Under the Posts – Nov 30-Dec 6 begins with the Women’s Rugby World Cup returning to 16 teams in 2025, Hong Kong suspends rugby, USA Stars vs Stripes 7s, Spain XVs play an All Star match, Round 7 of Allianz Premier 15s, 11 player features and 6 media.
Weekly Women’s Rugby News
- The Women’s Rugby World Cup will finally go back to 16 teams in 2025
- Spain and Kenya are particularly excited about this development as it should help drive development in man countries and improve the elimination systems
- Hong Kong has suspended play until December 15 or ‘until the restrictions are relaxed and the pitches reopen’
- USA Rugby 7s hosted an intra-squad scrimmage between their athletes, the Stars took it home 33-21 over the Stripes
- Spain hosted a XVs Lioness vs Iberdrola All-Star match, the national team blanked their opponents 59-0
- Allianz Premier 15s Round 7 had two matches canceled and this allowed the Harlequins to finally sit alone at the top of the table with 35 points
- The Asia Rugby Council elected two female members to it’s Executive Committee, Ada Milby and Nahid Biyarjomandi
- Wales’ Liza Burgess has been elected vice-chair of the Welsh Rugby Union Board
- WRCRA has released another historical article around the first Women’s National Club Championship in the USA in 1981
Women’s Rugby Player Features
- Jamacia’s Keisha-Ann Down shares how the World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship has “blown open the doors” of possibility for both her and her country
- Sarah Mitchelson has had 200 appearances mark for Wasps, she talks about her journey with Army Rugby
- Suda America explores the path Marjorie Enya took to take her place on the World Rugby Council
- Tamara van Leeuwen never played rugby but is charged with is developing rugby in Curaçao
- England’s Emily Scarratt talks with Sky Sports about the pressure and spotlight of playing for the Roses
- Australia’s Brielle Quigley tells how choosing to play rugby was one of the best decisions she ever made
- Madagascar’s Donatienne Rasoampamonjy discovered rugby as a teenager, the game has changed her life
- Lao’s Viengsamai Souksavanh is World Rugby Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient and is driven by a desire to provide all women and girls in Laos with an opportunity to play the game
- Indonesia’s Karina Soerjanatamihardja is putting structures in place for Indonesia women’s rugby
- New Zealand’s Olive Watherston is on the fast track to become the youngest Black Fern ever
- South Africa’s Babalwa Latsha has made it her purpose to inspire and motivate youth
Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos
- Women’s Rugby Pod has World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont on this week
- England’s Alex Matthews talks with Voice of London UK about the RFU cutting their budget and more
- Rugby America’s North profiles Bermuda women’s rugby
- USA’s Megan Foster breaks down the recent 7s matches with FloRugby
- Koma Gandy Fischbein is on the Greaux Rugby Podcast to chat about her journey in rugby
- 3CR hosts fascism historian Dr Louie Dean Valencia-Garcia and former world champion athlete Kirsti Miller to talk about Trump and the Far Right during the election campaign as well as criticizing the World Rugby’s ban on transgender women players
- Not your normal rugby podcast, but a fascinating listen!
World Rugby has confirmed that the women’s edition of the Rugby World Cup will expand [back] to 16 teams from 2025 onwards. They forgot to mention that the tournament was 16 teams until 2006 when it was reduced to 12.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said “Women’s rugby is the single greatest opportunity to grow the sport globally. In 2017 we set out an ambitious eight-year plan to accelerate the development of women in rugby, with a core pillar focussing on high-performance competition and an ambition to improve and expand the number of teams competing in pinnacle events. We have seen in recent years that more teams are making a statement at international level and unions are continuing to develop their women’s high-performance programmes.
“This is a milestone moment for the women’s game, expansion of the Rugby World Cup opens additional aspirational and inspirational playing pathway opportunities for unions at the highest level of the game and creates added incentive for unions worldwide to continue to invest and grow in their women’s programmes.”
The WRWC expanding from 12 teams to 16 is very exciting and many teams are not suprinsgly more excited than others. That includes Spain and Kenya…
“This is good news, although it is a bit late, given that for this World Cup  there were already enough high-level teams to offer a show at the height among 16 participants,” says the coach. Barrio believes that this “will favor the development of the women’s XV in many countries and will improve the elimination system of this competition.” – Spain’s José Antonio Barrio ‘Yunque’
Lionesses’ team manager Camilyne Oyuayo welcomed the decision to expand the tournament and give a chance to smaller nations to play on the big stage:
“It’s a good opportunity and if we can put up robust structures and improve our talent pool, then we can be on the world stage,” said Oyuayo.
The Hong Kong Rugby Union confirms ‘it will not be possible to play games’ in current Covid-19-impacted climate. The initial postponement will last at least until December 15 or ‘until the restrictions are relaxed and the pitches reopen’.
Women's 7s Stars vs Stripes showdown goes to the ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/7wdJZzYpk6— USA Rugby (@USARugby) December 4, 2020
7s returned briefly in the states with a Stars vs Stripes showdown. It was a high scoring affair with the Stars taking home the W 33-21.
The 2020 Red Bull Ignite7s took place in New Zealand and the Blot teams claimed the women’s and men’s titles ovcer the weekend.
It was a big turnaround for the Bolt women who failed to record a win on Day One before storming through their day two fixtures.
Spain hosted a XVs National Team vs Iberdrola All-Star match over the weekend in Villajoyosa. The Lionesses took the match 59-0 in a strong performance.
Round 7 had a few bumps as it saw only six teams in action after the postponement of Exeter Chiefs v Saracens and DMP Durham Sharks v Sale Sharks, following positive COVID-19 tests.
With that cancellation the Harlequins finally sit alone at the top of the table with 35 points. But we have to imagine the Saracens won’t let that last for long. 🙂
The middle of the table continues to have the most movement with Wasps and Loughborough tied at 24 points while Gloucester chases with 20 points.
Asia Rugby’s Council Meeting and Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Sunday 29th of November 2020 via Zoom application with full house attendance.
In a historical milestone, Asia Rugby Council elected two female members on the Executive Committee (EXCO); Ms Ada Milby who will continue her role as World Rugby Council Member and Ms Nahid Biyarjomandi from Iran who will sit at the regional Executive Committee.
Wales’ Liza Burgess has been elected vice-chair of the Welsh Rugby Union Board.
A pioneer of the Women’s game, celebrated coach and former Wales captain, Burgess became the first female director to be elected to the Board via the route of winning a member club vote, in November 2019.
Her appointment completes a period of transition which has seen Robert Butcher take over from Gareth Davies as chairman and former group finance director Steve Phillips installed as CEO in place of the departing Martyn Phillips.
WRCRA with another amazing article about the first Women’s National Club Championship in America in 1981.