Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Feb 15-21

Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Feb 15-21 begins with Russia winning the opening weekend of Madrid 7s. The tournament will repeat again this weekend with the same teams, will Russia take the top spot or will 2nd place France or 3rd place USA spoil? We also received an update around Team Great Britain and their struggles to assemble ahead of the Olympics. They have the funding but training together until at least March 15?

In XVs news, Spain dominated Russia in the Rugby Europe Championship and now only the Netherlands stands in their way of moving on to the 2021 Rugby World Cup Qualifiers. South Africa has received a major boost in Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell and her appointment as South Africa’s first High Performance Manager for women’s rugby.

We also take a closer look at Round 12 of Allianz Premier 15s and a tightening results table with only a few rounds left. After that it’s a fantastic article from Scrum Queens about Africa and their plans for 2021 and beyond.

We close out the week with twelve player features and four media.

Video Summary

Weekly Women’s Rugby News

Test News

  • Russia took home the first of two round at Madrid 7s, the tournament resumes this upcoming weekend
  • Team GB 7s received funding weeks ago but won’t assemble until mid-March and that is causing concern ahead of the Olympics
  • The Rugby Europe Championships returned with Spain easily defeating Russia, now only the Netherlands stands in the way of the 2021 Rugby World Cup Qualifier for Spain
  • South Africa received a major boon as Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell is appointed as HP Manager

Competition News

  • Round 12 of Allianz Premier 15s tightened the results table as Harlequins were upset again and Exeter continued their winning ways
  • The Arab and Asian rugby federations are preparing to resume international play shortly

Other News

  • Scrum Queens gives us a look into Rugby Africa’s plans for 2021 and beyond
  • Join Rugby Wrap Up’s Red Cross team and donate blood to save lives

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • Women Sports features French twins Romane and Marine Ménager
  • Goff Rugby adds Heather Hale to the All-Time American list (note that the image pulled from the site at the time of the tweet was incorrect but has been corrected since)
  • England’s Rachael Burford talks with Rugby World about her vision for the future of women’s rugby
  • USA’s Naya Tapper is “super-excited” to be finally back doing what she does best – tearing up the rugby field
  • Laureus highlights Robert Malengreau’s work to form UmRio and the good work being done in Brazil including supporting women’s rugby
  •  New Zealand’s Manaia Nuku is the sixth player from Hamilton Girls’ High in the Black Ferns 7s squad
  • The Rugby Journal takes a deep dive in Rwanda and why rugby is growing so fast
  • Africa’s Paule Ella Guei has had to overcome many challenges on her journey to becoming a referee for the Ivorian Rugby Union (FIR)
  • England’s Katy Daley-Mclean looks back at  being at the Olympics in Rio
  • New Zealand’s Whitney Hansen speaks about joining the Black Ferns management staff as part of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Coaching Internship Program
  • Wales’ Jasmine Joyce tells how her own PE teacher inspired her to succeed
  • Australia’s Grace Hamilton is focused on the 2021 Rugby World Cup
  • DMP Durham Sharks’ Rosie Blount tells how she crossed from cycling to rugby

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • Spain and Rugby Europe provided highlights from Spain vs Russia in the resumed Rugby Europe Championships
  • Fill Your Boots talked with rugby journalist Katy Homewood and England’s Zainab Alema about grassroots rugby
  • Women’s Rugby Pod speaks with Lynne Cantwell and South Africa’s Zinhlen Dawonde about changes in SA


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Women's Rugby News

Test News


Russia defeated France 15-7 in the first weekend of Madrid 7s. Third place went to USA as they ran over Poland 47-7 while fifth place was narrowly captured by Spain after they held off Kenya 12-10.

This was the first of two weekends and teams will look to rest, review and strategize ahead of the next and last round.

Team Great Britain’s experience ahead of the Olympics has already been a rollercoaster and they were hit with another blow this week. Funding has been an issue and while it was secured the men won’t enter camp until at least March 1st while the women won’t assemble until at least March 15. 

…the logistical difficulties of the English, Welsh and Scottish unions essentially building a new programme from scratch in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind the reason for the delay in training.

Test News


After much anticipation, the Rugby Europe Championships resumed this weekend with Russia vs Spain. The first half was relatively close but Spain pulled away early in the second half as the Russians fatigued. With this victory, Spain is one win away from moving on to the next round of Rugby World Cup Qualifiers.

They will have to go through the Netherlands and while Spain is expected to win…everything is unpredictable in the world we live in today. 

South Africa has appointed Lynne Cantwell of Ireland as the first High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby. Cantwell boasts an impressive resume and is a fantastic pickup for SA.

“Lynne comes on board at a time when we have committed to growing the game amongst women – a directive from World Rugby and a South African national imperative – and she will work closely with Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby), Charles Wessels (GM: Rugby) and Springbok Women’s head coach Stanley Raubenheimer to improve the women’s game in South Africa.”


Competitions News

Round 12 had some ups and downs! It started with Bristol defeating Sale 22-12 in a brutal and physical match.

The second match of the day held all the anticipation as the Harlequins looked to bounce back after their narrow loss to Exeter. It wasn’t to be as Loughborough improved their standing and defeated the Quins 20-17.

Exeter continued their winning ways taking down Worcester 17-10 and the Saracens handled Gloucester 36-10.

Overall the table still sees the Saracens on top with 50 points, followed closely by the Harlequins with 46, Loughborough moved into third with 43, Wasps hold onto fourth with 40 and Exeter is chasing in fifth with 34 points.

The Arab and Asian rugby federations are preparing for the official resumption of international rugby competitions that were suspended in March 2020. They are preparing for the “Sixth Arab Men’s Competition” and the “First Women’s Competition” at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport in Alexandria, to be held from 12th to 14th February, 2021, with the participation of nine men’s teams and five women’s teams.

Other News

Rugby Africa announced their competition program and calendar for 2021 recently. There wasn’t much information for the women though and Scrum Queens asked Maha Zaoui – Women’s Manager at Rugby Afrique – if she could expand on the Regional Association’s plans for 2021 and beyond.

Rugby Wrap Up is asking ruggers to join their Rugby Wrap Up Red Cross Blood Donor Team. There is a critical need due to the pandemic and several other large disasters. 

Join team ‘Rugby Wrap Up’ using the Red Cross blood app.

Player Features


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