Source: Hannah Peters - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

The Annual Awards – what a mess!

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The mess World Rugby got itself into by arranging its annual awards at the end of the men’s world cup in Paris is now made worse by the announcement of the women’s awards.

Nobody representing her country at WXV1 in New Zealand could attend in Paris; the overlap amounted to four days. WR couldn’t expect all those men to hang around for that length of time, waiting for a handful of women players to fly halfway across the globe to arrive.

WXV1 was deliberately held a week later than the two other levels, to give it the prominence it deserved. The clash was a consequence the organisers may have become aware of too late.

In WR’s own words: ‘Winners across four categories will be celebrated during a special awards presentation in front of fans at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart after the final whistle’ (of the England- New Zealand match.

You may imagine that at least one of the winners will be forced to appear the way rugby players look after a tense 80-minute game; some way short of the elegance they would present at a place like the Opéra Garnier in Paris. Nor could be two venues be compared in their elegance.

By an unhappy chance the winners of the Sevens categories were able to be present in Paris, thus undoing the prominence WXV was meant to give to women’s Fifteens rugby.

How large will the crowd be at the stadium, and how many will be willing to stay on for the presentations? We can only hope for the best.