Welcome to the top women’s rugby news for May 24-30. We start with two announcements from World Rugby. First, South Africa and France will open the Rugby World Cup 2021 tournament on October 8. Matches will then continue throughout October and end on November 12 with the Finals. Second, the 7s Repechage match schedule was announced and will serve as the final Olympic qualification event for Tokyo. Twelve teams in three pools will compete for two remaining spots in Monaco from June 19-20.
In XVs news, the Harlequins captured their first Allianz Premier 15s title, in South Africa’s Premier Division, Border Ladies are in first place but DHL Western is only behind by a point, Australia has announced their Buildcorp Super W schedule, and Bath announces their intention of adding women and girls’ teams.
In 7s news, Fiji, Mexico and Jamaica all continue their 7s preparations and Lindenwood defeated Life to clinch back-to-back Collegiate Rugby 7s Championship.
In Other News, Libby Nankivell has been appointed vice-president of Queensland Rugby Union, becoming the first woman to hold the role, Canada adds women rugby to Canadian Classics, and WRCRA’s Horizons Project is working to increase the numbers of women coaches and referees in the USA.
We close out the week with 12 player features and 6 media.
If you’ve enjoyed this week’s women’s rugby news, become a supporter at https://www.patreon.com/yscrugby.
tl;dr: Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for May 24-30 starts with the match schedules for the Rugby World Cup 2021 tournament and World Rugby 7s Repechage tournament. We also take a look at Harlequins first title in Allianz Premier 15s and Lindenwood defeated Life to clinch back-to-back CRC 7s Titles.
Featured Women’s Rugby News
The match schedule has been confirmed for the Rugby World Cup 2021; it will take place October 8 and end with the Finals on November 12. We also learned the schedule for the World Rugby 7s Repechage Tournament in Monaco which will take place June 19-20.
Weekly Women’s Rugby News
- Harlequins beat Saracens for their first Allianz Premier 15s title
- Border Ladies are at the top of the table in South Africa’s Premier Division
- Australia announced a three round Buildcorp Super W competition
- Uganda finished an 8 day training camp
- Leinster finally agrees to recognize women’s teams as senior clubs after a 6 year crusade
- Bath commits to a partnership with Bath Rugby Ladies and will look to put a team into Allianz Premier 15s in the next there years
- Fiji 7s players have received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine
- Mexico is taking their men and women’s teams to Monaco but it’s not all about winning
- Jamaica struggles to train ahead of the World Rugby 7s Repechage tournament
- Libby Nankivell has been appointed vice-president of Queensland rugby and becomes the first woman to hold the role in the organizations history
- Canada will add women to their Canadian Classic Rugby
- WRCRA launched their Horizons Project in February 2021 with a goal to increase the number of women coaches and referees
Women’s Rugby Player Features
- The Watford women’s rugby team is kicking sexism out of the game
- York’s coach Jess Neilson wants to eliminate the relevance of the term, “you can’t be what you can’t see”
- Czech’s Hana Schlangerová is eager to give back through her Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship
- Ireland’s Hannah Tyrrell and Katie Fitzhenry announce retirement from International rugby
- Tysha Ikenasio and Mele Hufanga are part of the inaugural Moana Pasifika’s 7s team
- New Zealand’s Alice Soper writes for Ruggette about the difficulties faced by female players, growth of the game and the importance of turning online campaigns into offline movements
- Scrum Queens also caught with Alice Soper and the rest of the WiRA/Women in Rugby Aotearoa to understand their new venture
- Harlequins’ Ellie Green shares what it means to be playing in her third Final for Harlequins
- Fee Horne decided to start playing at Tunbridge Wells RFC after cheering on her teenagers on Sunday mornings
- Australia’s Emilee Cherry retires from International rugby
- Iran’s Head of Development for Women’s Rugby Nahid Biyarjomandi and Tomás Padilla share their research on rugby in Iran which tells an exciting story about courage, purpose and perseverance
- Saracen’s May Campbell shares what having her parents at the Allianz Premier 15s final will mean
Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos
- Scotland’s Lana Skeldon is featured by Women’s Six Nation in ‘My Rugby Life’
- Women’s Rugby Pod has Harlequins’ Leanne Riley on ahead of the Allianz Premier 15s Final
- Brazil reveals a new sponsor ahead of Tokyo 2020
- The Next Game has England champions Katy Daley-McLean and Rocky Clark on
- Harlequins’ Shaunagh Brown in a post presser after Allianz Premier 15s pulls at all the heart strings
More big announcements from World Rugby! First, the match schedule for Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022. Played will begin October 8 and end with the Finals on November 12. Also, ChildFund was announced as the tournament’s principal charity partner.
The second announcement was around 7s and the final Olympic qualification event for Tokyo 2020 in Monaco on 19-20 June. Organizers have confirmed that 5,000 fans will be able to watch all the action from the second and third days of competition inside the iconic Stade Louis II, subject to maintenance of the current COVID environment.
Having lost out in the final on two previous occasions, Harlequins overcame Saracens at Kingsholm on Sunday afternoon to lift their first Allianz Premier 15s title!
Border Ladies are on top in South Africa’s Premier Division with 20 points while DHL Western has 19 and they are chased by Blue Bulls, EP Queens, Boland Dames and Cell C.
Uganda’s 8 day training camp came has ended. 31 players had 2 trial games from which the management of the team was able to identify areas of major focus.
“This camp has given us a needs assessment for the team, their capabilities, their strengths and what we should focus on. Some players sustained minor injuries but we have a recovery plan that has been put in place.” – Lady Cranes Coach Leonard Lubambula
Australia has released the fixtures for their Buildcorp Super W competition. Three rounds will begin June 19 with the Finals slated for July 3. All games will be broadcast live and on demand on Stan Sport, with the opening round set to be played at Easts Rugby Club in Brisbane and Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.
Leinster has voted in favor of recognizing women players as senior players and acknowledging that women’s clubs participating in the Ireland Women’s All-Ireland League are now senior clubs.
It’s a move that has been six years in the making and has been driven with impressive persistence by Railway Union RFC, whose chairperson, Shirley Corcoran, says it’s “a historic event for Irish rugby with significant and multiple benefits for the women’s game.
“We believe men and women should receive parity of esteem and equality in all sports and it’s been our long-held belief that women could be senior players,” adds Corcoran of a proposal that was voted in at yesterday’s Leinster Rugby AGM.
For too long, we've watched from afar. Change is now coming.— Bath Rugby (@BathRugby) May 26, 2021
We can today unveil the club’s commitment to the growth and sustainability of women and girls’ rugby in the region.#WeAreBath | @BathRugbyLadies | @Womeninsport_uk
Bath Rugby have unveiled the club’s commitment to the growth and sustainability of women and girls’ rugby in the region. They’ve outlined a road map for growth, from grassroots to elite, culminating in an application to the Allianz Premier 15s with the formation of a new women’s team in partnership with Bath Rugby Ladies (part of Bath RFC).
Fiji happily announced that their Olympic squad has finally received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Mexico will be traveling to the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Monaco with both its male and female teams aiming to reach Tokyo. But qualification isn’t the only goal they are preparing to meet in the sovereign city-state.
“It is not about winning games,” says the men’s coach, in conversation with World Rugby, “it is about moments and skills we want to do better. Success to us will be the possibility to evolve in moments of the game.”
Jamaica Rugby Union President Jerry Benzwick says the national men and women’s rugby sevens teams have been faced with contrasting situations in their preparation for the World Rugby 7s Repechage tournament, which is the final chance for Olympic qualification.
With only few weeks to go before the ‘Lady Crocs’ play their opening game, Benzwick said that their failed efforts to get the Government’s approval for a training camp is a disheartening setback.
“The majority of girls are local and that is one of the reasons why we haven’t been able to get in any training sessions. At the moment, the team is scattered,” Benzwick lamented. “The issue we are having is that the government ministries are taking very long with our return-to-sport document so [that] we can train.”
BREAKING: @LUWomensRugby beats Life to win back to back to back CRC Rugby championships!— Lindenwood Lions (@LU_Lions) May 31, 2021
Nothing better than adding more hardware to the @LU_Lions trophy case. #RugbyDynasty #MayMadness pic.twitter.com/CFJBwCWg6k
Libby Nankivell has been appointed vice-president of Queensland Rugby Union, becoming the first woman to hold the role in the organization’s 139-year history. Traditionally, the role of vice-president has been reserved for ex-Wallabies and ex-Queensland Reds players, making Nankivell’s appointment especially noteworthy.
Nankivell has a deep knowledge of rugby union in Queensland, having been involved in the game on numerous levels over a number of years. She was welcomed to the role by Queensland Rugby Union Chairman Jeff Miller, who said she is a true community rugby representative.
“She has experience as a player, referee, manager and a decade of board room experience. We are looking forward to the perspective and passion Libby will bring for women in Rugby in Queensland,” Miller said.
“It’s a shift, as traditionally we have chosen ex Wallaby or Reds players for this honorary role. I think this is very exciting.”
Canada has announced several new commitments to Canadian Classics Rugby, including various former members of Canada’s Women’s Rugby 15s and 7s Teams.
“I am humbled to have an opportunity to pilot this program. I’ve been star struck by the players coming forward to participate and sincerely hope we contribute to the already outstanding legacy of women’s rugby in Canada.” – Executive Director Darrin Chaplin
WRCRA launched the Horizons Project in February of 2021. It was developed to strategically increase the numbers of women coaches and referees in the U.S. by funding certification courses for women over the next five years. In addition to regular Zoom meetings and course certification, the program builds support systems throughout the women’s rugby community for participants and provides participants with a range of coaching and refereeing opportunities.
There are currently fourteen women in the Horizons Project coaching certification pathway and seven in the referee certification pathway.
Look at us being famous and all! Do take some time to read "The Watford women's rugby team kicking sexism out of the game" article about yours truly https://t.co/4aK415kMxq— FulleriansLadiesGirl (@FulleriansWomen) May 24, 2021
York women's rugby coach Jess Neilson wants to eliminate the relevance of the term, "you can't be what you can't see." Growing up as a Thai Canadian, Neilson was inspired by fellow Asian Canadians to continue on in her favourite sport of rugby.— York Lions (@yorkulions) May 26, 2021
Full Q&A: https://t.co/rlCAXSN3L1
A Moana Pasifika men's side will play in 2022 Super Rugby, but a strong, passionate team of Pasifika women have already stamped their mark on the game - and they're ready for more @ashley13stanley discovers. @MoanaPasifika@BlackFerns #sevenshttps://t.co/CLsUE9JeMd— Suzanne McFadden (@suzemcfadden) May 25, 2021
It's the @Premier15s final this weekend and ahead of the match with @HarlequinsWomen I spoke to @SaracensWomen's hooker @May_Campbell16 about her journey from @StirlingCounty minis to playing for major trophies via @TalkRugbyUnion https://t.co/UGRh7qCzZ1— Gary Heatly (@G_HMedia) May 27, 2021
Elas lutaram muito por este momento. O símbolo no uniforme é mais um capítulo da história mágica das Yaras, mas não qualquer capítulo. Desafiamos quem ama esse esporte, quem ama a força de um grupo de mulheres incríveis, a não se emocionar! #JogueComoUmaYara #YarasRugby pic.twitter.com/bQQEBl5x7F— Brasil Rugby (@brasilrugby) May 24, 2021