China Triumphs in HSBC Sevens Challenger, Wolfhounds Lead Celtic Challenge and Lions Tour in 2027 | WRR 136

Welcome to the Women’s Rugby Rundown for January 8-14. In International 7s news, China won the first leg of the 2024 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger. In International XVs news, the Wolfhounds lead the Celtic Challenge table and the women’s British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand will take place in 2027. We’ll also take a look at the Iberdrola Iberian Cup, Uganda semi-finals, Ireland’s Energia AIL Cup struggles, Round 8 of the PWR, Round 9 of Hong Kong’s Premiership, and Round 5 of Spain’s Iberdrola.

Let’s begin with 7s, the first leg of the 2024 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger in Dubai concluded with China securing victory, followed by Kenya in second place, Argentina in third, and Uganda finishing fourth. Teams are now looking forward to the upcoming event in Montevideo, Uruguay, scheduled for March 8-10. There is still plenty to play for as the top four placed men’s and women’s teams in this series will secure their spots in the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid on May 31-June 2.

Now, let’s switch over to XVs, focusing on the Celtic Challenge. As mentioned earlier, the Wolfhounds have moved ahead of Gwalia Lightning, with Edinburgh in third, the Clovers in fourth, Brython Thunder in fifth, and Glasgow at the bottom. Moving on, the groundbreaking announcement of the inaugural women’s British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2027 has sparked extensive social discussions. Many are questioning the decision to replicate the men’s format and whether it is the optimal plan, pondering the necessity of introducing another competition primarily benefiting the top teams in the world.

In XVs Premier and Club, Majadahonda of Spain claimed victory in the 2024 Iberdrola Iberian Cup, securing their inaugural title with an impressive 59-0 win over Sporting de Portugal. Next is the Uganda Cup semi-finals where both matches were tightly contested, with the Avengers narrowly defeating the Thunderbirds 11-10 and the Nile Rapids securing a close 26-27 victory against the Black Pearls. Meanwhile, Ireland’s Energia AIL Cup faces challenges with only 50% of the matches occurring; UL Bohemian and Railway Union have recorded wins so far. In Round 8 of the PWR, Saracens emerged victorious against Exeter Chiefs with a 39-26 win, while Gloucester-Hartpury maintained their unbeaten start with a narrow 33-27 triumph at Trailfinders Women. Looking ahead, Gloucester-Hartpury is set to face top-ranked Saracens in the upcoming weekend. In the Nan Fung Group | Sewit Hong Kong Premiership, HKFC Natixis Ice leads after 9 rounds, anticipating the semi-finals in March with a robust top four, including more than likely Societe Generale Valley, DAC Kowloon, and Kroll USRC Tigers. Spain’s Iberdrola witnessed CRAT taking the top spot after completing its 5th Round, and as Majadahonda secured the Iberian Cup, attention now turns to the remaining top 4 teams in El Salvador and Sant Cugat.

We close out the week with 11 features, 7 media and 2 rugby jobs.

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tl;dr: In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for January 8-14, China secured victory in the 7s Challenger, setting the stage for the next event in Uruguay. The Wolfhounds lead the Celtic Challenge, and the women’s British and Irish Lions will tour New Zealand in 2027, sparking discussions. Majadahonda clinched the Iberdrola Iberian Cup, while Uganda Cup witnessed tight semi-finals. Ireland’s Energia AIL Cup faces challenges. In PWR Round 8, Saracens and Gloucester-Hartpury triumphed. HKFC Natixis Ice leads in Hong Kong’s Premiership. Spain’s Iberdrola sees CRAT at the top after Round 5.

Women’s Rugby Rundown Video Update

@yscrugby In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for January 8-14, China secured victory in the 7s Challenger, setting the stage for the next event in Uruguay. The Wolfhounds lead the Celtic Challenge, and the women’s British and Irish Lions will tour New Zealand in 2027, sparking discussions. Majadahonda clinched the Iberdrola Iberian Cup, while Uganda Cup witnessed tight semi-finals. Ireland’s Energia AIL Cup faces challenges. In PWR Round 8, Saracens and Gloucester-Hartpury triumphed. HKFC Natixis Ice leads in Hong Kong’s Premiership. Spain’s Iberdrola sees CRAT at the top after Round 5. Watch our video & read all the news using the link in our bio! #womensrugbyrundown #rugby #womensrugby #wrugby ♬ original sound – YSCRugby

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Women’s Rugby Rundown News

XVs

International

  • The Wolfhounds secured the leading position in the Celtic Challenge table, displacing Gwalia Lightning to second place, with Edinburgh following in third and the Clovers now occupying the fourth spot [link]
  • Despite skepticism about replicating the men’s format, the historic 2027 tour of New Zealand by the first-ever women’s British and Irish Lions is confirmed, sparking both excitement and questions [link]

Premier & Club

  • Majadahonda from Spain clinched the 2024 Iberdrola Iberian Cup, securing their inaugural title with a resounding 59-0 victory over Sporting de Portugal [link]
  • In the Uganda Cup semi-finals, both victors secured narrow one-point victories, with the Avengers edging out the Thunderbirds 11-10 and the Nile Rapids narrowly defeating the Black Pearls 26-27 [link]
  • Ireland’s Energia AIL Cup continues to struggle with only out 50% of the matches actually occurring; UL Bohemian and Railway Union have recorded wins so far [link]
  • In Round 8 of the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby, Saracens emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter against Exeter Chiefs, securing a 39-26 win while Gloucester-Hartpury maintained their unbeaten start with a narrow 33-27 triumph at Trailfinders Women [link]
    • Next weekend will see Gloucester-Hartpury faced top ranked Saracens
  • Leading after 9 rounds in the Nan Fung Group | Sewit Hong Kong Premiership, HKFC Natixis Ice sees a robust top four, including Societe Generale Valley, and DAC Kowloon, as they anticipate the upcoming semi-finals in March [link]
  • After completing its 5th Round, Spain’s Iberdrola witnessed CRAT taking the top spot while Majadahonda was away winning the Iberian Cup; with the semi-finals approaching, attention turns to the remaining top 4 teams in El Salvador and Sant Cugat [link]

7s

International

  • China claimed victory in the first leg of the 2024 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger in Dubai, with Kenya securing second place, Argentina placing third, and Uganda finishing fourth; teams now anticipate the upcoming event in Montevideo, Uruguay, scheduled for March 8-10 [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Features

  • Scrum Queens’ Ali Donnelly and John Birch look ahead to the big stories to follow this year [link]
  • Grace Moore thinks the PWR Trailfinders could be the season’s underdogs [link]
  • The deaf women’s rugby player turned Gladiator on BBC [link]
  • Glasgow Warriors’ Nikki Simpson shares what it means to have the Celtic Challenge visible to girls playing rugby and more [link]
  • Former Flying Fijians Captain Moses Rauluni has been appointed as the Head Coach for the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women and Vodafone Fijiana 15s teams, with Selita Koroi and Akanisi Drasuna-Cakau also joining the management team [link]
  • Despite challenges, SA’s high-performance manager, Lynne Cantwell, sees the men’s victory as a positive boost, aiming to move up the rankings [link]
  • England’s Holly Wood shares how she turned from a player to a referee, becoming a mother and being a trailblazer [link]
  • England’s Sadie Kabeya opens up about returning from injury, her growing media presence and new beginnings for club and country [link]
  • Australia coach Tim Walsh confirmed Demi Hayes’ likely absence from the Paris Olympics due to an ACL injury, while the Aussies rallied around Hayes and prepared for the Perth group stages without Maddison Levi [link]
  • Exeter’s Cliodhna Moloney chats about her team’s melting pot, hurling and more [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Media

  • Discover the noteworthy surge in women’s participation in sports over the past five years, with a special emphasis on the growing involvement in rugby in Saudi Arabia [link]
  • The Museum of the United States Women’s Rugby Foundation (USWRF) pays tribute to heritage rugby through its latest exhibits featuring the Blackyardigans, Magandaquins, ROOTS, and Indigenous Warriors [link]
  • Wendy presented alongside Stacy Paetz and Samantha Lovett at the 2024 US Women’s Rugby Foundation WRCRA Conference around Rugby Digital Dominance, download the presentation at https://bit.ly/GuideRugbyDigital
    • Part of our presentation was a mock interview about handling tough questions [link]
  • Emma McQuaid put some of the Harlequins through their paces in a Crossfit style workout [link]
  • Courage, resilience and a passion for inclusion define Mollie Latham’s rugby journey [link]
  • WRP 169 has Emma Orr discussing the Celtic Challenge, PWR, Edinburgh Rugby and more [link]
  • Rocky Clark of England shares her experiences on how body image impacted her in sports and reflects on the transformative role rugby played in altering her perceptions [link]

Rugby Jobs

  • Canada is looking for a Women’s National Team Manager, Coordinator of Marketing & Promotions, CRM & Digital Manager among other jobs [link]
  • Kenya is seeking for Assistant Team Manager for their XVs teams [link]

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