Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Jan 18-24

Under the Posts – Jan 18-24 sees France and South Africa XVs in camp this week preparing for the Six Nations and the 2021 Rugby World Cup. Fiji 7s is also in camp preparing for local 7s matches ahead of the delayed Olympics.

We’ve updated our return to play for the USA, Spain’s Iberdrola league enters week 2, Premier 15s will have COVID testing upon its return on January 30.

In a rare and unique development Hong Kong women’s 7s keeps their funding while the men’s XVs program’s budget is slashed.

Also, the French Rugby Federation begins to take steps to mend their controversy with Assa Koita about her time in a national jersey and choosing to wear a hijab.

Scotland’s playing numbers have almost doubled in five years and we close out the week with a colossal 12 player features and 4 media.

Video Summary

Weekly Women’s Rugby News

Test News

  • France and South Africa XVs teams are both in camp preparing for the Six Nations and the 2021 Rugby World Cup
    • While in camp they received the devastating news that strength and conditioning coach, Sandile Sibeko had passed
  • Fiji is hosting their Super 7s Series in a few weeks but an unrelated pre-tournament is happening this weekend, Uprising 7s and will feature two women’s national teams
  • The UK Times broke the news that a high-ranking official had “privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus”; this was later fact checked by the Olympic Committee and the Japan Olympic organizing body

Competition News

  • We report on the status of play in the USA including the WPL, club and college
  • 3 of 4 matches were played in Spain’s Iberdrola league in week 2
  • England has confirmed that Premier 15s will have COVID testing when they return to play (presumably January 30)
  • Hong Kong has chosen to slash their men’s XVs funding but keep the women’s 7s budget in place

Other News

  • Alice Hoaglan, mother of Mark Bingham has passed
  • Scrum Queens & Rugby au Feminin share French Assa Koita’s story of her time in the jersey and the controversy around her wearing a hijab
  • Scotland reports that their playing numbers have almost doubled in five years along with football
  • Sue Day spoke with Women’s Rugby Pod recently about the year ahead, the challenges facing the RFU and the growth of women’s rugby

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • Wales’ Elinor Snowsill speaks out about trolling of women’s rugby players and the #icare campaign
  • England’s Amber Reed responds to the Six Nations trolls
  • England’s Charlie Beckett speaks out about why he cares
  • New Zealand’s Renee Wickliffe is profile by World Rugby about her journey to join the Black Ferns
  • Goff Rugby features Kristin Zdanczewicz on the All-Time American list
  • Wales’ Jade Knight tells of working during the pandemic and training for rugby
  • USA’s Jennine Duncan is hopeful she’ll return from injury for Exeter this season
  • Madagascar’s Ando Niaina Herimahefa is looking to develop rugby in her region with the help of Rugby Africa
  • Spain’s Patricia García speaks about leading the Exeter Chiefs Center of Excellence
  • Fiji’s Sereima Leweniqila anticipates playing at the 2021 Rugby World Cup

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • Wasps overcame a 30 point half-time deficit, watch how it happened
  • Former Ireland captain Donal Lenihan talks with RTE Sport about the state of club rugby for the Irish
  • Women’s Rugby Pod hosts Rachael Burford & Johnnie Hammond to discuss current issues
  • Scrum Queens Ali Donnelly is on Wisp Sports


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Women's Rugby News

Test News

France is in camp until January 29 in Marcoussis. They are continuing their preparations for the delayed Six Nations.

South Africa is also in camp at Stellenbosch preparing for the 2021 Rugby World Cup. While in camp they received the devastating news that strength and conditioning coach, Sandile Sibeko had passed.

Two men’s and women’s teams made up of national sevens players will feature in Fiji’s Uprising 7s tournament at the Uprising Sports Centre ground in Pacific Harbour next week.

The tournament is not part of the upcoming Fiji Rugby Super 7s Series.

This article has since been fact checked/debunked but it was a scary few days for the delayed 2020 Olympics. It did begin several conversations on social media around if an event should be held. Japan is seeing a surge in cases (like most of the world) and to except a world class, safe event in a few months time is asking a lot. 

Competitions News

We brought you updates for return to play for the WPL and club last week, now we’ve got some for college. Most colleges aren’t even practicing as Universities won’t allow it, but some are planning for social play this spring if local guidance allows.

Three matches were played in Spain’s Iberdrola League. CRAT and Cisneros was postponed due to COVID exposures. Avia Eibar leads the table with 9 points and is chased by CR Majadahonda also with 9, U.S Sevilla at 6 points and Sanse Sc also with 6.

The RFU has confirmed that coronavirus testing will be introduced in England’s top tier of women’s rugby when the league resumes.

The RFU will now pay for twice-weekly tests, but a provisional restart date of 30 January is yet to be confirmed.

The cancellation of the Hong Kong 7s has had a severe effect on the territory’s rugby finances, but the axe will fall on their men’s Elite Rugby Programme (ERP) – the 15-a-side national team set-up.

The Union said the cuts would not affect its sevens or women’s 15s programmes whose funding remain intact. As Scrum Queens states, this is very unique and rare…we applaud Hong Kong!

Other News

Alice Hoagland, Mark Bingham’s mother has died. She was a beloved figure of the gay rugby movement and International Gay Rugby — an organization that traces its roots to one team in London in 1995 and now consists of about 90 clubs in more than 20 countries on five continents — held Hoagland in such esteem that one of the prizes at its biennial Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, or the Bingham Cup, is called the Hoagland Cup.

RIP Alice.

Assa Koita story about her time with France rugby unfolded on social media last week. Koita claimed that she had been dropped from the French team because she wished to wear a hijab in matches.

As Scrum Queens reports, the story first appeared in France in August when it was covered by Rugby au Feminin but only this week was it picked up internationally.

The number of women playing either football or rugby union in Scotland has almost doubled in the last five years, latest figures show.

The Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (Spice) found rugby union has gone from 3,932 players in 2015 to 7,030.

Former England player and current CFO and COO of the RFU, Sue Day spoke with Women’s Rugby Pod recently about the year ahead, the challenges facing the RFU and the growth of women’s rugby. Scrum Queens gives us all the insight!

Player Features


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