Time will benefit Wallaroos Rugby World Cup campaign

This article was first written for and published by the Roar

Last week World Rugby formally ratified a recommendation to postpone the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which was scheduled to take place in Auckland from 18 September until 16 October 2021. The tournament will now be held in 2022.

Your expectation may be that this postponement would result in disappointment for the players involved, but for Australian Wallaroos squad member Arabella McKenzie the postponement presents an opportunity.

Cherry on top: Emilee recommits to sevens ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

This article was first written for and published by the Roar

Australia’s hopes for back-to-back Olympic gold medals in rugby sevens received a boost last month, when it was announced that Australian women’s sevens superstar Emilee Cherry had made the decision to extend her deal with Rugby Australia.

While plenty has changed in the sevens space since Rio, Cherry will join a core group of women who competed in Rio and have committed to defending their gold medals in Tokyo including Evania Pelite, Ellia Green, Chloe Dalton, Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams.

Cross-code collaboration helps Dalton in her quest for back-to-back gold

This post was first written for and published by the Roar

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chloe Dalton made the decision to return to Sydney and move back in with her parents.

We’ve all faced challenges during the pandemic, but for Dalton, who first moved out aged 18 years old when she was playing in the WNBL with the Sydney University Flames, it was a bit of a shock.

“The hardest part of moving back home was letting them know whether I would be home for dinner or not,” said Dalton.

Sharni Williams recommits to sevens ahead of Tokyo Olympics

This article was first written for and published by the Roar.

In a significant boost to the Australian women’s rugby sevens program, last week veterans Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry recommitted for an additional year.

This means the pair will be available to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where the Aussies are hoping to win back-to-back gold medals, following their historic victory at the 2016 Rio Games.

For Williams, who is captain of the team, the decision has given her the chance to refocus.

Claudia ringing the Bell for women’s rugby

This article was first written for and published by the Roar

Claudia Bell was recently recognised for her outstanding achievements in advancing the opportunities for women and girls to play rugby at the Her Sport Her Way Awards.

Bell was named Young Achiever of the Year.

I was fortunate enough to be at the awards ceremony and recognised Bell’s name, as I had interviewed her three years ago, when she was playing sevens for Macquarie University and looking forward to competing in the finals that weekend.

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

In the past, the Wallaroos were not given the opportunity to play together regularly.

Over the last decade, there have been some years during which the Aussie women have played together as a team as little as twice. In some years, the team have not played together at all.

Season 2 of Super W has arrived!

This article was first written and published by The Roar.

Rugby Australia launched season two of the Super W competition in this week and I continue to be pleased with the increased focus and attention that Rugby Australia is giving to the women’s XV version of the game.

This has not always been the case. In 2017, I wrote an article criticising Rugby Australia and questioning whether they were committed to success in the women’s XV format.

When I wrote that article, the Australian Wallaroos (Australia’s women’s XV team) were in Ireland competing in the World Cup with their total preparation including one Tri-Nations tournament earlier that year and a team camp prior to departure.