One annoyance rant here. I've been unhappy with the way various Rugby bodies are throwing around the word professional to imply some move towards equality in women's Rugby when, often implying money going towards the women's game when the major difference is that the women are still not being paid. Case in point the Australia Super League that recently started:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/w ... rs/9503626
Now the women may train, eat and live like they are professionals, outside their full time jobs, but surely this liberal use of calling women Rugby players now "professional" is far to liberal as to basically be a lie when the definition of professionalism has always been to earn pay from the sport.
Also a bit lazy to have two photos of sevens players?
I watched the highlights from all the games and the standard was not good at all. I reckon our top clubs would thrash them (bold statement, but some of the defending was very average.) Rather than paying this group, money allocated to women would be better off - imo, don't know much about what's happening on the ground - paying to get more women coaches developing girls / women at the club level. Move beyond sevens and get full XVs leagues (10s where not yet possible), bringing up the standard.
When I coached in Canberra, most teams could only muster 10 a side, somehow magically pulling 15 and subs together for playoffs. The team disappeared for a while, but has been back for a few years and it seems to have more players - and, importantly, more young players, so girls are latching on. As in other places, the major issue to fix was bridging the gap between when girls play with boys and the women's leagues. They lost a lot because there were no significant leagues club / school for teenage girls. My school had a team, but it only played in one festival, so got together a few weeks before for a one-off.
Here's not my ideal, but we've built a pretty good system on a school league that only lasts a month and a half. Most girls in Canada play in the spring, which means end of April / beginning of June (when provincial finals are held, quickly followed by end-of-year exams). A very small fraction will play club in the summer. If they don't already have it, Australia (and other developing areas) should shoot for XVs over three months, at least, with a consistent run of games and no off-weeks. Because of the short season, girls here often play two games a week.