Women’s Rugby in 60 secs – Jan 10-16

Welcome to the top women’s rugby news in under 60 seconds for Jan 10-16. New Zealand has upgraded their player contracts, moving them to “as close to full time employment” as possible and Wales awarded their first ever player contracts. Huge huge steps forward for both of these programs.

In more XVs news, Spain announced warm up matches last week against Italy and Colombia but unfortunately Italy has pulled out due to COVID travel restrictions. Canada has formed an Ethics & Integrity Committee who is tasked with “providing a multi-faceted ethical lens to assist Rugby Canada with the development of national policies and practices.”

In 7s news, New Zealand and Fiji have dropped out of the first leg of Spain 7s due to COVID. The Black Ferns have been replaced by Belgium while Fiji’s late drop means that their opponents will be receive a win with a 0-0 score. We’ll have to see what that does to the competition if anything and if those teams can travel for the second leg.

We close out the week with 7 features and 14 media.

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tl;dr: Women’s Rugby in 60 secs for Jan 10-16 sees New Zealand award upgraded contracts and Wales awarded their first 12 contracts. New Zealand and Fiji dropped out the first leg of Spain 7s, the Black Ferns were replaced by Belgium while Fiji wasn’t replaced.

60 Second Video Update

Featured Women’s Rugby Stories

Two big ones this week as New Zealand announces upgraded contracts as their players move to “as close to full time employment” as possible according to Chris Lendrum, NZRU’s General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance.

The Black Ferns first received part-time contracts in 2018. The upgraded contracts include base retainers being topped with assembly and appearance fees, and increased contributions to a retirement fund. Those at the lower end of the Black Ferns contracts will make about $60,000 a year, with leading players earning in excess of $130,000.

The other big announcement this week was that Wales has secured their first ever 12 contracts:

  • Forwards: Alisha Butchers, Natalia John, Siwan Lillicrap, Carys Phillips, Gwenllian Pyrs, Donna Rose
  • Backs: Keira Bevan, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Ffion Lewis, Lisa Neumann, Elinor Snowsill

Group Chief Executive Steve Phillips said, “This is a very proud day for us as a governing body. I am very pleased to be able to say we have our first full-time female players who will represent Wales on the international stage. This is set to be a very demanding but unforgettable year for women’s rugby and these players – along with the players on retainer contracts and other squad members – will benefit from the full range of our expert on and off-field support to help them reach their potential. This is the start of an exciting journey for women and girls in Wales.”

Top Women’s Rugby Stories



  • The RFU has appointed Charlie Hayter as Women’s and Sevens Performance Manager, and former England captain Emma Mitchell as Performance Consultant for the women’s game
  • Rugby Canada has announced the members of a steering committee for their newly announced Ethics & Integrity Committee


  • Ireland’s AIL Top Four saw Blackrock College and Railway Union got off to ideal starts in the top four’s competition with wins over Old Belvedere and UL Bohemian
    • Top Four
      • Blackrock College 16–0 Old Belvedere
      • Railway Union 14-10 UL Bohemian
    • In the conference competition, Galwegians and Suttonians claimed comprehensive, bonus point victories over Wicklow and Cooke. Ballincollig edged out Malone in a narrow win
      • Malone 15-17 Ballincollig
      • Wicklow 3-36 Galwegians
      • Cooke 13-37 Suttonians
  • Saracens remain on top of Allianz Premier 15s with 43 points, they are chased by Bristol with 41, Exeter at 38 and Harlequins with 35 points


  • The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returns in Spain, to kick off a packed schedule that also includes the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022
    • New Zealand is unable to travel due to COVID and has been replaced by Belgium
    • Fiji has also dropped due to COVID and will NOT be replaced

Women’s Rugby Features

  • The Rugby Football Union says it is working with DMP Durham Sharks, who have won one of their last 29 top-flight matches, to improve performance
  • Canmore’s Krissy Scurfield is one of 30 Canadian athletes selected for Future Olympian funding through the RBC Training Ground
  • The first high-performance program in Africa focusing on women’s rugby promises to break boundaries again in 2022
  • South East Lions have stablished a sporting partnership between Enniscorthy RFC and Wexford Wanderers RFC to help them field a women’s team and to have a pathway for their blossoming female youths and minis section to aspire to
  • Waikato Farah Palmer Cup winner, Emma-lee Heta, is plying her trade in Spain during the offseason

Women’s Rugby Media

  • The Women’s Rugby Show has returned with Sam Bytheway reporting from Bristol vs Gloucester-Hartpury
  • England’s Jason Robison was pitchside at a recent Sales Shark match and he spoke with Lauren Smith about growing the game and rugby in the community
  • DMP Shark Mackenzie Thomas outlines what her team has had to deal with in the last couple of years and the reality of their situation
  • Women’s Rugby Pod is also back with England’s Rachael Burford and Wales’ Siwan Lillicrap
  • Watch highlights from Ireland’s AIL Top Four matches
  • The Good, The Scaz And The Rugby with Elma, Scaz, Tinds and Wales’ Jasmine Joyce
  • Wales flanker Alisha Butchers says it was a “big decision” to leave her job and take a pay cut to become a professional rugby player
  • World Rugby’s Youth Unstoppables Talei & Vacalaini from Fiji are introduced
  • OTB Sports have partnered with Laya healthcare to create a #LayaRugby video series that features Ireland’s Beibhinn Parsons, Lily Peat, and Dorothy Wall to explore how they remain A Beat Ahead
  • Wales’ Siwan Lillicrap and Carys Phillips talk about their new contracts and what it means to the teams
  • Rugby Hive has USA’s Nene Persinger on for a spotlight interview
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