Fi­jian women play PNG in Suva

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The Fi­jian na­tional women rugby team will play Papua New Guinea at the ANZ Sta­dium on Novem­ber 5. This game will serve as the Ocea­nia qual­i­fier for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ire­land next year. The win­ner will go through the repechage in Hong Kong which will fea­ture two teams from Asia and South Africa. Fiji Rugby Union de­vel­op­ment man­ager Sale Sorovaki said Ocea­nia Rugby will fi­nalise the de­tails of the game. Aus­tralia and New Zealand are the only two teams from Ocea­nia that have qual­i­fied along­side Canada, USA, Eng­land, Wales, France, Ire­land and Italy.

A to­tal of 12 teams will take part for the 2017 WRWC. The pool rounds will be played in Univer­sity Col­lege Dublin on Au­gust 9-17. Fol­low­ing the end of pool play, the knock-out phase of the tour­na­ment will take place in Belfast, at Queens Univer­sity and Kingspan Sta­dium on Au­gust 22-26.

Olympic suc­cess

One year out from the fi­nal of 2017, Eng­land’s Katy Mclean looks ahead to the tour­na­ment as well as re­flect­ing on her side’s suc­cess in France two years ago and the im­pact that it had on women’s rugby. Mclean ac­knowl­edges that women’s rugby as a whole, not just Eng­land, came out win­ners af­ter 16 days of ab­sorb­ing ac­tion.

Un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence

Mclean, a for­mer pri­mary school teacher, was one of 20 Eng­land play­ers to be handed a full-time pro­fes­sional con­tract fol­low­ing the events in Paris, and along with a se­lect band of team-mates she rep­re­sented Great Bri­tain in rugby sev­ens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, just miss­ing out on a medal by fin­ish­ing fourth. “The Olympics is a very spe­cial com­pe­ti­tion and to say that I was part of the first rugby sev­ens squad will be some­thing I will look back on with pride in time. “I think women’s rugby is in a great place, the Olympics did a great job of show­cas­ing the finest women’s sev­ens and Aus­tralia were de­serv­ing win­ners of the gold.”

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