Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News – 31/1/22

Monday’s Rugby News – 31/1/22

Welcome to Monday’s Rugby News, G&GRs. Apologies for my tardiness this Monday!

This week has seen some incredible sporting events in our time zone. The Barty Party came away as a winner, “Kyng Kokks” got up over Ebden and Purcell and Rafa beat Djokovic 2.0 Medvedev. The women’s Ashes in ‘Canbrizzle’ was a match for the ages, with the English side proving that they can snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat just as good as their blokes team can!

Firstly, I’d like to share the fundraiser for Tonga which is backed by Moana Pasifika. An obviously vital cause, it’d be fantastic if the wider G&GR community would be able to kick in a few dollarydoos to support our rugby family in the Pacific.

Some news on the rugby front this week sees us basking in the Aussie Sevens win in Seville, reviewing trial matches from the weekend, 6 Nations news, a new qualification approach for the expansion of the WRWC and a farewell to Amy Perrett (from on-field officiating).

SEVENS NEWS

Charlotte Caslick, Australia v Fiji

The Aussie Sevens sides have done well in Seville, Spain, over the weekend with the women’s side finishing with the gold medal after defeating the Irish 17-12 and the men’s losing to the Blitzbokke in the Cup Final with a score of 33-7.

While Ireland proved to be a formidable side for the Australians, key plays from Dom Du Toit and Faith Nathan helped secure Australia’s third title after the final hooter. Corey Toole was again crowned Impact player of the tournament for the second weekend in a row. At the same time, Dom Du Toit was named player of the final.

The Australian men’s sevens will now commence preparations for the Singapore leg of the World Series, while the women will turn their attention to Langford in April.

TRIAL MATCH NEWS

Photo courtesy Rebecca Ardrey

As my colleague, Ben, has written, the Drua had their trial match v the Force canned with concerns over the WA-based side’s chances to return to the Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia. Instead, an internal trial was organised. I’ve seen some limited highlights and I have no intention of reinventing Ben’s wheel; however, as much as you can read into trial matches, they will definitely be a team to watch out for! If this wee video works (or check out the Drua FB page), this ankle-breaking, ACL-rupturing step from Kitione Taliga is anything to go by, it could be an entertaining season! They have a trial against the Rebels in Melbourne next Thursday.

My beloved Ponies played the Tahs in Bowral over the weekend in some treacherous conditions. Again, trials can only provide so much information and both sides using up to 39 players certainly means combinations can be tricky. Both sides have some worrying injuries with Tah Will Harrison coming off after a shoulder knock and Rod Iona from the Brums playing 15 minutes before a calf twinge brought Noah Lolesio back into the 10. The Tahs have trials against West Harbour, the Two Blues and the Newcastle Wildfire coming up and the Ponies play the Rebels on the 12th Feb in Albury (the Super W sides will play as well).

6 NATIONS NEWS

Stuart Hogg – pleased with try

The 2022 6 Nations will certainly whet the appetite of rugger fans across the globe. Michael Ailwyn, writing for the Guardian, believes that the hype surrounding the 6 Nations ought to be believed and that the northern nations are in the middle of a significant resurgence. As much as my head and heart were screaming, “yeah, fuck off, mate”, I can’t help but reflect and consider that he may well have a point. The traditional rivalries of the 6 Nations, the huge money the tournament brings in, and the significant interest brought in is something that the SANZAAR alliance could only dream of. Indeed, as he points out, the notion of the Shitbokkes joining an expanded 6 Nations (or, by booting the Ities), is more probable that possible due to private equity deals with CVC. Either way, whatever the future holds, hopefully the rugby will be good. It finally seems that the stereotype of boring 6N/NH rugby is finally starting to diminish (except when Italy is playing). Weather will always play a part; however, teams are benefitting from a positive mindset and, crucially, positive interpretations from referees, particularly in the English Premiership. Here’s to some decent rugger!

QUALIFICATION FOR WRWC 2025

World Rugby have announced an amended qualification process in light of the expansion of the Women’s RWC in 2025.

The key points to note for this edition are:

  • RWC 2027 host nation will automatically qualify for the tournament
  • RWC 2021 semi-finalists will secure direct qualification for RWC 2025
  • New WXV will form key part of the RWC 2025 qualification process
  • New pathway offers more opportunities for more teams to qualify
  • RWC 2027 host to be selected by the World Rugby Council in May 

How that looks in practice is:

STAGESNUMBER OF TEAMSDETAILS
1. Host nation for RWC 20271Announced in May 2022.
2. Top four teams from RWC 2021, completed November 20223 or 4RWC 2021 semi-finalists (number dependent on whether the host is a semi-finalist).
3. Qualification via regional tournaments 6One from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, South America and Pacific Four Series. 
4. Number of teams who will qualify through WXV 5 or 6Top ranked non-qualified teams at the end of  WXV 2024 (number dependent on whether the host is a RWC 2021 semi-finalist).

Further information is within the article here.

FAREWELL AMY PERRETT

A quick note to say “thank you” and “congratulations on an amazing career” to Amy Perrett. A trailblazing performer in the refereeing community, her contribution to the referees around the country both past, present and emerging, cannot be understated. Importantly, she is not lost to rugby as she will continue to work with RA in developing a pathway for developing female match officials. Go well, Pez!

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