As to why professionalization of women’s rugby in the USA is necessary,
Women’s Rugby World Cup : Rachel Johnson, a flanker for the USA national team, has expressed a desire for professional contracts to be offered to Eagles players in time for the 2019 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
In 1991, after beating England 19-6 in the Final at Cardiff Arms Park, the Eagles became the first women’s team to win the World Cup.
While the standard of women’s rugby has risen to unprecedented heights in this year’s World Cup in New Zealand, few countries are sending professional teams.
Exeter Chiefs, for whom Johnson plays club rugby, agrees with Johnson that the Eagles need to become professional if they are to compete with the greatest teams in the world.
The progress that you’ve seen worldwide is incredibly exciting about women’s rugby right now, someone commented after their team lost in the quarterfinals against Canada.
We’ve seen a lot of growth, and not only growth, but distinctive styles of play, as programs have begun to spend more in their teams.
Being able to see such high-caliber tennis in the World Cup has been fantastic.
You’ve seen the results and the difference that contracted players can make, so if we want to keep expanding and competing at the highest level, we need to adopt the same policies that other nations have.
After starting their World Cup campaign with a disappointing defeat to Italy by 12 points in Whangarei, the United States were encouraged by a convincing victory against Japan.
The Eagles had a chance to redeem themselves in the quarterfinals after losing their third and final group game against Canada in Auckland.
The seventh-ranked Eagles held their own against the third-ranked Canadians in the first half of their quarterfinal matchup.
The United States took the early lead with a try by hooker Joanna Kitlinski, but the opposition came back with three consecutive scores.
Alev Kelter’s yellow card, given when the Eagles’ lead was just eight points early in the second half, proved to be a decisive moment.
Canada won the Test easily, 32-11, and will now face England in a semi-final matchup at Eden Park this coming Saturday.
Even though the United States’ World Cup campaign is over, Johnson says the two games versus Canada “were undoubtedly our greatest matches.”
Despite being devastated by the outcome, I believe that competing in Canada sparks genuine competition and enthusiasm among our team.
We played our greatest football in the World Cup in our last two games against Canada.
Wow, I’m so happy for my group. That first half was a great example of the kind of rugby we’re capable of playing. “There was a 20-minute stretch in the second half that really let us down and we never recovered from that.”
Canada’s advantage was cut to four points when Paige Farries scored a try as the half-time buzzer rang.
Canada outscored the Eagles 13–3 in the second half, with the exception of Kelter’s penalty goal at the 45-minute mark.
After losing in the quarterfinals, United States head coach Rob Cain praised his “very great bunch.”
Certainly a challenging question. Cain remarked on the Rugby World Cup’s Twitter page, “We did everything right in the first 40 minutes, and those 20 minutes after half-time we simply didn’t do what we preached about all week.”
It’s not about us, so give credit to Canada. After a lackluster first half, Canada reemerged and played well for the first 20 minutes of the second half.
To quote the coach: “We want to play rugby, but when you’re chasing the game in these circumstances, the unforced mistakes began stacking up and we moved more and more away from what we wanted to do, which was disappointing because they’re a very wonderful bunch and I’m really proud of them.”
The first semi-final at Eden Park will feature Canada vs. England, followed by New Zealand vs. France.