Polish rugby players face a busy summer. At the start of the European Championship

  • Poland’s 7 women’s rugby union team can play in the European Championships, World Cup qualifiers, World Series and World Cup qualifiers from July to September
  • Promotion to the World Series would be groundbreaking as it would require a professional team. But this tournament in Chile in August and now the European Championship are the most important. We meet the medal winners in Krakow
  • The MEs consist of two tournaments. In the first of this weekend, Poland, who defended the silver medal, beat in the group of, among others, the favorite of the Olympic vice-champion, France

Already one of the world’s best (made a decent debut as a guest in the World Series a few months ago), the women’s national team in the seven-man game of rugby has some really intense weeks ahead of them. The team of coach Janusz Urbanowicz may play in five high-level competitions from July to September. It starts with the first of the two tournaments of the Old Continent Championship and, at best, ends with the World Cup in South Africa in September. Meanwhile, the second European Championship tournament at home will determine the medals, two weeks later the World Cup qualification in Bucharest and in August in Chile the battle for the right to participate in the next World Series season.

Urbanowicz admits that if the last success could be achieved, it would be a breakthrough and completely change the situation of his representation. – The World Series consists of many trips around the world. If we were to become his regular participant, it would be necessary to create a professional team here, not to be a team that plays 1-2 tournaments and then can’t fly to the next – he notes. Currently, Polish women have a very good background and preparation, but they combine sports with other work. And from rugby, only a few of them have a scholarship to last year’s European runner-up.

And this is another reason, in addition to the prestige and ambition of course, to fight for a repeat of the success of the previous season. If you look at the fact that Russian gold medalists were banned because of the war, you might conclude that Polish women are a team that needs to be dethroned. But this is a slightly wrong impression, as France and Ireland, which were absent a year ago, will appear. When awarding medals, the total results of the two events will count and points will be awarded for each place.

– We were unlucky in Lisbon, because we have an Olympic runner-up in the group, a very strong France and we play with her at the opening (Saturday at 9:00 am – editor’s note). Unfortunately there are no semifinals in this tournament, only the winners of two groups play in the final and the following teams play for places in the same way. In a defeat to France we have no chance of second place and we are not the favorites in this match – emphasizes Urbanowicz, who has almost all the players at his disposal. Karolina Jaszczyszyn, who was captain, healed the injury, only Patrycja Zawadzka ruled out the injury (meniscus). The group of Polish women also includes Belgium, Wales and the Czech Republic.

In preparation for the hot summer, Poland played friendly tournaments in Spain and the Netherlands. – In the first match we were below the level of our rivals, only Czech women played from good teams and we beat them twice anyway. The reserve team went to Amsterdam as planned, the idea was that these players would also be able to play. They did very well, only losing the final to strong Kazakhstan, beating him earlier in the group. Several players of the Amsterdam team have already won the European Championship. I’m glad we have an increasingly broader team because I remember the times when we practically played with eight and let others on the field lowered the level of the game – Urbanowicz says.

Poland also participate in the European Championship. They will compete in a group against Germany, Lithuania, Italy and France. The competition system is similar.

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