Women's rugby

Upset win for Japan

The Wallaroos performance was full of errors, while the Japanese success was based on some outstanding defence.

Both sides scored two tries with Australia having the chance to steal the result late in the game but normally reliable goal kicker Lori Cramer missed a penalty attempt in the 77th minute.

The result will improve the world ranking for the Japanese who are currently ranked 12.

The Japanese also beat Fiji 28-14 earlier in the series.

Dates for women's Rugby World Cup confirmed

The 12-team tournament which was due to be held this year in Auckland and Whangarei was postponed due to Covid-19.

The new dates mean the tournament will be extended from 35 to 43 days, meaning all teams will have a minimum of five rest days between matches in align with the approach recently approved for the men's competition.

The extension of the tournament window also allows for a revamped tournament format that will see all matches take place on Saturdays and Sundays with no overlap.

Big win for women's rugby with World Cup to be expanded in 2025

The landmark decision, taken by the Rugby World Cup board earlier this year, reflects the growing popularity of the women’s game globally through World Rugby’s transformational women’s strategic plan.

With interest and participation in the women's game continuing to climb, World Rugby has recognised that the increasing competitiveness in women’s international rugby.

This, in turn, has led to the World Cup being expanded, providing the opportunity for more teams to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

Australia leads way for women's rugby

Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria, and Western Australia will all be represented in the 15-a-side, six-week league, with a final to be played in April.

The announcement came on the same day Rugby Australia outlined its plans to bid for the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup.

"I am really proud and excited about this competition launching next year and what this means for the game in Australia," Wallaroos captain Shannon Parry said.

Samoa's shifting sands reveal rugby renaissance

Samoa loves rugby union.

The young man selling sarongs from a rickety card table in the centre of Apia proudly wears the national jersey, as do several shoppers.

In the villages, families huddle around TV screens to watch the Sevens World Series and taxi drivers proudly point out the homes of famous players.

But as they drive past Marist Brothers Primary School Mulivai, they barely notice what might be the nation's most devoted rugby players.

Fijiana 7s finish fourth in Japan

The Fijiana were denied a famous victory against reigning World Series and Olympic champions Australia in the playoff for bronze at the inaugural Kitakyushu Sevens in Japan.

Fiji led 12-0 half-time and 17-7 midway through the second half but conceded two tries in the final four minutes to go down 19-17.

Captain Ana Maria Roqica and Miriama Naiobasali were both named in the Kitakyushu tournament Dream Team, while Naiobasali was the second highest point-scorer over the weekend.

Fiji's only other semifinal appearance on the World Series was in Guangzhou in April 2014.