Under the Posts – Women’s Rugby News for May 31-Jun 13

Welcome to the top women’s rugby news for May 31-Jun 13. We were on vacation last week so we’re covering two weeks. We begin with more details around the Olympic 7s Repechage tournament where the last two teams will punch their tickets for Tokyo. France and Russia are the favorites but they will have to provide it over two days.

In XVs news, World Rugby announced five-year partnership with Mastercard and the new Women in Rugby competition. Spain’s Iberdrola crowned a new champion as Cisneros defeated Majadahonda while France’s Elite 1 will see ASM Romagnat and Blagnac in the finals next weekend and DHL Western still remains on top of South Africa’s Premier Division.

In 7s news, Ireland bested Great Britain in HPC 7s, Israel took home the European Trophy and Russia has won the first leg of the European Championship. We also learned more about the PacificAus Sports Oceania 7s  including Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and an Oceania Barbarian side. Lastly, USA confirmed they will be joined by Great Britain, Jamaica and Kenya in their Quest for Gold tournament.

In “Other News”, USA Rugby is bidding to host the 2029 women’s Rugby World Cup as well as the 2027 and 2029 men’s event. New Zealand has appointed Dr Farah Palmer as their Deputy while South Africa and Asia are both requiring female participation on their committees and Scrum Queens releases the world’s first data hub for women’s rugby!

We close out the week with 10 player features and 13 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 31-Jun 13 covers the Olympic 7s Repechage event, Cisneros is champion of the Iberdrola league and Russia has won the first leg of the Europe 7s Championship.

Video Summary

Not this week! Work took priority over rugby (boo!) this week.

Featured Women’s Rugby News

We learned that the Olympic 7s Repechage will allow up to 5,000 rugby fans on June 19-20 in Monaco. Twelve teams are competing for the two final places in Tokyo. While most teams are either attending training camps or playing in tournaments Kenya and Papua New Guinea are seeing challenges. Kenya is searching for a new training camp location and PNG’s travel plans to the Repechage were bumpy.

Weekly Women’s Rugby News


  • World Rugby announced a five-year partnership with Mastercard as well as a new Women in Rugby Team Powered marketing campaign
  • Cisneros upset Majadahonda for the Iberdola League Championship
  • France’s Elite 1 will see ASM Romagnat and Blagnac in the finals next week
  • DHL Western continues to lead South Africa’s Premier Division
  • Zambia have won the “Battle of the Zamezi” with Zimbabwe
  • Cameroon beat Bukina Fasu in the first test match for either team
  • IRFU performance director David Nucifora makes comments around how women’s rugby is a “long-term project” and he’d like to focus on growing numbers
  • USA Rugby has named new High Performance Pathways for the Under-20s and 23s


  • Ireland took home the HPC International 7s with 2 wins and 1 loss over Great Britain
  • Israel won the Rugby Europe Trophy while Russia won leg 1 of the Championship
  • We learned more details around the PacificAus Sports Oceania 7s between Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and the Oceania Barbarians
  • USA will be joined by Great Britain, Jamaica and Kenya for their Quest for Gold 7s tournament on June 25-26
  • 36 days until the Olympics and ESPN looks at the many hurdles in front of the event

Other News

  • USA is bidding to host the 2027, 2031 men’s Rugby World Cups as well as the 2029 women’s event
  • Stewart Mitchell has been appointed Chair of New Zealand Rugby and Dr Farah Palmer was appointed Deputy
  • South Africa and Asia both make moves to increase female participation on their committees
  • Scrum Queens announces the world’s first data hub for women’s rugby!
  • Patrica Garcia will continue playing for Exeter next season and will lead their Academy

Women’s Rugby Player Features

  • World Rugby caught up with María Ribera, Ana María Aigneren and Aroa González to discuss their transition from playing to coaching, and what they hope to achieve
  • England’s Abbie Brown shares how she is enjoying the journey with GB 7s
  • The Rugby Journal dives into how Susie Appleby put together a team that shocked Premier 15s this year
  • USA’s Amanda Cox tells why she is fighting for more female representation in refereeing
  • Eimaer Considine agrees with the comments of IRFU performance director David Nucifora, who said immediate focus must be given to increasing the size of this country’s playing pool
  • World Rugby recaps some of the best moments in Australia’s Emilee Cherry’s career
  • USA’s Leah Berard has switched from rugby to setting her sights on officiating in the NFL
  • Dr Farah Palmer opens up about becoming New Zealand Rugby’s Deputy and her vision
  • Ireland’s Beibhinn Parsons has already left a considerable impression on the international rugby scene
  • Girls Rugby Club’s Stella Mills spoke with pundit David Flatman about male allies and the growth of the women’s game

Women’s Rugby Media/Podcasts/Videos

  • My NBC 5 features USA’s Ilona Maher and her quest for the Olympics
  • Blood, Sweat & Beers features USA’s Kasey McCravey
  • The Women’s Rugby Show talked with Wales’ Carys Phillips and her thoughts on the Worcs season
  • Women’s Rugby Pod talk all things Allianz Premier 15s Final amongst themselves and in another episode they chat with Karen Findlay and Brian O’Driscoll
  • Rugby Union Weekly discuss the Harlequin’s first every Championship
  • GB 7s shares Episode 11
  • Gift Time Rugby hosts Daniel Jester who shares how teams can digitally advertise to recruit
  • Watch highlights from the Iberdrola Championship
Featured News




World Rugby announced the Monaco Repechage tournament schedule a few weeks ago but they’ve now confirmed that Stade Louis II will allow up to 5,000 rugby fans on June, 19-20 2021. The women’s competition will feature Argentina, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa and Tunisia. 

While most teams are in camp or attending tournaments in preparation of the event, Kenya and Papua New Guinea are weathering challenges. Kenya is looking for a new training base after Kurume City withdrew from hosting the team. PNG’s departure for Monaco was disrupted when they didn’t meet the required travel protocols for the airline. World Rugby is working with the airline to ensure they can arrive prior to the tournament.

Women's Rugby News



World Rugby has announced details of a transformative five-year partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the development of Women in Rugby, which will supercharge the international federation’s ambitious accelerating the development of women in rugby 2017-25 strategic plan.

In addition to the partnership, World Rugby has launched its new Women in Rugby Team Powered marketing campaign. It aims to inspire more women and girls to play and watch the sport by showcasing our belief that women’s rugby is the ultimate team sport – on and off the pitch – and how, through the power of togetherness, a team is greater than the sum of its parts.

Cisneros was proclaimed champion of the Iberdrola League for the first time in its history after defeating Majadahonda in the final 24-7.


France’s Elite 1 competition came to a close this last weekend with more COVID cancellations causing an interesting outcome. Romagnat and Montpellier in Bourdeax played one semi-final and the the other semi-final was between Stade Toulousain and Blagnac at Toulouse. Blagnac will host Romagnat for the Championship on June 20. 



DHL Western Province reinforced their status as the favourites to clinch the Women’s Premier Division title this season as they secured their sixth successive win in a thrilling round in which the EP Queens stunned the Border Ladies and the Boland Dames earned their second win a row.


Zambia have won a two game “Battle of the Zamezi” series with Zimbabwe 2-0 in Harare. The games were not given the status of test matches by the two unions..

Cameroon have beaten Burkina Fasu in what was the first test match for both teams.

IRFU performance director David Nucifora believes the development of women’s rugby is “a long-term project” amidst ongoing suggestions that Ireland Women should become a semi-professional or professional side to compete with the likes of England, France, and New Zealand. 

However, Nucifora says Irish rugby needs to focus on its own development plan to grow playing numbers first.


USA Rugby High Performance Pathways has named Joel Bonnaud as Head Coach of the Women’s Under-20s and Katie Dowty as Head Coach of the Under-23s in XVs. Bonnaud and Dowty will be supported by Assistant Coaches Farrah Douglas (U20) and Ricardo Ramirez (U23). 



The inaugural HPC International 7s produced some thrilling action as Ireland battled Team Great Britain, who are both finalizing their prep for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. 

Ireland took the series 2-1 with Great Britain only spoiling it for the hosts once.

  • Ireland 31-21 Great Britain
  • Ireland 5-47 Great Britain
  • Ireland 24-12 Great Britain


Europe hosted their Trophy and Championship events in Belgrade, Serbia and Lisbon, Portugal respectively. 

In the Trophy, Israel won their first International trophy over Austria. Final Rankings: 1- Israel; 2– Austria; 3- Croatia; 4- Latvia; 5- Andorra; 6- Bulgaria; 7- Luxembourg; 8- Lithuania; 9- Monaco

In the Championship, Russia won the first leg, beating Spain in the final 25-5. Final Ranking: 1-Russia; 2-Spain; 3-Belgium; 4-Poland; 5-Scotland; 6-Portugal; 7-Germany; 8-Wales; 9-Romania

The second leg takes place in Moscow, Russia, on June 25 and 26 after the Olympic Repechage.


North Queensland will host the newly developed PacificAus Sports Oceania Sevens on June 25-27, boosting team preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The event features Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and an Oceania Barbarian side.

“To host this event right before the Tokyo Olympics is a unique opportunity to see the world’s best Sevens talent, including current men’s Olympic gold medallists Fiji and women’s Olympic gold medallists Australia, in peak form and condition,” – Queensland Country Bank Stadium Venue Manager Tom Kimball


Teams have been finalized for USA’s Quest for Gold 7s Tournament in Los Angeles, CA on June 25-26. USA is joined by Great Britain, Jamaica and Kenya. Samoa and Japan have withdrawn from the event.

“The opportunity for our teams to go head-to-head with potentially all Olympic-qualified nations, only a month away from the games, is massive. We know international rugby sevens has been tough to come by in recent months, so this event will really be a leg up for us, even more so with the home support. A special thank you to AEG Rugby for supporting and bringing this opportunity to life.” – USA Rugby General Manager of High Performance, Dan Payne



The opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics are 36 days away, and despite Japan’s battle against a fourth wave of COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee are adamant the Games will go ahead.

Other News

The United States has been formally accepted as a potential bid candidate to host Rugby World Cup. It could include men’s event in 2027 or 2031 and the women’s in 2029.

“We first reached out to key stakeholders, cities and stadiums, and groups like NFL and Major League Soccer and others who will be impacted by this. And our first way was just to see how interest levels were with those key stakeholders.”

“And we got a resounding positive reaction. We’re at around 30 host cities that are interested and a little over 30 major stadiums that are interested … and these are the big stadiums: MetLife, New York [home to the Giants and Jets, capacity 82,500], every major stadium from an NFL standard.” – Jim Brown, executive chair of the US Rugby World Cup bid


Stewart Mitchell has been appointed Chair of New Zealand Rugby (NZR) with Dr Farah Palmer as his Deputy.

“What a true privilege to be given this opportunity and I am excited at the prospect of working with Stewart in his new capacity as Chair as we work together to take the game into the future.  We have a strong and talented Board overall and I have no doubt we can achieve some great things for the whole game.” – Dr Farah Palmer


World Rugby Council member Vanessa Doble speaks about the constitutional amendments South Africa Rugby has made to increase female representation in its governance structures. Those amendments include female representation on both the General and Executive Councils. 

Alongside the recent reforms, the union plan to implement a program of initiatives to identify and up-skill female leaders of the future from within the game.


Asia joins South Africa in their commitment of female representation in their Committees.

“From day one of being elected as President we ensured to set up committees to reflect efficient and effective governance practice within the regional association.

The nine standing committees play a pivotal role in gathering the 34 member unions’ demands, challenges and inspirations transforming the regional body’s executive committee outcomes to be more realistic” – Asia Rugby President Qais Al Dhalai

Scrum Queens launched the world’s first online hub for international test 15s and 7s data!


Spanish international Patricia Garcia will combine playing for the Exeter Chiefs Women with the role of the club’s new Academy manager next season.
Player Features














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