China crowned champions as India claim historic win

China celebrate their return to international 15s rugby by winning the Asia Rugby Women's Championship Division I title on a day when India won their first ever test match.

China have made a triumphant return to test rugby by winning the Asia Rugby Women's Championship Division I title with an emphatic 68-0 victory over their hosts the Philippines in the final, but India also had cause to celebrate after recording their first ever test victory, 21-19 over Singapore.

China, playing their first internationals since 2011 in this competition, will now progress to a play-off with Kazakhstan in the coming months, which will double as a Women's Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier with the winner promoted to the Asia Rugby Women's Championship in 2020. That competition next year will see one team qualify directly for WRWC 2021 in New Zealand.

Chen Yuqian opened the scoring in the final, only days after scoring a hat-trick in their 59-17 win over Singapore earlier in the week as China returned to international 15s in style.  

YuanYua Lu then showed excellent speed and power for their second before Yan Zhou and Weiyan Wang added further tries as China took a healthy lead into the break.

China kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second half as their bench impressed with replacement Zhaoxue Zhai crossing twice to ensure the title for her side.

World Rugby Council Member and Philippines hooker Ada Milby was proud of her side despite the defeat.

“China were a really strong side, and I wish them well on the pathway to Women’s Rugby World Cup” explained Milby. “I am proud of our girls, though, we fought right until the end. I am also proud of the fans who stuck with us throughout.

“It was not the result we wanted but it was a great tournament to be a part of. I also want to congratulate India on their first win.”

History for India

India, playing only their fourth test match, bounced back from the disappointment of a narrow 32-27 loss to the Philippines in the semi-finals to beat Singapore at Southern Plains Stadium.

In an enthralling match, India scrum-half Sumitra Nayak kicked a penalty to claim the narrow victory in the dying minutes.

With Singapore knocking on with less than three minutes to go, India eventually ran the ball into touch to spark emotional celebrations on the sidelines as they finished third in the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship Division I.

Sweety Kumari continued her fine form in the tournament, scoring two first-half tries to set India on the way to victory after her two tries in their defeat to the Philippines.

Singapore hit back, however, with two tries of their own, but a third from India left the scores at 15-12.

India’s captain Vahbiz Bharucha then opted for a penalty which was successfully converted by Nayak before Annabel Woo Xui Ni scored her second try of the match to give Singapore the lead for the first time.

The first all-female citing commissioner team at the HSBC France Women's Sevens 2019
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Zamboulis refuses to revel in lengthening list of firsts
Citing commissioner Danae Zamboulis discusses her career in rugby, from Greece to Dubai via Merseyside, as she prepares for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens at 7he Sevens Stadium.
Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019: Fijiana celebrate
Women's Sevens Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
'It is the biggest achievement of our lives'
Sevens stars Rusila Nagasau and Lavenia Tinai reveal what being part of the first Fijiana team to qualify for a Rugby World Cup in 15s means to them and the impact it has already had on women's rugby in the country.
Netherlands and Hong Kong women's 15s
World rankings Women's News Women in Rugby
Historic highs for Hong Kong and Fiji women
Hong Kong and Fiji are up to all-time highs in the World Rugby Women's Rankings, while Samoa drop to their lowest ever rating after losing their Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier to the Fijians.
A Try for Change
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
'For us it's about empowering young girls'
Fatma El-kindiy talks to World Rugby about 'A Try for Change', a pilot programme in Botswana designed to encourage young women to pick up a rugby ball.
Fiji qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Fiji qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021
Fijiana have qualified for their first Rugby World Cup after beating Samoa in the final round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019 in Lautoka, Fiji.
Selica Winiata at Black Ferns training session
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
World Series selection quicker than Winiata expected
Rugby World Cup winner Selica Winiata will take another step on her officiating journey when she travels to Dubai and Cape Town in December.
Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019: trophy lift
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Black Ferns Development XV cruise to Oceania title
New Zealand convincingly stamped their mark as champions of the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship after a comprehensive victory over Papua New Guinea, while Fiji and Samoa will meet again on Saturday to determine the region's Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier.
Sylke Haverkorn
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Dutch women rebuilding under former test prop
A Championship winner in both men’s and women’s rugby in the Netherlands and a former test prop, Sylke Haverkorn has now been tasked with rebuilding the country’s women’s 15s team as the newly-appointed head coach.
Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019: Fijiana v Samoa
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Fiji move a step closer to Rugby World Cup qualification
Fiji power past Samoa in the second round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship to boost their chances of Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification, while the Black Ferns Development XV rack up another half-century.
World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier 2018
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Pienaar aims to help improve women's pathways in South Africa
Having been awarded a place on the inaugural Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches, former Springbok Women's Sevens captain Marithy Pienaar discusses her transition into coaching and her hopes for the future.