Women’s Rugby World Cup on show

Mid Canterbury Rugby Union development officer Jimmy McLeod, and budding Black Ferns (from left) Shelley Cossey, Madison Trusler-Clark and Angel Spooner with the Women's Rugby World Cup.

Budding Black Ferns Madison Trusler-Clark, Angel Spooner and Shelley Cossey got a close up look last week at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ashburton.

The cup, known in the rugby fraternity as Nancy, was in town for a special one-time viewing.

It was on show at a Mid Canterbury Rugby Union touch rugby festival to celebrate the final of the month-long teenage touch series.

The New Zealand Black Ferns are the current world cup winners and the 2021 World Cup, being played in 2022, starts in Auckland on October 8.

The Black Ferns are hoping to retain the cup on their home soil with games being played in Auckland and Whangarei. The official nationwide tour of the Women’s World Cup is being launched on April 6.

Mid Canterbury Rugby Union development officer Jimmy McLeod said there was a a good turn out of people for the festival and the chance to see the Women’s World Cup.

The touch series had been running weekly for the past month, targeting players in the Under 14.5 to Under 18s age group.

It was a teenage space to have a touch rugby run around.

And it proved pretty popular.

The first night 50 teenagers turned out, which dropped to around 20 in the latter weeks as more cases of covid spread in the community, he said.

While McLeod set up the grounds, he said the real work was done by trainers Jonny Galbraith, Mike Spiers and Geoff Chapman who took the training sessions.

On the final night, the crew organised the barbecue and giveaways, and managed to have the Women’s World Cup on show. The cup was going to be on show during Rippa Rugby but the competition was postponed.

McLeod’s focus now, in the lead up to rugby season, was on rugby smart courses for all coaches, managers, trainers and referees.

The courses, listed on the Mid Canterbury Rugby Union website, have started but run through to a top up course on April 30.