Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Apr 5-11

Welcome to the top women’s rugby news for Apr 5-11! We begin with celebrating the 30th anniversary of the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1991. We also look at Round 2 of the Six Nations where England ran past Italy 67-3 while Ireland blasted Wales 45-0. Wales has received a barrage of criticism online and the debate rages on about who is responsible for their poor performances.

In other XVs news, Spain’s Iberdrola has their 8 teams locked into the playoffs starting April 25. While the top 4 teams are fighting for the Championship, the bottom tier includes another 4 teams that are trying to avoid relegation.

Canada reached the Emirates Invitational 7s final again but France took the eventual title 17-12. Japan has created a 7s series similar to the HSBC 7s Series as they continue their preparation for the Olympics.

In “Other News”, Rugby For All continues to call out England’s further bastardization of the World Rugby trans ban, you can let the RFU know how you feel by submitting feedback. 

We wrap up the week with 9 player features and 12 media.

tl;dr: Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for Apr 5-11 begins with Round 2 of the Women’s Six Nations, England beat Italy while Ireland also defeated Wales. France won the second round of the Emirates Invitational 7s

Video Summary

Featured Women’s Rugby News

April is the 30th Anniversary of the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup that took place in Cardiff, Wales. Historian Lydia Furse and Scrum Queens share a 2-part series that looks at the organization of the event and the eventual winners.

Weekly Women’s Rugby News


  • Round 2 of the Six Nations saw England go 2-0 and Ireland capped their first win while Wales goes 0-2
  • The criticism of wales performance was immediate online and horrific; many came to their defense though and pointed out that they have little to no support from the WRU
  • A “smart ball” was introduced in the opening match of the Six Nations!
  • Spain’s Iberdrola has their 8 teams for playoffs, the top 4 are fighting for the title while the bottom 4 are trying to avoid relegation


  • France took home round 2 of the Emirates Invitational 7s while Canada was second and USA third
  • The Takiwhitu Tuturu tournament served as a way for the Black Ferns to continue preparing for the Olympics
  • Japan has also created a similar 7s format that mimics the HSBC 7s Series as they also prepare for Tokyo

Other News

  • Rugby For All is encouraging we all provide feedback to the RFU on their even more stringent proposal to the World Rugby transgender ban
  • Kieran McCarthy explores why rugby is booming in West Cork
  • The HBCU Rugby Classic and Music Festival announced they are renaming the Championship Trophy and Player of the Match Trophy after Phaidra S. Knight and Ransom “Ram” Eddings
  • World Rugby shares the experience of 7 rugby coaches at the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaching

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • 3 Talking Rugby Union articles:
    • England’s Jess Breach talks about her career so far and life off the pitch
    • Ireland’s Kathryn Dane recently received an Irish Research Council grant to fund her PhD studies at Trinity College Dublin around investigating injuries related to tackling in women’s rugby
    • Wales’ Donna Rose opens up about  living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Ireland’s Aoife McDermott speaks with RTE about expectations of being in the same pool as France for the Six Nations
  • Kieran McCarthy profiles Laura Guest who was the first West Cork woman to put rugby firmly on the map in her homeland
  • Nambia’s Christel Janet (CJ) Kotze is part of Rugby Africa’s Unstoppables
  • Canada’s Lesley McKenzie shares how she’s not a female head coach but a head coach
  • USA’s Lauren Doyle is preparing for her second appearance at the Olympic Games
  • New Zealand’s Heather Alley wrote about rugby before she was even allowed

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • Greaux Rugby Show talks with Nicolette Pantor, Captain for Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Women
  • Women’s Rugby Pod covers Round 1 of the Six Nations
  • Off The Ball has Ireland’s Louise Galvin on to talk about the Six Nations
  • French Rugby Connections chats with France’s Mailys Traore about her love of the game
  • Scotland Rugby profiles Helen Nelson and her stand-out memories so far
  • USA shares a quick clip of Kristi Kirshe
  • GB 7s releases Mission: Possible Episode 4
  • Womens Rugby Coaching has Gary Street and Graham Smith on to talk about their journey to the 2014 Rugby World Cup
  • HSBC Sport releases a documentary with England’s Danielle Waterman
  • Darcey Fletcher is a huge fan of rugby and her chat with Siwan Lillicrap is adorable
  • Wales’ Liza Burgess talks with World Rugby about the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1991

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Featured News

The inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup took place in Wales over a two week period in April, 1991. Historian Lydia Furse and Scrum Queens share a 2-part series on this historic event.

They tell of how the organizing team of the event went from four to two, inclement weather was a nightmare for the conversion kickers, a first Haka for the Black Ferns, handwritten letters and more…

Women's Rugby News


Round 2 of the Six Nations showcased fast and furious rugby with 115 points scored. England was back in form and wiped Italy 67-3 while Ireland served up Wales second loss 45-0. 

Wales has had 98 points scored on them in two outings and received lots of criticism online…more below.

Tough week for Wales as they again didn’t score a point and generally didn’t have much going for them the entire match. The criticism online was immediate and some players event fought back. We don’t believe the players are to blame, they are working their arses off but feel the blame falls squarely on the lack of support from the Wales Rugby Union. This isn’t just about money though, the infrastructure for the Welsh women’s game is just as far behind and falling farther back every season.

This one seemed to fly a bit under the radar but we thought it was really cool. There was a bit of new technology in the opening match of the women’s Six Nations…Smart Ball Technology was trialed for the first time in an international Test match.

“Each match ball is embedded with a tiny tracking chip, which captures every movement on the pitch in real-time The new technology will provide a completely new perspective on player skill and decision making by providing key analysis on the speed of passes, hang-time of box kicks, restarts and distances of kicks. The aim of this additional insight is to provide coaches and players with an empirical tool to track and develop individual technical skill sets.”

We’re looking forward to more of this data throughout the tournament!

Spain has defined their playoff teams in their Iberdrola league. Éibar joins already qualified teams Majadahonda, Cisneros and U. Sevilla. The bottom tier working to avoid relegation includes Galicians,  Olímpico, Sanse Scrum and Les Abelles.

Playoffs rounds are April 25 and May 2. Championships are May 9.


France conquered Canada 17-12 in the second round of the Emirates Invitational 7s tournament. France improved from wining the bronze in round 1 to taking the overall title in week 2. Canada reached the final in both rounds. 

The Black Ferns continued their preparation ahead of the Olympics with a three day event at the Takiwhitu Tutūru tournament in Wellington. The tournament emulated the Olympic format, of six matches across three days.

Black Ferns Sevens co-coach Cory Sweeney reflected on the team’s first tournament in over a year.

“This has been a great steppingstone for the next couple of months. Coming into a stadium, playing six games over three days – I think we are really happy with where we are. We had some good quality competition in the Black Ferns XVs and Moana Pasifika and it’s amazing to have them as part of our journey. We still have some work to do before we get to July but there are lots of take-aways from this both on and off the field.”

The Japanese Sakura 7s had a disappointing finish in the Rio Olympics in 2016, finishing 10th place. Now for Tokyo Olympics, they have opted for a different much younger squad as well as players from other sports to deepen their bench.

They’ve also been competing in the Taiyō Seimei 7s which has 12 teams and 4 tournaments that are structured like the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. 

Other News

England has buckled down on the awful World Rugby transgender ban. Beyond the ban that World Rugby has put in place they are also extending their policy to include even more stringent guidelines. The RFU is asking for feedback and we urge to make your voice known using the right mechanism and on social media.

Kieran McCarthy explores why rugby is booming in West Cork. They aren’t joking when they say it’s a long article, but it’s a great read.

The HBCU Rugby Classic and Music Festival is announcing they will be renaming the HBCU Rugby Classic Championship Trophy and the HBCU Rugby Classic Player of the Match Trophy. This year and moving forward, the winning teams will receive the Phaidra S. Knight Championship Trophy, and the top players of the event will be awarded the Ransom “Ram” Eddings Player of the Match Trophy.

Seven female rugby coaches have now graduated from the inaugural Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaching (WSLA HPC) program, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19

Player Features


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