The Black Ferns began preparations at London Irish’s training ground in Shepperton with two adjusted games against England Under 20s and Wales. It was kind of New Zealand and Welsh information services to let us know about England’s participation.
Two different Ferns teams won the games 83-3 and 53-7 respectively. This was a cunning plan by the two home unions to lower the visitors’ guard.
It is almost exactly one year till Wales take on New Zealand for proper in the World Cup.
By a cruel irony the Welsh team’s visit to Thames-side coincided with another blast at the WRU by Gemma Hallett.
She tweets: ‘Last week the WRU decided not to implement Women’s performance pathways; [not to] release the review recommendations. Our girls deserve better and the WRU needs to be held to account for the decimation of our game’ And: ‘Despite those taking part and contributing being told being told they would see it. They prefer no accountability?’
She implies that the committee of three thought (or were assured) that their findings would be made public. This sounds like a case for a Freedom of Information request.
Will the IRFU take the same stance when they receive their report from the same three people? We must sincerely hope not.
It was good to find the England junior squad in action again after such a long Covid-induced break. They can hardly have expected to meet such distinguished opposition first time up.
Scotland is seeking coaches at Under 18 level, which is an excellent sign. The posts will be paid but part-time.