Fijian women play PNG in Suva
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.
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.
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.”