Mary’s Wonder Women: Super W grand final – tonight!

This article was first written for and published for The Roar.

Tonight, the inaugural season of the Super W comes to a conclusion, when the New South Wales Waratahs take on the Queensland Reds at Allianz Stadium from 4:45pm.

The two most dominant teams have made it to the final, with NSW and Queensland finishing first and second on the ladder.

The Waratahs are thus far undefeated, while the Reds have only lost one game – their first game against the Tahs, 18-0, at Suncorp Stadium.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Super W kicks off

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

Rugby fans, Super W has officially arrived.

Yesterday was a big day for rugby in Australia. There were several key announcements made about the women’s XV game, including the announcement of the draw for the inaugural Super W competition, details about where fans can watch the action via broadcast and the unveiling of the official sponsor for the competition – Buildcorp.

Mary’s Wonder Women: The Pearls come home to Sydney

This article was first written and published for The Roar

Flashback to 2009. An announcement was made that rugby sevens would become an Olympic sport, set to make its debut in 2016 at Rio.

It was at this point that preparations began in Australia to not only feature men’s and women’s teams in that Olympics, but also to make sure that these teams were successful.

The Australian Rugby Union began looking for talent. They scoured the country, looked to junior talent pools and even looked to other sports like rugby league, touch football and netball, eventually writing to thousands of women asking if they wanted to participate in a trial.

Mary’s Wonder Women: The Wallaroos get their pay day

This article was first written for and published by The Roar

During 2016 I wrote at least one article a week about women’s sport. That’s at least 52 articles covering the talents and successes of women across a number of sports including rugby league, rugby union, AFL, football, basketball, netball, softball and cricket.

This year I make the same commitment. I will continue to write about women in sport and to celebrate their achievements.

But I am also going to make another commitment to all of you this year.

Recently I was asked what I hope for women in sport in the future.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Rugby joins the women’s sport party

This story was first written for and published by The Roar.

For Rugby Australia, 2017 will be a year some key stakeholders will quickly want to forget. It’s a year that will be remembered for stoushes in the Super Rugby, uncertainty at an administrative level and concern about the performance of the Wallabies on the world stage.

It’s a shame that plenty of important achievements, particularly in the women’s rugby space will be overshadowed by some of this other noise.

But the good news is, if 2018 follows the lead of the final few weeks of 2017, then it could be the year that changes the face of Australian rugby forever – and in the best possible way.

It’s been a week of big announcements.

HSBC Rugby 7’s Wrap

This article was first written by Stephen Mortimer.

The first round of the HSBC series was won by Australia in emphatic style, beating the USA 34-0.Australia were unbeaten throughout and were easily the best team of the tournament.

It was their first tournament win since 2016.

The upset of the weekend was the loss by New Zealand to the USA in the quarterfinals, after the final siren. The Silver Ferns featured in every final last year, except in Sydney, and had been in great recent touch after wins in their warm up games.

Countdown to the World 7s

This article was first written by Stephen Mortimer.

The 2017/18 HSBC Women’s World Rugby 7’s tournament kicks off in Dubai on 30 November and travels to Sydney, Japan, Canada and concludes in Paris in June.

This is a watershed year in 7’s rugby as the teams will assemble for the first time, between the Sydney and Japanese legs, on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games.

Additionally, the 7’s World Cup will take place in San Francisco in July.

Women’s sport weekly wrap: Success for the Wallaroos at the World Cup

This article was first written and published for The Roar.

It’s safe to say that the Australian Wallaroos 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign was a successful one.

Over the past couple of weeks I have written several articles about women’s rugby in Australia, questioning whether the ARU is willing to invest the funds necessary to make the women’s XV version of the game successful.