Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 22-28

Welcome to the Women’s Rugby Rundown for January 22-28. In 7s, Ireland reached their first-ever Cup Final, securing victory over hosts and current SVNS leaders Australia. The pools for Vancouver have been determined through a random drawing, marking a departure from the previous method based on prior placement. In XVs, UL Bohemians secured the Energia AIL Cup title, and SL Benfica emerged victorious in  Portugal’s Honor Division Final.

In 7s news, Ireland made history in front of a sold-out crowd by winning their first-ever 7s HSBC Series Cup, marking a monumental achievement. However, the weekend brought forth other noteworthy events, such as the Black Ferns experiencing their first quarter final defeat since April 2019. Great Britain achieved a significant milestone by advancing to only their second World Series semifinal. Meanwhile, South Africa secured their first pool victory since 2016, showcasing their improving form, and Spain registered their 24th consecutive pool game loss.

In a remarkable comeback, two-time Brazilian Olympian Raquel Kochhann returned to the field with Brazil 7s after overcoming a serious knee injury suffered in May 2022. During her recovery from the ACL injury, Kochhann received a breast cancer diagnosis. Despite undergoing chemotherapy and ongoing treatment, she continued training with the squad, showcasing her resilience and determination. Currently, the cancer is dormant and controlled. Kochhann credits the integral support of her teammates for aiding her recovery and successful return to the pitch.

Looking ahead, the pools for Vancouver at BC Place on February 23-25, 2024, have been determined through a random drawing. This departure from the previous method based on prior placement adds an element of unpredictability to the matchups. The pools are as follows: Pool A features Ireland, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa; Pool B includes Australia, USA, Fiji, and Japan; and Pool C consists of Great Britain, France, Canada, and Spain.

As we reach the half-way point of the Series, Australia maintains a strong lead, while New Zealand, France, Ireland, USA, Canada, and Fiji closely trail. The struggle is particularly fierce for the bottom four teams – Brazil, Japan, South Africa, and Spain – as the four lowest-ranked teams will engage in a high-stakes promotion and relegation tournament in Madrid alongside the top four teams from the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024.

Switching to XVs news, Round 4 of the Celtic Challenge brought victories for the Irish Wolfhounds and Clovers, with Edinburgh from Scotland also emerging victorious. The Wolfhounds maintained their lead in the standings by four points.

Former head coach Gary Street, a Rugby World Cup winner with the Red Roses in 2014, is on a recovery journey from a stroke, and the rugby community is uniting to support his therapy and aid his rehabilitation.

Looking ahead, the 2024 Europe Championship introduces a new format with four teams, including newly promoted Portugal, alongside the Netherlands, Sweden, and reigning champions Spain. Matches are scheduled from February 3 to mid-April.

UL Bohemian delivered a commanding second-half performance, scoring four tries to secure a 34-12 victory over defending champions Railway Union in the final of the Energia AIL Cup. Despite Railway leading 12-5 at halftime, UL Bohs staged a powerful comeback in the second half, marking their first title since 2019.

SL Benfica preserved their undefeated streak by triumphing over defending national champions Sporting CP with a 25-0 scoreline in the Portugal’s Honor Division Final.

In the opening fixtures of the Kenya Cup, defending champions Mwamba started their campaign with a victory, securing a 21-7 win against arch-rivals Impala. Meanwhile, Northern Suburbs secured an away victory, defeating Nakuru 12-7, and Rongo University emerged as winners with a 27-14 scoreline over visiting Maseno. Shamberere gained a 28-0 walkover victory due to a Western Spears’ forfeit.

The Allianz PWR had a rearranged fixture, with Exeter overpowering Sale 54-3, earning them five points and bringing them within one point of Gloucester-Hartpury and two points of Saracens.

In the 5th round of France’s Elite 1, Bordeaux and Blagnac maintained their lead in their respective pools. However, Toulouse closed in on Blagnac, tying with 19 points each and moving within striking distance.

After 11 Rounds, Natixis Ice remained at the top of Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, with D.A.C. Kowloon securing the second position, overtaking Societe Generale Valley, while the Kroll Tigers maintained fourth.

Italy’s Serie A Elite’s second phase began with Playoff and Playout groups, where Valsugana leads the Playoff Group, while in the Playout group, Cus Torino takes the lead.

We conclude the week with 14 features, 10 media, and 1 rugby job.

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tl;dr: In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 22-28, Ireland triumphed in their first-ever 7s Cup Final, SL Benfica won Portugal’s Honor Division Final, while UL Bohemians secured the Energia AIL Cup title.

Women’s Rugby Rundown Video Update

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@yscrugby In the Women’s Rugby Rundown for Jan 22-28, Ireland triumphed in their first-ever 7s Cup Final, SL Benfica won Portugal’s Honor Division Final, while UL Bohemians secured the Energia AIL Cup title. 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

  • Ireland claimed their inaugural rugby 7s Series triumph on the global stage, overcoming hosts and current SVNS leaders Australia 19-14 in a thrilling final, with Great Britain earning the bronze medals and the USA finishing in fourth place [link]
    • The Black Ferns experienced their initial quarterfinal defeat since April 2019, Great Britain advanced to only their second World Series semifinal, South Africa secured their first pool victory since 2016, and Spain suffered their 24th consecutive pool game loss [link]
    • Brazil’s Raquel Kochhann made her comeback with Brazil 7s after ACL and breast cancer [link]
    • The Dream Team consists of two players from Ireland, two from Australia, one from the United States, one from Great Britain, and one from Canada [link]
    • Ireland’s Lucy Mulhall was awarded the HSBC Player of the Final [link]
  • With Australia firmly leading the overall rankings, New Zealand, France, Ireland, USA, Canada, and Fiji closely trailing, the bottom four teams, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Spain are engaged in a struggle to maintain their position in the series, intensifying as we approach the halfway point [link]
  • The pools for Vancouver at BC Place on February 23-25, 2024, have been determined through a random drawing, in contrast to the previous method that relied on prior placement [link]
    • Pool A: Ireland, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa
    • Pool B: Australia, USA, Fiji, Japan
    • Pool C: Great Britain, France, Canada, Spain

XVs

International

  • In Round 4 of the Celtic Challenge, the Irish Wolfhounds and Clovers secured victories, and Edinburgh from Scotland also emerged victorious, maintaining the Wolfhounds’ lead in the standings by 4 points [link]
  • Former head coach Gary Street, a Rugby World Cup winner with the Red Roses in 2014, is currently facing a recovery journey from a stroke, and the rugby community is uniting to support his therapy and aid his rehabilitation [link]
  • The Rugby Europe Championship 2024 marks the first time there will be four teams, including newly promoted Portugal, alongside the Netherlands, Sweden, and reigning champions Spain, with matches scheduled from February 3 to mid-April [link]

Premier & Club

  • UL-Bohemians RFC secured a remarkable victory, claiming the Energia AIL Cup title with a 34-12 scoreline against Railway Union to secure their first title since 2019 [link]
  • SL Benfica maintained their unbeaten record by securing a clean victory, defeating the defending national champions, Sporting CP, with a commanding 25-0 scoreline in the Portugal’s Honor Division Final [link]
  • After the opening weekend of the Kenya Cup, Shamberere leads the Western and Mwamba leads Nairobi conference [link]
  • The Allianz PWR had a rearranged fixture this weekend, with Exeter overpowering Sale 54-3, earning Exeter 5 points and bringing them within one point of Gloucester-Hartpury and two points of Saracens [link]
  • In the 5th round of France’s Elite 1, Bordeaux and Blagnac maintained their lead in their respective pools; however, Toulouse closed in on Blagnac, tying with 19 points each and moving within striking distance [link]
  • After 11 rounds, Natixis Ice remains at the top of Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Sewit Premiership, with D.A.C. Kowloon securing the second position, surpassing Societe Generale Valley, while the Kroll Tigers maintain their fourth-place standing [link]
  • Italy’s Serie A Elite’s second phase began with Playoff and Playout groups where Valsugana is on top of Playoff Group, while in the Playout group, Cus Torino takes the lead [link]
  • Despite the Welsh Premiership having fixtures planned since December, adverse weather conditions have led to match postponements, and it is anticipated that the games will begin again in late February [link]
  • Uganda’s Nile Special Rugby Championship League for the 2024 season has expanded the teams from four to seven with the 2024 season scheduled to kick off on February 3 [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Features

  • Glasgow Warriors flanker Holland Bogan expresses joy in the “surreal” experience of playing before energetic Scotstoun crowds [link]
  • Glasgow Warriors front row Allie Tucker expresses optimism about the future of Scottish rugby, stating that “the sky is the limit” with the ongoing Celtic Challenge [link]
  • We were honored to add Darian Lovelace to our “Pioneer of the Pitch” series highlighting her passions, persistence and pioneering spirit [link]
  • Memphis Inner City Rugby, with alumni support and a $1.1 million grant from Shelby County, is transforming its field on the blighted Vance Middle School property, extending its impact beyond the game [link]
  • Learn more about Siteri Rasolea’s journey with Fijiana Drua [link]
  • Sale Sharks starlet Niamh Swailes never knew about Katy Daley-McLean and Sarah Hunter growing up but now the hooker hopes to follow in her fellow Geordies’ footsteps [link]
  • Acee San Juan determined to make change through Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Programme [link]
  • Abi Burton is loving being back with GB Sevens having suffered from a rare and life-threatening disease [link]
  • In just a year as the Head of Women’s Development at the Tanzania Rugby Union, Fatma El-kindiy has transformed rugby. From playing in Botswana to initiating “A Try for Change,” and establishing five ladies’ rugby teams in Tanzania [link]
  • The Uganda Cup 2023 marked a historic moment as it became the first major rugby final in Uganda exclusively managed by women, including center referee Kanyunyuzi, assistants Kakaire and Nabasirye, standby officials, assessor Adiru, and match commissioner Nekesa [link]
  • Kele Leawere, Seremaia Bai Named Assistant Coaches For Drua Women, Fijiana 15s [link]
  • There’s not many 23-year-old rugby players with 24 years of rugby experience but Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea was bred to be a star in this sport [link]
  • Leah Bartlett opens up about the Tigers first-ever Allianz PWR win and what is meant to her as a lifelong Tigers fan [link]
  • Meet the women shaping rugby history in Saudi Arabia [link]

Women’s Rugby Rundown Media

  • England Rugby highlighted Jodie Ounsley’s path to rugby and becoming a Gladiator [link]
  • What is means to win bronze at Perth 7s [link]
  • Listen to Milly Pickles’s incredible story on the latest episode of #StrongerThanYouThink, on RugbyPass TV [link]
  • WRP 171 chats PWR, Wales, Gloucester-Hartpury and more [link]
  • The Pirate Rugby Pod explores the current state of women’s rugby, highlighting that it surpasses men’s rugby in terms of players connecting with fans by opening up about their experiences [link]
  • World Rugby unveiled a preview for “Whistleblowers,” a documentary showcasing the referees of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, set to premiere on Rugby Pass TV on February 1 [link]
  • From the makers of Drive to Survive, Six Nations: Full Contact is now streaming [link]
  • The LTW Fancast talked with Leah Bartlett and the Sale WIN [link]
  • Chasing Eagles checks in with Kristi Kirshe, Lauren Doyle, and special guest Ilona Maher [link]
  • Eagles Overseas talked with USA’s General Manager of High Performance, Tamara Sheppard [link]

Rugby Jobs

  • Gloucester-Hartpury is looking for a Head of S&C [link]

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