rugby Breakdown on SFGG player Grace McKenzie, an op-ed by Lori Lindsey, Athlete Ally Ambassador and former USWNT and Professional Athlete Chris Mosier adds his support to the fold.

We’ll keep repeating it as long as we need to, trans women are women. They belong in women’s rugby.

Women's Rugby News

Rugby Americas North held their first three sessions of  the Women’s Online Forum. They focused on Player Welfare: Injury Information, Mental Health and Community Support and Resources.

All of the videos are available to watch on RAN Rugby Youtube. Additional sessions will be held August 12, 19 and 26.

The dates for the postponed fixtures of the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship 2020 and the Rugby World Cup 2021 European Qualifiers have been confirmed. 

  • Oct 24-25: Spain vs Russia
  • Oct 31: Spain vs Netherlands

The winner of the Women’s REC 2020 will join Scotland, Ireland and Italy, who have already been confirmed by World Rugby to take part in the Rugby World Cup 2021 European Qualifiers.

  • Dec 5, 12 & 19: European Qualifiers Round Robin Tournament

The winner of the tournament will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021 and the runner-up will progress to the final qualification tournament, which will be organized by World Rugby in 2021.

  • Dec 5-6: RWC 2021 European Qualifiers – Italy vs Scotland

Also the Six Nations remaining rounds 3-5 have been confirmed:

Weekend of 24th Oct: Round 4

  • Scotland v France
  • Ireland v Italy

Weekend of 31st Oct: Round 5

  • Wales v Scotland
  • Italy v England
  • France v Ireland

Weekend of 5th Dec: Round 3

  • Italy v Scotland

England intends to make at least 104 cuts to positions across their community game. This includes all rugby development officer (RDO) and community rugby coach (CRC) positions.

“Without our CRCs and RDOs, we’re absolutely stuffed,” says Alex Gradwell-Spencer, who set up her own women’s team, aged 37, at Glossop RUFC, where her two boys played.

“I feel like we will go backwards in terms of growing the game and keeping the momentum rolling forward,” adds Gradwell-Spencer. “The men’s team at Glossop have had their provisional fixtures for ages. Why haven’t the women also got theirs? We’re very much an afterthought.”

England plans to cut funding for the majority of their  women’s  & men’s Sevens players, even though they are likely to make up the bulk of the Team GB sevens sides due to compete in the Games next year.

Many in the women’s squad feel their only option is to make a temporary switch to XVs and play in the Premier15s to keep up competitive rugby. With the English women’s top tier still mainly amateur, however, players are also seeking full-time employment or educational opportunities.


A player was verbally and physically assaulted by a coach and then suspended from playing while the coach received little to no sanction. This is unacceptable and we wanted to find out how this could happen. 

We were preparing to share the results of our investigation and present our findings, but then we were told that World Rugby Judicial Officer,  on behalf of USA Rugby, Gary Heavner hadn’t published the final report from the disciplinary hearing. We’re told that the players should receive the final disciplinary report soon.

Player Features


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