Source: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

December Rugby Diary

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That was 2023, that was

1 December 6 Nations: Ireland vs Scotland to be played at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
1 December The RFU made a profit of £4m in 2022-23
1 December The 58,000 crowd attending England’s victory over France contributed c. £1m of revenue from hospitality and catering
1 December Ireland to face Wales at Musgrave Park Cork (13 April) and England at Twickenham (20 April)
1-3 December PWR Round 3
2 December Start of Dubai Sevens
2 December Croatia 37 Bulgaria 5 (both teams’ first ever test) at Sinj, Croatia
2 December Emily Robinson (Quins) shown red card after the final whistle v Saracens
3 December Australia win Dubai 7s
3 December 1155 attended the Bristol v Gloucester-Hartpury game in the freezing cold
4 December Carys Phillips (Wales and Quins) has been allowed home after careful treatment for a neck injury by onfield staff and hospital medics
4 December Belinda Moore, CEO of PWR, claims it is ahead of schedule on its path to professionalisation
5 December Details of 2023-24 Celtic Challenge announced; new teams: Clovers and Wolfhounds (Ireland), Gwalia Lightning and Brython Thunder (Wales), Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors (Scotland).
5 December Hollie Davidson (Scotland) to make her 6N Men’s Championship debut as an AR for England v Ireland in February; Joy Neville (Ireland) to be TMO
6 December Rugby Australia want to know who your Wallaroo of the Year was
7 December Emily Robinson (Harlequins) given 5-match suspension for head-butting, reduced from 10 (see 2nd above)
7 December Rochelle Clark leaves her post as asistant coach to Leicester Tigers to concentrate on her media career
7 December 3 nominations for NZ Player of the Year: Maia Roos, Amy Du Plessis, Liana Mikale Tu’u
9 December USA PR7s Talent ID Trials to start
9 December Fourth round of PWR (England); Saracens and Exeter share lead
9-10 December Fourth round of Serie A Elite Femminile (Italy); Valsugana and Villorba lead the 2 pools
10 December Ireland beat NZ for first time at 7s
11 December WR and RFU confirm venues for RWC 2025
11 December Unconfirmed report that Jo Yapp (ex-England and ex-head coach Worcester Warrions) to be next head coach of Wallaroos
12 December Fiji Rugby seeks new coaches for Fijiana Drua and Fijiana 15s
12 December Confirmed report that Jo Yapp (ex-England and ex-head coach Worcester Warrions) to be next head coach of Wallaroos!
12 December Sherry Trumbull, Andrea Burk, Jen Kish and Julianne Zussman are inducted into Canada’s Hall of Fame
12 December Guinness will be main sponsors of men’s and women’s 6 Nations
13 December John Mitchell makes his first public statement about the Red Roses
14 December 34 names listed for latest England U18 squad
14 December Black Ferns 15s Player of the Year is Liana Mikaele-Tu’u; BF 7s Player of the Year is Stacey Waaka
14 December Rugby Australia announces seven fixtures in the Super Rugby International Trial series; teams include Tokyo Sankyu Phoenix, the Hong Kong China national team and a Pasifika XV
14 December And now a book on rugby by a man: Wayne Barnes’ Throwing the Book
15 December IRFU announces coaches and kit for the Celtic Challenge
16 December Scottish Premiership Final: Watsonians 19 Stirling County (holders) 26, Myreside Stadium Edinburgh
16 December Bella McKenzie (Quins) has returned to Australia for personal reasons
16 December Gloucester-Hartpury given suspended five-point deduction for not having medical support on site
16 December Saracens and Gloucester-Hartpury remain unbeaten in PWR
18 December Belgium restarts preparations for two friendlies against Germany in the new year
18 December Rugby Canada announces six successful applicants of the 2023 Women in Leadership Fund
18 December Australia U18s win the Global Youth Sevens in Auckland
20 December Two squads each for the Celtic Challenge Competition announced
21 December Peter Horne appointed Rugby Australia’s High Performance Director; David Nucifora leaves IRFU to become HP Advisor
21 December USA Women’s U20s make a winter camp at Marietta, Georgia; 34 involved
21 December Vodafone become principal partners for Brython Thunder and Gwalia Lightning (Celtic Challenge)
21 December FFR announce 40 names to prepare for 2024 Six Nations at Marcoussis (8-12 January)
22 December Italy and Spain announce an initiative involving two new franchises each
23 December PWR, Round 6; Saracens and Glos-Pury still unbeaten
23 December Alisha Butchers and Jasmine Joyce (Wales) marry in Pembrokeshire
25 December Merry Christmas!
26 December Rugby Europe announces fixtures for Euro Championship 2024; 4 nations: Spain (holders), Germany, NL and Portugal; matches Feb-April
27 December Scotland announces 11 transitional players who are available for Edinburgh and Scotland during the Celtic Challenge
29 December Round One of Celtic Challenge, Wolfhounds 21 Clovers 15, in Cork; first game of the series
30 December Edinburgh Rugby 28 Glasgow Warriors 12, at Hive Stadium Edinburgh; second game of the series
30 December ‘Big Match’, Quins 19 Gloucester-Hartpury 31 at Twickenham Stadium, part of a double-header; women first; new world record club attendance, 16,237
31 December Happy New Year!

Transfers, etc

4 December Lou Dodd (Wasps and Army) signs on for Trailfinders
8 December Minori Yamamoto (Japan) signs for Sake Sharks from Worcester Warriors
14 December Taz Bricknell (Worcester Warriors) signs for Exeter Chiefs
14 December Loughborough Lightning sign England Under 20s prop Catherine Wells from Worcester Warriors
28 December Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning and Scotland) joins Edinburgh Rugby on a short-term loan

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