Rock Women off to Ireland!

Rock Women to Women’s Rugby World Cup

The Newfoundland Rock women's rugby team are set to tour Ireland August 20-29th attending the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Belfast. The Canadian Women are ranked 3rd in the World and the Rock girls plan to be the loudest fans at the tournament.

The Rock program has also entered teams in the U18 and Senior divisions of the Malone Rugby Tournament in Ireland. The Belfast 10s Festival at Malone Rugby Club on Friday 25th August will be the largest ever female-only rugby festival in Ireland! The U18 girls will play in a 4-team tournament against Cobham (England), Malone (Ireland) and Sterling County (Scotland). The senior girls will play in the Adult Festival which will see 4 pools of 4 teams with all teams playing 3 pool games progressing to the Cup, Plate and Bowl Finals. The senior teams are from all over including the USA, France, England, Ilse of Man, Canada and Ireland. Later in the evening all Festival attendees will be treated to an Inaugural match between Ireland Women’s Legends v England Women’s Legends. A host of ex-players will play in an exhibition match officiated by Alain Rolland in a first match of its kind. 

Sophie-Rose Pickard, one of Newfoundland’s top players this year and Captain for the Newfoundland Touring side is excited about the team traveling. “I’m really looking forward to this trip, Sophie commented. It’s an amazing opportunity for us to play against women from other Countries and see how their playing styles vary from our own. Being able to watch the Women’s World Cup is also going to be an exciting and thrilling experience! My hope is that we all learn new things we can take away from the amazing rugby we will be watching and playing. Who knows, a few years from now and maybe some of our own Rock women will be playing with Canada in the World Cup”.

“A lot of hard work, fitness, fundraising and organization has gone into the year-long preparation for this tour, said Rock Coach, Roxanne Butler and I am hopeful we will perform well at the Malone Tournament and put our small program on the map. The competition opportunity is massive and the experience will be worth the hard work. Having been to three Women's Rugby World Cups, I am thrilled to share the experience with the Rock girls and for them to see this level of Rugby for themselves. It's not an opportunity that comes every day and my hope is they come back home with memories to last a lifetime.”

Ireland are hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) with the early matches in Dublin and moving to Belfast for the semi and final game days. The Rock Women have tickets for all the final games in Belfast. Canada will play in the Pool alongside heavyweight New Zealand, who are four-time World Champions and ranked at 2nd. World Cup defending champions England will kick-off the tournament in the UCD Bowl at 14:00 on Wednesday 9 August when they meet Pool B rivals Spain before New Zealand take on Wales in the opening game of Pool A at 14:45 in Billings Park. Hosts Ireland get Pool C underway when they welcome Australia to the UCD Bowl at 19:00 and the first day of competition will come to a close when France play Japan in Billings Park at 19:45.

With more than 2.2 million women and girls playing the game worldwide, accounting for over a quarter of all players globally, women’s rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth. Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, which gets underway in Dublin on Wednesday, will further boost the profile of the sport, with the tournament shaping up to be the most competitive, best-attended, most watched and most socially engaged women’s rugby event to date.


Graham Cook