World Rugby has announced the establishment of a dedicated women’s player welfare steering group that will exclusively focus on the advancement of player welfare initiatives and interventions designed specifically for the women’s game at all levels.
Women’s rugby is growing globally at a rapid pace and, in line with its strategy to cement rugby as the most progressive sport on player welfare, World Rugby is committed to ensuring a dedicated focus on women’s welfare advancement, and not just replicate or adopt measures in place for the men’s game. This approach also supports the approach outlined in the transformational 2017-25 Women’s Plan.
The independent steering group will provide expert, evidence-based recommendations to key World Rugby decision-making bodies to advance welfare for girls and women at all levels, including:
- Injury surveillance studies and game analysis to track the evolution of the women’s game
- Fill research gaps specifically related to the women’s game and to identify priorities for future research funding
- Consider findings from existing women’s research and to determine what impact this has on laws and regulatory evolution
- Identify elements of the game which would benefit from a women’s specific approach, e.g. training and education, laws of the game and HIA
Chaired by former Canada international, former World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship recipient and consultant psychiatrist Dr Araba Chintoh, the 13-person steering group will comprise of a diverse group of independent and World Rugby expert medical and legal professionals, science and research experts, former international players and administrators from across the global game.
- Danielle Salmon, New Zealand Rugby research scientist
- Nic Evans, Course Lead: Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development and Sports Coaching, St Mary’s University
- Cathy Wong, World Rugby Council Member (Oceania) and Women’s Advisory Committee member
- Dr Anna Stodter, Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Physical Education, Anglia Ruskin University
- Dr Serge Simon, World Rugby Women’s Advisory Committee Chair and Vice-President of FFR
- Prof Ross Tucker, science and research consultant for World Rugby
- Rachael Burford, International Rugby Players
- Dr Sharron Flahive, International Rugby Players
- Nicky Ponsford, World Rugby Women’s High-Performance Manager
- Dr Éanna Falvey, World Rugby Chief Medical Officer
- Yvonne Nolan, World Rugby Regulations Committee member
- Mark Harrington, World Rugby Head of Technical Services
Dr Araba Chintoh today said: “The women’s game has developed at a rapid pace over the past few years, we must ensure that the right interventions, research studies and laws and are in place to continue to support and sustain its global growth and make it even more accessible.
“We need to move away from simply replicating what is in existence in the men’s game with respect to player welfare and with the establishment of the women’s player welfare steering group, we will begin to inform and advise relevant decision making committees in World Rugby where change needs to happen. This is truly a significant and positive step for the women’s game .”
Earlier this year World Rugby outlined an ambitious six-point action plan to become the most progressive sport on player welfare with a key pillar of the strategy dedicated to focus on the women’s game, recognising both the growth potential and unique nature of women’s rugby.
The Women’s Player Welfare Steering group will convene for its first meeting in November.
England announce exciting Autumn Series
England men will play four home matches at Twickenham Stadium as part of the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.
England will first take on the same two teams that they will face in their opening 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool D fixtures – beginning their campaign against Argentina [Sunday 6 November], followed by Japan [Saturday 12 November].
Eddie Jones’ side will then play New Zealand on Saturday 19 November for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final, where England beat the three-time world champions 19-7.
Their final game is against world champions South Africa [Saturday 26 November]. Last month, in a tightly contested game England beat the Springboks 27-26 with an 80th-minute penalty.
Jones said: “These fixtures will be a really important part of our preparation for the 2023 World Cup.
“It’s almost a mini World Cup in itself and we’re fortunate to have it less than a year before the tournament.
“It will be a good litmus test for the team to see where we are at, culminating in playing first and second in the world.
“We saw how much of a difference having a full Twickenham Stadium was this autumn and we can’t wait to play a series of games against such quality opposition in front of our supporters.”
Hospitality packages are on sale now via EnglandRugby.com/Hospitality and wider ticket details will be issued early in 2022.
Kick off times will be confirmed in coming weeks.
Full fixtures (all KOs TBC)
England v Argentina Sunday 6 November 2022
England v Japan Saturday 12 November 2022
England v New Zealand Saturday 19 November 2022
England v South Africa Saturday 26 November 2022
Garry Ringrose Signs New Three Year IRFU Contract
Ireland centre Garry Ringrose has signed a three year IRFU contract which will see him continue to play with Leinster until the end of the 2024/25 season.
Garry started all three of Ireland’s Autumn Nations Series fixtures having missed the summer Tests through injury. Garry made his Ireland debut against Canada in the 2016 Guinness November Series and has since represented his country on 37 occasions scoring 10 tries.
A grand slam winner in 2018 Garry also starred on the summer tour of Australia and started four or Ireland’s Rugby World Cup fixtures in Japan in 2019.
The former Ireland U20 has made 90 senior appearances for Leinster scoring 28 tries and has won a European Champions Cup (2018) and four PRO rugby titles (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) with his province.
IRFU High Performance Director, David Nucifora commented,
“Garry has had a tough road with injuries since the World Cup in Japan but he is a top international player who delivers big performances for Ireland and Leinster. He will be an influential figure at both national and provincial level over the coming years.”
Garry Ringrose commented, “Delighted to sign for another three years. It is an exciting time to be involved with Leinster and Ireland. Both squads have ambition to be competing for silverware every year and I’m motivated to do whatever I can to contribute”
World Rugby approves birth right amendment for players to transfer unions
- New process can benefit players and the global competitiveness of rugby
- Fairness and integrity key principles that underpin the framework
- Approval follows extensive discussion and collaboration across the game
- Revised Regulation will apply from 1 January 2022
The World Rugby Council has approved an amendment to the sport’s regulations governing national team representation that will now permit an international player to transfer once from one union to another subject to demonstrating a close and credible link to that union via birth right.
From 1 January, 2022, in order to transfer from one union to another under the revised Regulation 8 (eligibility), a player will need to achieve the below criteria:
- The player must stand-down from international rugby for 36 months
- The player must either be born in the country to which they wish to transfer or have a parent or grandparent born in that country
- Under the revised Regulation 8 criteria, a player may only change union once and each case will be subject to approval by the World Rugby Regulations Committee to preserve integrity
After 1 January 2022, any player who meets the above criteria can apply immediately for a transfer.
The Regulation 8 revisions will also align the “age of majority” across 15s and sevens. All players will now be ‘captured’ at 18 years of age to simplify the Regulation and improve union understanding and compliance.
Approval of the amended regulation follows requests by emerging nations and a subsequent wide-ranging consultation process with member unions, regions and International Rugby Players examining the possibility of amending the principle within Regulation that stipulates that a player may only represent one union at international level, save for specific circumstances relating to participation in the Olympic Games.
The benefits of the amendment include:
- Simplicity and alignment: transfers are currently permitted in the context of participation in the Olympics in the sevens game. This amendment will create one aligned, simplified process across the game
- Development of emerging nations: the player depth of emerging nations may be improved by permitting players, who have close and credible links to the “emerging union” through birth or ancestry, to “return” to those unions having previously represented another union
- Player-focused approach: the process recognised the modern rugby environment, including global player movement, the current ability to capture players by selecting them on the bench, and the desire of some players to transfer having been selected a limited number of times for one union. It also examined the impact of any change on the integrity of the international competition landscape.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Approval of this landmark regulatory change is the culmination of detailed and widespread modelling and consultation across the game. We have listened to our membership and players and sought to update the regulation recognising the modern professional rugby environment without compromising the integrity of the international game.
“Any player who wishes to transfer will need to have a close and credible link to their new union, namely birth right or parent or grandparent birth right while meeting strong criteria, including a 36-month stand down period. We believe that this is the fairest way to implement progressive change that puts players first while also having the potential to support a growing, increasingly competitive international men’s and women’s game.”
World Rugby Vice-Chairman Bernard Laporte added: “We have listened to our membership and honoured our pledge to undertake wide-ranging review of this important regulation. We have consulted, sought feedback from our unions, regions and most importantly to players’ representatives, before making a recommendation to the Council. This change to how international rugby operates will provide transformational opportunities to players with dual backgrounds, providing they meet the key criteria sets out in the Regulation 8.”
International Rugby Players CEO, Omar Hassanein said:“The proposal to change the rules around player eligibility is something that we have worked on over many years with our member associations. Many players across the world will now benefit from the chance to represent the country of their or their ancestors’ birth, serving as a real boost to the competitiveness of emerging nations, which in turn, will benefit the game as a whole.”