Australia women’s rugby captain banned for biting
SYDNEY (AP) — The captain of Australia's women's rugby team has been banned for six weeks after admitting biting an opponent on the arm during a domestic match.
New Zealand to host 2021 Women’s World Cup
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand has won the right to host the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup, bringing the tournament to the southern hemisphere for the first time.
World Rugby voted 25-17 in Dublin on Wednesday to award the hosting rights to New Zealand over a rival bid from Australia.
The decision means that the New Zealand women's team, five-time world champions, will have the chance to play a World Cup match at home for the first time.
O’Gara, Williams, Villepreux, Burgess join Hall of Fame
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Ireland flyhalf Ronan O'Gara, France fullback Pierre Villepreux, All Blacks winger Bryan Williams and Wales women's international Liza Burgess are the latest players to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
O'Gara, who is currently an assistant coach of New Zealand's Crusaders, is Ireland's leading point scorer in tests, accumulating 1,083 points in 128 test appearances.
Japan women improve to win Asian Games rugby gold
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Japan's women's rugby sevens team gave itself a timely boost two years out from the Tokyo Olympics when it beat China 7-5 and won the Asian Games final for the first time on Saturday.
While Japan's men have dominated Asian sevens for years, the women have struggled to stay ahead of their regional rival.
Japan was beaten by China in the last Asian Games final four years ago, and recently lost its spot to China as a "core" team in the world sevens series.
New Zealand repeat as Women’s Rugby World Cup champions
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Black Ferns stood shoulder to shoulder Saturday as their national anthem played and day turned to dusk by the San Francisco Bay. About 30 minutes later they stood shoulder to shoulder again, this time atop a podium with gold medals draped around their necks.
The final was one-way traffic as New Zealand blanked France 29-0 and became the first country to repeat as Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Exhilarating, compelling, instantaneous — women's rugby sevens made its long-awaited debut at the Commonwealth Games.
Sevens is an ideal modern-day sport, each 14-minute match features back-to-back action and plenty of tries.
And the inclusion of the women's event hit a sweet spot for organizers of the Commonwealth Games, with tickets to Super Sunday — rugby's medal round — having sold out long ago for the 27,500 capacity Robina Stadium.
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — As Australia's gold-medal favorites were readying to return to the Commonwealth Games village from their self-imposed training bubble, the quarantined New Zealand women's rugby seven squad was sending a mumps-affected player home.
Tonga’s proposed ban on women’s rugby angers critics
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — An order from Tonga's education ministry banning girls from playing rugby at the Pacific nation's only public high school has been condemned by Tongan community leaders and a high-profile Olympic champion.
A letter signed by Education Minister Penisimani Fifita told staff at Tonga High School in the capital Nukualofa that girls should not play rugby or take part in boxing to "preserve the dignity of Tongan women and hold on to Tongan cultural values."
Australian league great Steve Folkes dead at 59
SYDNEY (AP) — Steve Folkes, who won premierships as a player and coach with the Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia's National Rugby League and who played five tests for Australia, has died aged 59, the Bulldogs club said.
The cause of death was believed to be cardiac arrest.
Australia bids for Rugby World Cups, launches women’s league
SYDNEY (AP) — Rugby Australia announced plans to bid for the women's and men's World Cups on the same day it launched a national women's competition.
Australia, which co-hosted the inaugural Rugby World Cup with New Zealand in 1987 and staged it alone in 2003, will bid to host the women's World Cup in 2021 and the men's edition in 2027.
The women's global tournament was launched in 1991, but has never been held in the southern hemisphere.
NZ regain Women’s Rugby World Cup beating England in final
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — New Zealand restored its supremacy in women's rugby by relieving England of the World Cup by 41-32 in the final on Saturday.
After winning four straight Women's Rugby World Cups, beating England in three finals, the Black Ferns failed to make the semifinals in 2014 and watched England triumph in Paris.
But in benign conditions in Belfast, the New Zealanders came from 12 points down in a grinding first half to win comfortably in the end by nine.
Another NZ vs England final at Women’s Rugby World Cup
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — England will defend the Women's Rugby World Cup in the final against four-time winner New Zealand after beating France 20-3 on Tuesday.
New Zealand's Black Ferns crushed the United States 45-12 in the other semifinal.
The final is on Saturday in Belfast. The Black Ferns, who have never lost a final, beat England in three of them.
England won a match of attrition in the rain. The English made nearly 50 tackles in the first quarter alone to withstand a French siege.
B&I Lions considering women’s rugby tours
LONDON (AP) — The British and Irish Lions are interested in developing a women's touring squad.
Chief operating officer Charlie McEwen says they can start planning a women's team after they have sorted out the men's schedule for the next 12 years.
"I think a British and Irish Lions women's team is an important step forward that the Lions should be making," McEwen said.
It takes a certain temperament to survive the rigors of rugby, and Maria Michelotti is what they call Butte Tough. Truth is, Michelotti had no idea what she was getting into when she joined the women’s club at Montana State as a freshman last year.
Michelotti, formerly a three-sport athlete at Butte High, was attending the annual “Catapalooza” orientation festival on the MSU campus when her plan to join an intramural sport took an odd turn.
Pakistani women take key first step in rugby sevens debut
ISLAMABAD (AP) — They won only once at the Asian Women's Rugby Sevens in Laos last weekend but for the Pakistan women it was a dream debut at an international event.
"That's a big deal that women are playing rugby," player Mehru Khan said. "And secondly, that we are getting a platform to come and perform to represent our country."
Pakistani women in memorable rugby sevens debut
They might have won only one match at the Asian Women's Rugby Sevens in Laos on the weekend, but for the Pakistan team — which formed only a year ago — it was a dream debut at an international event.
"For everyone it's a huge deal that the women are playing rugby," said Pakistan player Mehru Khan.
"First, that's a big deal that women are playing rugby. And secondly that we are getting a platform to come and perform to represent our country."
Report shows level of chaos in Kenya Olympic team
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya had its most successful Olympics ever in Rio de Janeiro despite chaotic preparations that included missing shoes, ill-fitting uniforms, a brawl among teammates over prize money and completely inadequate training facilities, according to a report reviewed Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Rugby couple put respect in front and center in Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Isadora Cerullo has become a celebrity around Rio, more for what happened on the sidelines of the Olympic rugby stadium than for her performances on the pitch.
The stadium was largely empty after the women's rugby sevens tournament — the first in Olympic history — when venue manager Marjorie Enya walked onto the grass to ask Cerullo, her girl-friend, an important question: "Will you marry me?"
Olympic village: Early finishers party while others compete
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Alev Kelter's Olympics were over, so she and her U.S. women's rugby teammates could finally go out for some celebratory passionfruit caipirinhas.
Oh, and to party with Matthew McConaughey.
True story: After finishing fifth at the Rio de Janeiro Games, the rugby team had gone through its post-Olympics debriefing meeting and headed to a hotel bar to enjoy a few glasses of Brazil's national drink. And in walked McConaughey, who was spotted at...
What to watch at the Rio Games on Monday
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Day 3 of the Rio Games features medal action in gymnastics, swimming, fencing, women's rugby, judo and more. Here are some things to watch (all times local):
Michael Phelps swims in preliminaries of the men's 200 meter butterfly at 1:44 p.m. He holds the world and Olympic records in the event.