Welcome to the top women’s rugby news in for Dec 20-26. News of another review broke with New Zealand appointing a panel to oversee a ‘Cultural and Environmental Review’ and the IRFU’s new Chief Executive vows to “tackle issues in women’s game”.
World Rugby has amended dates of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Qualifiers to February 19 and 25, 2022. They’ve also confirmed that the Hong Kong v Kazakhstan play-off is scheduled for February 13, the winner will join Scotland, Samoa and Colombia at the tournament.
In more XVs news, USA has announced the return of their National All Star Competition (NASCs) starting with regional U23 teams while Leinster announced the appointment of Tania Rosser as head coach.
We close out the week of 9 articles and 8 media.
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tl;dr: Women’s Rugby update for Dec 20-26 sees New Zealand appoint a panel to oversee ‘Cultural and Environmental Review’ while the IRFU’s new Chief Executive vows to “tackle issues in women’s game”.
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News of another review broke with New Zealand appointing a panel to oversee a ‘Cultural and Environmental Review’. There will be a focus on identifying and supporting improvements as well as any behavioral or wellbeing concerns. The review team will present their report to NZR and NZRPA by the end of February, after the conclusion of their meetings.
We also learned that incoming IRFU chief executive Kevin Potts says tackling the problems surrounding women’s rugby is one of his early priorities when he takes over from Philip Browne on January 1.
Top Women’s Rugby Stories
World Rugby has amended dates of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Qualifiers to February 19 and 25, 2022 to honor a newly adopted 4.5 day work week in the UAE. They’ve also confirmed that the Hong Kong v Kazakhstan play-off is scheduled for February 13, the winner will join Scotland, Samoa and Colombia at the tournament.
The Final Qualification Tournament will operate in a semi-final, final format over two match days. Teams have been seeded as per World Rugby’s Rankings as of 20 December, 2021, with Scotland (seed 1) v Colombia (seed 4) and Samoa (seed 2) v Hong Kong/Kazakhstan (seed 3) meeting in the semi-finals.
Taking into consideration the heat and humidity in Dubai in February the games will be played during late afternoon/evening under the following schedule (all times local time):
19 February, 2022: 16:30 – Semi-Final 1, Scotland v Colombia
19 February, 2022: 19:00 – Semi-Final 2, Samoa v Hong Kong/Kazakhstan
25 February, 2022: 16:30 – 3rd v 4th play-off, runner-up of SF2
25 February, 2022: 19:00 – Final, winner of SF1 v winner of SF2
- World Rugby also looked ahead to the Rugby World Cup 2022 (7s) which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
- USA has announced the return of their National All Star Competition (NASCs) starting with U23 teams across 8 regions:
- Atlantic North – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut
- Mid-Atlantic – Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
- South – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky Tennessee
- Central South – Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana
- Midwest – Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota
- Rocky Mountain/Great Plains – Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska
- Pacific North – Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada (excluding Las Vegas)
- Pacific South – Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada (Las Vegas)
- Leinster announced the appointment Tania Rosser as head coach
Women’s Rugby Features
- WRCRA shared a touching poem from USA’s Vanesha McGee at the closing of the Celebration of Life for Kathy Flores on December 11, 2021
- England’s Jess Breach shares her journey back from a broken back and what her return to the pitch means
- The Springboks showed growth and unearthed leaders in 2021
- The Times’ Stephen Jones’ reviews the Irish women’s team response after failing to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2021 and how they are challenging the status quo
- England’s Shaunagh Brown tells why she has become more vocal about issues like equality, race and diversity
- New Zealand sisters Sarah Hirini and Rachael Rakatau share a huge respect for each other’s achievements on and off the rugby field, and now they get to join forces as Hurricanes in the new Super Rugby Aupiki
- Wales Sisilia Tuipulotu is only 18, yet the immensely powerful youngster is already making a lot of people sit up and take notice on the women’s rugby circuit in England
- Former Ireland internationals Grace Davitt and Emma Hooban revealed the sacrifices they faced as they committed to the demands of elite rugby as part of the 15s set up, which is amateur, alongside the pressures of full-time professional jobs
- Rugby Journal features Giselle Mather, the first woman to earn level 3 and level 4 coaching badges. The first woman to lead a men’s side on a three-promotion, double-Twickenham victory, 62-game unbeaten run. The first woman to get a full-time coaching post at a Premiership club. But to coach the country she helped to two World Cup finals? Not even an interview. And that, is what ‘almost’ broke Giselle Mather.
Women’s Rugby Media
- Russia shares how they continue to train in the snow
- Free Jacks Live chats with USA and Worcester star Alycia Washington about where rugby has taken her
- Stella Mills wrote her last column for 2021 about what. a roller coaster year it has been
- Asia shares their Unstoppable Ambassadors for 2021
- Leinster shares the first interview with new head coach Tania Rosser
- England’s Danielle Waterman talks about on the variety of paths available in the world of sport
- Black Fern Ruby Tui chats to Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon about the epic year that’s been, and what’s ahead for 2022
- Off the Ball and Brian O’Driscoll talk about on why the letter from the 62 players to the government will help get back on the right trac
Another women’s rugby review announced. This time it’s in NZ where a panel has been appointed to oversee the a ‘Cultural and Environmental Review.’— Scrumqueens - Women’s Rugby (@ScrumQueens) December 21, 2021
The scope of the review will see Black Ferns players, management, NZR and NZRPA personnel provide feedback on the team environment
Confirmation from @WorldRugby that @Scotlandteam (9th in world) are top seeds for final Women's RWC qualifier in Dubai in February, they will play Columbia (26th) in the semis on February 19 + then Samoa (16) or Kazakhstan (15) or HK (18) in the final for the last place in NZ— Gary Heatly (@G_HMedia) December 22, 2021
Sisters Sarah Hirini and Rachael Rakatau share a huge respect for each other on and off the rugby field, and now they get to join forces as Hurricanes in the new Super Rugby Aupiki. @merryn_anderson @Sgoss10@Hurricanesrugby @SRAupiki @BlackFernshttps://t.co/E76isatA9p— Suzanne McFadden (@suzemcfadden) December 21, 2021
“Irish women’s team have struck an important blow for professionals.”— Ali Donnelly (@AliDonnelly) December 26, 2021
Excellent piece here taking in the administration and governance of rugby and the wider ripples what’s happening in Ireland could have. via @stephenjones9 https://t.co/pkMdemlMFB
ICYMI: New Tuipulotu giant blows people away as 17st 11lb Welsh girl tears up England's top competition https://t.co/CMeuYFvMjF— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) December 21, 2021
She was first woman to lead a men’s side on a three-promotion, 62-game unbeaten run. The first woman to get a coaching post at a Premiership club. But to coach the country she helped to two World Cup finals? Not even an interview. And that, is what ‘almost’ broke Giselle Mather. pic.twitter.com/0wlGvy0ysO— Rugby Journal (@JournalRugby) December 26, 2021