Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Jan 25-31

Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Jan 25-31 begins with the announcement of the 2021 Rugby World Cup schedule. Matches will begin September 18 and conclude on October 16. Scrum Queens spoke with Women’s Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Michelle Hooper to ask all the questions we’ve been dying to know. New Zealand has indicated that they are keen to host the tournament and have little to no concerns with doing so this summer.

The Olympic organizers have come out against rumors that the Olympics will be cancelled. They insist they will go forward and there is “no Plan B”.

Rugby Africa has announced that the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup will take place in July and their Africa Women’s Sevens will begin in August and run through September.

Madrid 7s is scheduled for the last two weekends of February in Spain but we’re still waiting on confirmation of attending teams.

As for domestic competitions, Ireland has cancelled their Energia All-Ireland League as well as the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial series. France has resumed play in Elite 1 and Spain’s Honor “B” league also continues. A big upset in Allianz Premier 15s this week as Exeter took down Saracens 22-14 and snapped their winning streak from October 2018.

The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW) group has responded to World Rugby’s Governance review and they’re demanding more detail and action.

We’ve started watching rugby documentaries to fill the void of little to no rugby. We’re including quick reviews and updating as we watch.

Last but not least we’ve got nine player features & four media. Read the entire update below.

Video Summary

Featured Women’s Rugby News

Very exciting news this week as the schedule for the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has been released. Matches begin on September 18 and the tournament will close on October 16.

We’ve been pretty dour on this topic the last few weeks mostly because of so many unanswered questions around the pandemic. We were pleased to see that Scrum Queens was able to talk with with New Zealand’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Michelle Hooper and put some of those fears aside.

While we still question IF this event should happen, it appears to be going forward. It more than likely won’t have spectators (we hope we’re wrong) and it will be different than in years past. How lucky are we that this event is in New Zealand, one of the only countries to control COVID-19?

Weekly Women’s Rugby News

Test News

  • Olympic Organizers have vehemently rebutted the rumors of the Olympics being cancelled
  • Sara Orchard continues the conversation around why moving the Six Nations makes more and more sense
  • Rugby Africa has announced their 2021-2022 calendar
  • England players will be able to try for both the Olympics and the RWC
  • Spain continues their preparation for Madrid 7s, we believe more details of that event will be coming shortly (they better, it’s only 2 weeks away!)

Competition News

  • Ireland suspended their amateur rugby with the exception of the Energia All-Ireland league, that to has now been cancelled
  • France’s Elite 1 has resumed play, Montpellier is on top
  • Spain’s Honor “B” held Round 5, BUC leads the table
  • Exeter upset Champions Saracens 22-14 in the only match for Allianz Premier 15s
  • We provide more RTP updates for the USA, Carolinas, Midwest and True South GUs (Senior Club) have cancelled their 2021 competitive seasons

Other News

  • The Pacific Rugby Player Welfare non-profit responds to World Rugby’s governance review and is demanding more details and more action
  • The Rugby Breakdown talks with USA’s Rob Cain about their Daily Training Environments
  • We’re missing rugby so we’ve decided to watch rugby documentaries and share quick reviews
  • England is celebrating 150 years and shared the match day squad card from the first time the Red Roses played Wales

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • Jess Hayden speaks with England’s Poppy Cleall about the #icare movement
  • Spain’s Angela del Pan discusses her hopes for the future of the game in the Iberian country
  • USA’s Kirsti Kirshe speaks with Forbes about how women can support each other and achieve therir goals
  • Wales Nadine Griffiths has found her life’s passion in the Cardiff Blues Community Foundation, launched in 2018
  • England’s Zee Alema shares her dream to make history by being the first black muslim player for the Red Roses
  • USA’s Kristine Sommer has returned stateside so she can assemble with the USA WNT
  • Katie Sadleir tells Stuff why she wants to continue normalizing women’s roles both on and off the field
  • Wales Elinor Snowsill has backed the prospect of the women’s 2021 Six Nations being moved to spring
  • England’s Meg Jones and Celia Quansah open up about challenges of being gay and playing sport

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • Women’s Rugby Pod went LIVE and chatted with England’s Sara Hunter, Ireland’s Lindsey Peat, Scotland’s Rhona Lloyd and Wales Liza Burgess
  • BBC Women’s Hour talked with England’s Rachael Burford on why she set up Girls Rugby Club
  • Off the Ball hosted Ali Donnelly about the postponed Six Nations
  • Try Hard Podcast discussed the upcoming 2021 Rugby World Cup and the many challenges


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Featured News

The schedule for the 2021 Rugby World Cup has been released! Six matches will take place on the opening weekend of September 18:

  • USA vs Europe 1 at Northland Events Centre 
  • Asia 1 vs Canada at Northland Events Centre
  • South Africa vs France at Eden Park
  • Wales vs Final Qualification Winner at Northland Events Centre
  • Fiji vs England at Eden Park
  • Australia vs New Zealand at Eden Park

Teams will play the remainder of their pool matches through September 28. Quarterfinals are on October 3, Semifinals on October 9 and the Bronze and World Cup Final will be on October 16.

Scrum Queens recently sat down with Women’s Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Michelle Hooper to ask questions about the challenges they continue to face about hosting this tournament during a pandemic.

Women's Rugby News

Test News


As we shared last week, the Olympic organizers are still confident that they can hold the Olympics safely in Japan. There is still no word on if spectators will be allowed and athletes are being encouraged to get vaccinated.

“All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the IOC and the (International Paralympic Committee) are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer,” the organizing committee added in its own statement.

We’re awaiting final details about the fate of the women’s Six Nations but Sara Orchard writes for BBC Sport that organizers are looking at permanently moving the tournament away from the men’s weekends. The tournament organizers are “extremely confident” a UK broadcast partner would be announced.


Rugby Africa has announced their 2021 competitive calendar including the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in July and Africa Women’s Sevens will begin in August and run through September.

‘In collaboration with its member unions, Rugby Africa hopes to deliver a successful and safe 2021 competition season. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, officials, and volunteers, we will work closely with our Medical Advisory Committee, our Unions, and local authorities to monitor the situation and take appropriate steps, affirms Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa. ‘The underpinning principle is to give all Rugby Africa member unions a chance to participate in the qualification process of the Rugby World Cup and 7s World Cup.’


England players will be able to try for both Olympic sevens and women’s Rugby World Cup selections later this year. They events are six weeks apart and Rugby Football Union’s head of women’s performance Nicky Ponsford indicates that only a “limited numbers of players” would be involved in the “fantastic opportunity” to attend both events.


Spain continues their preparation for Madrid 7s on on February 20-21 and 27-28. It should include up to 12 teams…we’ve looked around on social media and it looks like included teams are Spain, South Africa, USA and France. We’re sure more details about this event will be forthcoming.

Competitions News

The 2020/21 Energia All Ireland Leagues and Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial series have been cancelled, due to the on-going impact of Covid-19. 

France’s Elite 1 resumed this weekend with one match where Bordeaux beat Grenoble 26-10. Technically it was the resumption of Round 5 and Round 6 will occur next weekend. 


Spain’s Honor “B” league saw two matches this past weekend. BUC continues to be the leader despite losing to El Salvador and Getxo beat Industriales at Fadura handily.

Only one Allianz Premier 15s match this weekend as Gloucester vs Durham was postponed due to weather (flooding). Exeter hosted table topper Saracens and played a brilliant match in rainy conditions. 

Exeter were feisty, physical and took their chances when they had them. Saracens looked almost stunned by the second half and tried to rally a comeback but fell 22-14. Exeter’s win breaks the Saracens game winning streak since October 2018. 


We continue to update our USA RTP post, Carolinas, Midwest and True South GUs (Senior Club) have cancelled their 2021 competitive seasons.

Other News

The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW) continues to call on World Rugby to share more details of the Governance Working Group. They also ask WR to address the important issues raised by PRPW in the Veilomani Report.

It is disappointing that such little detail has been given about the interim findings of the Working Group. It is not clear why the Working Group has found its recommendations to be necessary, nor how it envisages them being implemented by World Rugby. For example, it is unclear why the “ethics and conduct charter” foreseen by the recommendations should only apply to elected officials.

Transparency is an important principle of good sports governance, which enhances accountability. It is therefore disappointing that the findings of the Working Group have not been published in full.


The Rugby Breakdown talks with USA’s WNT Head Coach Rob Cain about their recent Daily Training Environment (DTE). From the DTE, Cain and staff have reduced their WNT Player Pool. Cain was hopeful that a calendar leading up to the 2021 Rugby World Cup would be available but the pandemic continues to complicate planning.

The players continuing in the RWC play pool return to remote learning continuing where they left off in November, challenging the players’ tactical awareness and understanding. 


We’re really missing rugby in the US and so we’ve decided to watch as many rugby documentaries as we can find. We’ll then give a quick review and watch the next film. 

If you have a favorite or see one that we missed, don’t hesitate to reach out!


England is celebrating 150 years and they are partnering with the World Rugby Museum to share out artifacts. This is a match-day squad card from first EVER England and Wales at Pontypool Park on Sunday, April 5th, 1987.

Player Features











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