Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 15-21

Welcome to the Women’s Rugby Rundown for January 15-21. In 7s, Coumba Diallo of France is set to join the Olympic Torch relay for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the HSBC SVNS Perth pool draws are out, and we learned that LA 7s will expand to three days. In XVs, the Nile Rapids secured their first Uganda Cup, Gloucester-Hartpury maintain an undefeated record in the PWR, and Majadahonda claimed the Spain Super Cup but CRAT still leads Spain’s Iberdrola League. Railway Union leads the Energia AIL Cup, HKFC Natixis Ice continues to top Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, and we learned the updated format for the Kenya Cup while Fijiana Drua enhanced its coaching staff.

In 7s news, Australia’s women, hosting the upcoming HSBC SVNS 2024 third round in Perth, are not only leading the standings but are also determined to achieve a hat-trick of tournament victories, building on their back-to-back successes in Dubai and Cape Town. Their formidable journey continues as they compete against Canada, Great Britain, and South Africa in Pool A. In other notable matchups, rivals and reigning Olympic champions New Zealand will contend with USA, Ireland, and Japan in Pool C, while France, Fiji, Brazil, and Spain are set to face off in Pool B.

Additionally, we received news that the 5th stop of HSBC SVNs in Los Angeles (following Vancouver), will feature a special ‘Friday Night Lights’ event, with pool play kicking off on Friday evening under the Dignity Health Sports Park stadium lights. The remainder of the tournament continues over the weekend, adding an extra layer of excitement to the series.

When France’s Diallo Coumba carries the Olympic Torch in the relay for the 2024 Paris Olympics, she will become the second rugger after former Brazilian international fullback Sami Arap Sobrinho had the honor in 2016.

In XVs Premier & Clubs news, the Nile Rapids celebrated a remarkable achievement by securing their first Uganda Cup with a 25-17 victory over the Avengers. This achievement is made even more unbelievable when you learn the team was started in 2022 and the average age of the players is 16!

In the 9th Round of the PWR, Gloucester-Hartpury maintained their undefeated record with a victory over Saracens, and Leicester secured their inaugural win. Gloucester-Hartpury is now only a point behind the league leaders, Saracens, following a thrilling top-of-the-table encounter. Rounding out the top four are Exeter and Bristol, but Loughborough is only 3 points behind Bristol.

CRAT remains at the top of Spain’s Iberdrola League after 6 Rounds, with Majadahonda, Sant Cugat, and El Salvador in pursuit. Adding to their accolades, Majadahonda was crowned the winner of the Spain Super Cup over the weekend.

After 3 Rounds, Railway Union leads the Energia AIL Cup, and UL Bohemian has secured second place for now but awaits the outcomes of this weekend’s match between Cooke and Galwegians to determine their final standing.

After 10 Rounds in Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, HKFC Natixis Ice leads and is likely to be a strong contender in the Semi-finals on March 16. Societe Generale Valley, DAC Kowloon, and Kroll Tigers are also in contention, while Gai Wu Falcons and SCAA Causeway Bay Phoenix face more challenging prospects based on their current positions.

We provided our first update of 2024 for USA Club rugby. In D1, Pittsburgh Forge clinched victory in the Midwest Premiership, while East Coast South is on break until mid-March. We’re still on the hunt for NERFU standings, San Diego leads SoCal, PNW Premiership will have their semi finals on April 13 between Seattle and ORSU at a to be confirmed location, Red River external matches have begun and they will play inter-conference in mid-March while Frontier play resume in April. In D2, Mid-America, Rocky Mountain, Capital, East Penn, True South, Florida, Carolinas and Southwest will begin play soon. In the Midwest, South Buffalo clinched the title and New Haven won Empire. New England will contest their semi finals on April 6, PNW will play their SFs on April 20 and the Dallas Quins lead Red River and Ventura leads SoCal.

The redesigned Kenya Cup kicks off next weekend with 8 teams split into the Nairobi and Western Conference. The top two teams from each conference will progress to the semi finals scheduled for April 6. Defending champions Mwamba aim to maintain their title but will have to face off against two-time runners-up Impala among others.

Fijiana Drua enhances its coaching staff with the recent additions of Kele Leawere and Seremaia Bai. With a combined total of 78 caps, the experienced duo brings extensive international playing and coaching expertise to their roles, supporting Head Coach Moses Rauluni. Leawere takes on the role of Senior Assistant Coach for Drua and the Vodafone Fijiana 15s teams, while Seremaia Bai assumes the position of Assistant Coach for the Drua as they aim for a historic third consecutive title in the 2024 Super W competition.

Yesterday, Canal+ broadcast an extraordinary film capturing the behind-the-scenes moments and intimacy of the Stade Français women’s rugby team throughout the 2022-2023 season.

We conclude the week with 11 features, 13 media updates, and 1 rugby job. Stay connected by subscribing to our episodes on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, or Patreon. Follow us on your preferred social media platforms to never miss out!

tl;dr: In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 15-21, Coumba Diallo of France joins the Olympic Torch relay for the 2024 Paris Olympics, HSBC SVNS Perth pool draws are out, and LA 7s expands to three days. In XVs, Nile Rapids won the Uganda Cup, Gloucester-Hartpury stays unbeaten in PWR, and Majadahonda takes Spain Super Cup, but CRAT leads Iberdrola League. Railway Union leads Energia AIL Cup, HKFC Natixis Ice tops Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, and Kenya Cup gets a revamped schedule. 

Women’s Rugby Rundown Video Update

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@yscrugby In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 15-21, Coumba Diallo of France joins the Olympic Torch relay for the 2024 Paris Olympics, HSBC SVNS Perth pool draws are out, and LA 7s expands to three days. In XVs, Nile Rapids won the Uganda Cup, Gloucester-Hartpury stays unbeaten in PWR, and Majadahonda takes Spain Super Cup, but CRAT leads Iberdrola League. Railway Union leads Energia AIL Cup, HKFC Natixis Ice tops Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, and Kenya Cup gets a revamped schedule. Watch our video & read all the news using the link in our bio! Never miss one of our episodes! Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube or Patreon and be sure to follow us on all your favorite social media platforms. #womensrugbyrundown #rugby #womensrugby #wrugby ♬ original sound – YSCRugby

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Women’s Rugby Rundown News

7s

International

  • The pool draws for the third round of HSBC SVNS 2024 to be played in Perth, Western Australia on January 26-28 are out [link]
  • LA 7s expands to 3 days with matches taking place on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday [link]
  • Coumba Diallo of France is set to be part of the Olympic Torch relay for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics [link]

XVs

Premier & Club

  • Securing their first Uganda Cup with a 25-17 victory over the Avengers, the Nile Rapids, formed in 2022, celebrated a remarkable achievement [link]
  • In Round 9 of the PWR, Glouster-Hartpury maintained their unbeaten record by defeating Saracens, while Leicester secured their first victory [link]
  • CRAT continues to lead Spain’s Iberdrola League after 6 Rounds but they are pursued by Majadahonda, Sant Cugat and El Salvador [link]
    • Majadahonda added another title to its showcase as they were also crowned the winner of the Spain Super Cup over the weekend [link]
  • Railway Union leads the Energia AIL Cup but is chased by Ul Bohemian, Cooke and Galwegians [link]
  • HKFC Natixis Ice continues to lead Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership after 10 Rounds [link]
  • We provided an update on USA Club rugby D1 and D2 as teams begin to look foward to Super Regionals [link]
  • Starting on Saturday, January 27, 2024, the revamped Women’s Kenya Cup features a two-conference format with Nairobi Conference teams Mwamba, Impala, Northern Suburbs, and Nakuru, and Western Conference teams Maseno, Rongo, Shamberere, and Western Spears; the top two teams from each conference advance to the semi finals [link]
  • Fijiana Drua continues to bolster their coaching staff with newest additions Kele Leawere and Seremaia Bai [link]
  • This Sunday, January 21, Canal+ will air an extraordinary film capturing the behind-the-scenes moments and intimacy of the Stade Français women’s rugby team throughout the 2022-2023 season, promising an exciting watch [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Features

  • Scrum Queens features Graham Smith’s journey from winning the World Cup with England in 2014 to leading the establishment of Estonia’s women’s rugby team [link]
  • Next up in our Pioneer of the Pitch series is Jaz Gray, USA Olympian and “Chief Connection Officer” of USA 7s [link]
  • Alice Soper critiques the announcement of the first women’s British & Irish Lions Tour to Aotearoa, labeling it as insular and traditional, potentially harming women’s rugby development and widening the gap between privileged and underprivileged; she contextualizes this decision amid New Zealand’s government redefining Te Tiriti o Waitangi terms, escalating racial tensions, and coinciding with a crucial 2026 general election [link]
  • Fiji Rugby’s Alana Thomas, the High-Performance women’s manager, is in contact with overseas players interested in joining the national 15s and 7s teams for the 2024 season [link]
  • England captain Marlie Packer says last year has been ‘swift learning curve’ [link]
  • New Haven is optimistic that the third attempt will bring success as they set their sights on the Atlantic Super Regional [link]
  • Niamh Briggs believes that Ireland players will make the Lions team [link]
  • England’s Matt Merritt and James Cooper are looking for the players who will win World Cups in 2029 and 2033 [link]
  • Claire Thomas writes how the women’s international game can flourish in 2024 [link]
  • Joanne Butler made history as the first Papua New Gunean female to sign with Brumbies for the 2024 W Season [link]
  • Ireland’s Joy Nevill to retire at the end of the season and step into a new role as Referee Development Mananger in Connacht [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Media

  • US Rugby Happy Hour spoke with USA Women’s XVs Head Coach Sione Fukofuka about his goals for the program, USA’s strengths, and the 2024 calendar [link]
  • Less than a year after giving birth, Abbie Ward is named in England’s tarining squad for the Six Nations [link]
  • Saracens’ Sophie Bridger is “a true Saracen now” [link]
  • WRP 170 looks at the PWR, Women’s Lions, the Global game and more news [link]
  • Bristol’s Reneeqa Bonner spoke about her rise and goals [link]
  • Trailfinder’s Abby Dowberg shares her journey to the top [link]
  • Alex Goff spoke with Spiff Sedrick about what it means to play at LA 7s in front of a home crowd [link]
  • The Good, The Scaz And The Rugby chatted with Gill Burns, former England captain and a pioneer for women’s rugby [link]
  • Ilona Maher was on Episode 7 of The Rugby Rundown talking about LA 7s, the PWR and more [link]
  • The LWT Fancast talks the Lions news, they chat with Nick Heat about all things women’s rugby and more [link]
  • PR 7s spent the weekend at the 2024 WRCRA Conference [link]
  • England’s Ellena Perry speaks about returning to rugby after becoming a mother [link]
  • USA’s Naya Tapper was on the podcast Many Happy Miles speaking about her background and journey in sports

Rugby Jobs

  • Canada announces even more job openings [link]

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