World Rugby has announced 12 coaching internships for the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021 in New Zealand.
The governing body of the sport says the aim of the initiative is to counter a lack of female coaches at the elite level of the men’s and women’s game.
World Rugby women’s general manager, Katie Sadleir, was quoted by the BBC saying,
“At the end of the  World Cup, there will be 12 more women who can say on their CV that they have coached at a World Cup.
“It’s one of the barriers some women have in terms of getting head coach roles.
“You get into that chicken and egg situation where they can’t get the job because they don’t have the experience, and they can’t get the experience so they can’t get the job.”
Sadleir went on to say that the internships are not about driving men out of coaching positions but ensuring that more opportunities exist for women.
“There will be many women players who think men coaches are better than women coaches, they haven’t been coached by women so they haven’t experienced women to the same extent, and that will change.”
The interns are all expected to come from a World Rugby database of more than 100 female coaches. All are already coaching at an agreed standard for their union and have been identified as having talent.
The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup is scheduled to take place between 18 September and 16 October in Auckland and Whangarei.
The first interns are set to be announced this month (September).