[UPDATED] Trans Women in Rugby – Inclusion or Exclusion?

We stand together with the Trans Women Rugby Players against the new “rugby specific transgender guidelines” proposed by World Rugby. The new guidelines would exclude transgender women from playing Rugby Union based on the assumption that, due to their muscle mass and strength, transgender women would clearly present a risk of injury to other female players.

The planned new “rugby specific transgender guidelines” are a clear violation of the values of inclusion and diversity that are so important in rugby. We find particularly outrageous that even this discussion was held without the participation of rugby trans women.

Here (in Germanin English) you can find the letter that, together with more than other 30 German Rugby Clubs and Teams, we sent to the DRV (the German Rugby Association) to demand them to take a clear stand against the exclusion of trans women from Rugby Union Sport.

Pressemitteilung / Press Release (in German).


Bash About 2020 cancelled

Dear Rugger friends,

we have been discussing this at great length, but there is no other solution at this point: due to the recent developments we sadly feel compelled to cancel the Berlin BashAbout event and tournament for the beginning of May! We are opting to find an alternative date this summer or autumn when we all have hopefully overcome the current epidemic!
In practice:

In order to contain the spreading of the corona-virus (Sars-CoV-2) the state-government of Berlin (Senat), has recently prohibited any kind of public sports-event, public venues such as schools, theatres and clubs have been closed, and events with an attendance of more than 50 persons are not allowed. All these measures apply at least until the 19. April, but might be extended for an unforseeable period of time. In addition the federal government is restricting travelling and closing some borders.

We feel we cannot continue organising the event as we are uncertain of how long these measures will be in place, and whether they will be extended, which would factually make it impossible to hold the event. Even if the situation should improve within the next weeks (which seems improbable), we think that it will be too difficult and stressful for participants to organise their travel in those restricted circumstances, and for us to organise the event before the 1st of May.
Therefore we decided to cancel now to also cut the losses for everyone involved. This includes:

  • People who have registered and payed the fee for the event will be reimbursed immediately. We will contact you personally via email.
  • We are considering a different date for the 2020 Berlin BashAbout, possibly the weekend of the 26. July (Gay Pride), or the weekend of the 16. August (simultaneously to the Bingham Cup). However, due to the unforeseeable development of the Corona crises we are not able to fix a date yet.
    Stay safe, respect your local health advisory (wash hands!), and look out for our future updates on the event. We hope we´ll be able to play with you again soon!

Erik Kenny for the Berlin Bruisers

Lastly, the board of the Berlin Bruisers would like to thank our befriended local rugby club RK03 very much for providing us with a great venue and for supporting us in running the Bash about 2020 for a fourth consecutive time. Even though there has been a set back and we have not been able to confirm a new date yet, without your hospitality it would not be imaginable at all – thank you!
Furthermore, we would like to thank the Bash about 2020 organizational team: Welpe, Gonzo, Timothy, Guillaume, Rodolfo, Ben, Robert, John, Magin, Julian, Rachel, AJ, Uli, Nico, and foremost our Bash about 2020 project manager Erik, for all the incredible work you have put in. We sincerely hope that all you have organised so far and worked on so tirelessly can be picked up again later this year to make it become reality. In any case, your work has been invaluable to the club as it also lifted work load from the board who could focus on other important projects within the club. We and the whole club have to thank you for that!


Match Report SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies vs. Berlin Irish RFC

Phew… taking a deep breath after this nerve-wrecking match – and a win, finally – 35:29 against our friends of the Berlin Irish RFC!

A big number of players attending, and coach Rodolfo trying to find the right mix of regular Bruisers / Grizzlies-players, new members of the team and supporting players. Despite the cold and grey November day in Oranienburg the air seemed to sizzle with excitement, everyone was so worked up to end this part of the season with a bang that the Bruisers / Grizzlies started very nervous and unorganized. They managed to receive 3 penalties for obstructing in the first few minutes, making the way for the Irish to score! The opponent was able to use this for their own advantage by pushing deep into Bruisers / Grizzlies territory and make points, most of them through penalty-kicks.

Then, after 30 minutes, the Bruisers / Grizzlies recaptured their focus, remembered their skills and game-plan. Before the end of the first half they showed that all the preparation, the joint trainings have a result, now there was some serious rugby-playing on our side! That combined with the hard-working, ground-dredging effort of our forwards lead to Alban scoring 2 tries digging through the Irish defence.

More tries by both teams in the second half, but the Irish always leading until shortly before the end of the match. Agitated atmosfere, passionate fights – some too passionate, 3 yellow cards for Irish players, 1 red for Tim, who obviously lost control of his feet kicking in the heat of a ruck – as the ref put it: too much talk and a tiny bit lack of discipline! Still, the more concentrated and organised play of the Bruisers / Grizzlies became more and more visible in this fast match, as well as better endurance. Lots of replacements of players, lots of good phases working the way into the opponent´s side of the pitch and some individual quality made the change. Five tries for the Bruisers / Grizzlies in this halftime, 5 minutes before the end they came ahead for the first time by 1 point, and in the last minute they were able to top that with the last try! Big relief, big cheers in the team and from the supporters, and what a great example of how you can turn around a rugby-match when you´re behind, but pull your commitment together and keep fighting until the end of the 80 minutes!

It had to happen at some point, a really deserved win, a real team-effort, which every single player can be very proud of! Instead of naming individual performances and qualities, here are the try scorers: Alban, Daniel, Patrick, Nick, Antonio, Ari, representing the entire team´s commitment.

Many thanks have to go to new players Antonio, Ben, Daniel and Ari, who showed experience and spiced up the Bruisers / Grizzlie´s play… 

Looking forward to celebrating this at the upcoming Bruisers Xmas-meeting! A relaxing and healthy winter-break to everyone! But remember, the fun doesn´t stop. Bruisers / Grizzlies will have beach-rugby for winter-training, so please be there. Hopefully seeing everyone again for an energetic, cheerful and gay (including all genders) spring season!!! 


SG Grizzlies II/Bruisers vs. Rugby Klub 03

Perfect Rugby weather in Oranienburg, light drizzle, grey fog, a nice soft pitch, but somehow we drowned in the Brandenburg swamps – an unhappy loss against the RK03-team by 0:47. 

I can´t put it into better words than what our coach Rodolfo said after the match: it burns inside! So much potential in this team, but difficult circumstances – players who couldn´t attend trainings and the match because of injuries, travels or family-things, new players who didn´t have the time and practice to fit into the right position, experienced players who needed to play in positions they are not used to. 

It hurts because the Bruisers / Grizzlies had powerful phases demonstrating skills, winning scrums, good defence, a maul that drove the RK-boys into their half of the pitch. The opponents weren´t even that good, putting pressure on them worked so they kept making mistakes. 

Still, our attack didn´t move forward much, taking the ball into their defence and few passes to the flanks didn`t make meters. And then rucks – we were surprised and overrun by waves of aggressive RK-players jumping the rucks with force and stealing the ball and rushing it through the gaps in our line.

Anyway, don´t let yourself get frustrated! Bruisers and Grizzlies are throwing their bodies into the play and that´s a great effort in itself. We saw powerful action, tackles and pushing the attack by Alban and Tristan! We saw Antonio, who just joined, with a lot of motivation and strength – looking forward to seeing more of him when he trains and plays with us permanently! 

Many Thanks to Khan who filled in for Micha as team captain this day, and Gute Besserung to Benjamin for his shoulder!!

So no hang-ups now! Please, let´s bring the Rugby-fun back – 2 more trainings and the last match before the winter-break next weekend. Throw yourselves into it – everyone should enjoy playing, have loads of fun, a rugby-boost and beers next Sunday against the Irish!

(And let´s bring on lots of Bruisers / Grizzlies supporters too by the way!)


SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies vs. SC Siemensstadt

So much to be said about Sunday´s match: the quality of the match and the concentration on the play in waves, going up and down and up again. Hard match, heated atmosfere at times, some not so friendly behaviour, and a yellow card on both sides – Bruisers / Grizzlies losing 7-54. 

Everyone has a bad day sometimes, but (and this is a capital BUT and the noteworthy aspect) a tingling feeling up my spine at the last matches tells me that there is something´s developping! Our joined team is now 5 matches, a few trainings, growing together into the season and it presents some solid Rugby! It is visible that the efforts of coaches and team captain are showing some great great improvement: we win the scrums, the line-outs work, there were good phases (one after the other in a constant flow), quick passes, which finally led to a great pushing through and try by Alban.  

Even the referee mentioned in his summary that he has watched the Bruisers play over a lengthy period now and they keep getting better and better (now also thanks to the Grizzlie´s great players of course)!

Particular mention: impressive performances by Laurin, Tim and Robbie (he´s giving his 110% as always!), and a few powerful and committed tackles by Johan and John (Happy Birthday btw.)!

Still, there is some work to be done: too many little mistakes, easy ball dropping and losing, some shy tackles, some lack of support for the front line (fitness!) and too few passes to the backs after the work-phases in the center. Lack of concentration on the defense-line then allowed SCS to break through several times and score. 

Boys, we want you at training, so the Bruisers / Grizzlies show a more consistent play, and we´ll have some Rugby-fun together in the end!

Really looking forward to our next matches!