Posted by: Ethan Johnson | August 29, 2010

Discoveries: USA Women’s Rugby

Embarrassing admission time: Whenever I saw a rugby ball at the sporting goods store, or whenever the sport was on TV (which means “back when I subscribed to Setanta Sports”) I automatically associated rugby with being purely a men’s sport. One might expect that a guy who bills himself as “Mister Women’s Sports” would be more, mmm, enlightened than that. And while I could beat myself up for not knowing that women do in fact play rugby, I am going to use this as a teachable moment. I think it is fair to say that if a given sport exists, women play it. And if you don’t think they do, Google it. I did, and got turned on to USA Women’s Rugby.

This “discovery” comes right in the middle of the 2010 Rugby World Cup. USA is out of the running this year, but the World Cup continues on through September 5. Check your local listings, or check around for streaming video.

Sadly, I don’t “get” rugby. I watched a few men’s matches some years back and I saw Invictus, which only told me that the ball can’t be passed forward. I did note that rugby is intensely physical, and insane, and seems to lack any sort of meaningful padding. If soccer players chide “American Football” players for being covered in pads (among other reasons), neither side can hold a candle to rugby. Which, admittedly, came as a shock to me as I was still coming to grips with “American” football being played by women.

While I take some time to learn more about rugby, I had a flashback to a “Friends” episode where Reese Witherspoon (in the role as Rachel Green’s sister Jill) provides what could be a rallying cry for women everywhere, athletes or otherwise:

Rachel: Jill this is not about me being jealous of you! This is about you being a brat! Wanting what you can’t have!

Jill: Can’t have?! Excuse me, the only thing I can’t have is dairy!

Please take a moment to view the short documentary film on the US Rugby WNT site for more information about the WNT and the future of women’s rugby worldwide.

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