The RWU Mom aka Mumscrum, Karen Ritter is back with a great piece on the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
12 teams. 3 pools. 2 venues. 1 cup. And 312 ladies ready to bring the trophy back home. Are you ready for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014???
Part of the fun of an international competition is learning about the places represented in the competition. The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 teams come from all over the world: North America (USA, Canada), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Samoa), Europe (Ireland, England, Wales, France, Spain), Asia (Kazakhstan) and Africa (South Africa). Everybody has a story, including all of these countries and the people representing them. I’ll be cheering on my USA Women’s Eagles team, but I’m really enjoying learning about these teams and countries. Here are a few tidbits…
The smallest nation sending a delegation is Samoa, with a population of a little less than 200,000 people comprising an area less than half the size the state of Delaware. Formerly ruled by New Zealand, Samoa gained its independence in 1962. Although small, the Manusina will bring a strong team ready to compete.
With an area of roughly 3.85 million square miles, Canada is the largest country to participate. While its official sports are hockey and lacrosse, Canada’s national rugby teams are doing quite well with both men’s and women’s teams competing in their respective world cups in 2014 and 2015. Mandy Marchak, as a member of Rugby Canada women’s 7’s and 15’s, will be playing in her 5th world cup. Impressive!
Kazakhstan brings its team to the WRWC 2014 coming off another Asian Four Nations Tournament championship. While Wikipedia doesn’t list rugby as a formidable sport in Kazakhstan, clearly it should! Kazakhstan is also the “largest landlocked country in the world”. Who knew? This country has a truly fascinating history. I think their team will be exciting to watch!
Of course, our Women’s Rugby World Cup destination is Paris, France. I’ve never been to France, but I’ll confess to being excited about practicing my French while on the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) website checking out WRWC 2014 info. [btw, thank you, Google Translate.] I’ve spent the better part of July so far watching the Tour de France, which finishes in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. And it’s so cool that in just over a week, 12 rugby women’s teams will converge on that very area to compete in the WRWC 2014. If any cycling fans are able to stick around Paris for a few extra days, I highly suggest they check out these WRWC matches for some fantastic rugby.
The site of the pool play will be the grounds of the FFR in Marcoussis, France. A little more than a half hour drive from Paris, Marcoussis is located in the Ile-de-France region. (In fact, back to my love of the Tour de France, Marcoussis was the beginning of the final stage of the Tour in 2007.) A city once known for its strawberries, Marcoussis is well-known as the home of the National Center of Rugby (NCR), now home to the FFR. The pitches here are adjacent to where an old castle once stood, the Castle of Bellejame. There are many other historical places to visit in Marcoussis, so if you do go, take some time to really get to know this gem of a city. And send back pictures!
The 5 pitches at Marcoussis are beautiful as well; one is covered, while the other 4 are completely outside. There is seating for up to 1,000 spectators. The WRWC teams will be playing on 2 pitches for the pool play. The semi-finals, 3rd place match, and finals match of the WRWC 2014 will be played at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris. Originally constructed in 1925, a recent renovation increased its seating capacity to 20,000. The natural grass pitch is also home to the French professional rugby club Stade Francais. This looks to be a beautiful venue to host the championship match!
If you have a little summer downtime, take the opportunity to peruse some of these team sites to learn more about these dedicated women ruggers and their countries. The beauty of international competition is in more than the match itself; it’s also in the fellowship of the participants and spectators alike. To those of you lucky enough to be going to Paris for this world-class event, I say, “Profitez d’un rugby féminin! Et profiter de Paris! Assurez-vous de ramener un t-shirt WRWC 2014, aussi!” (And another big thank you to Google Translate!) And to the ladies competing, “Bonne chance!”
That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@:RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Jaime Loyd, DJ Eberle, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.