Mon | Jan 18, 2021

JRFU pleased with Women’s World Cup expansion

Published:Saturday | December 5, 2020 | 8:37 AM
BENZWICK
BENZWICK
Members of the Jamaica lady rugby union team participating in a training session at Emmet Park in Kingston on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Members of the Jamaica lady rugby union team participating in a training session at Emmet Park in Kingston on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
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Jamaica Rugby Football Union (JRFU) chairman, Jerry Benzwick, says that World Rugby’s decision to expand the number of teams for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup is a milestone for women’s rugby regionally and internationally.

World Rugby chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, announced on Monday that the expansion of the women’s version of the tournament to 16 teams will begin in 2025. This initiative is part of an eight-year plan, which will focus on strengthening the competitiveness of women’s rugby globally, in efforts to increase the growth of women in the sport.

Benzwick said that it is an excellent initiative by the sport’s governing body, and he believes that with the addition of powerful women to the Jamaica Lady Crocs team, the nation’s women will be successful in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.

“It is a welcome opportunity,” he said. “We have been looking forward to getting our women’s 15s programme started, and I mean the region has been looking forward to it, and we’re excited about participating in the 15s set-up. We did play 15s in the past, and we did well, but I think we will do much better now.

“And, it’s an opportunity for us to make it into the World Cup, which is a prestigious tournament to be a part of. It will not be an easy road because we have to qualify outside of the region, and everyone knows that the ‘big bad wolves’ in the region are Canada and the United States, and both teams played in the last World Cup.

“But, there’s a qualification process, which we believe will take us to competing against the Caribbean teams, possibly, teams from the South American region, which means we are going to have to beat them, and then we get to step over into the full qualification stages. We have a little road to travel, which is going to take some real work and dedication.”

Athena Clarke