Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Season begins THIS SUNDAY

The U17s hay have started trainging last weekend but the season officially starts for everyone starts this Sunday at 10.30.

A key part of the morning will be REGISTRATION - full details here but the bottom line is that you need to bring along...
  • A parent
  • A cheque book (or bank account details)
  • Two passport sized photos

Then just point the parent at the clubhouse and then let them get on with lots of lovely form filling.

Meanwhile, 6000 miles away (or so)...

The Women's Rugby World Cup is about to begin!

You'd be forgiven for saying "what World Cup", going by the press coverage (or lack of it) but fact is that at midnight tonight, our time, the England team many of you saw lift the Six Nations title at Old Albanians in March start their World Cup campaign against the USA.

That's a heck of an opponent to draw first up - possibly the strongest opponents in the tournament other New Zealand - it'll give us the best indication yet as to how England will do. New Zealand also have a tricky opener against hosts Canada, who drew their recent two-match series with the USA.

England are also due to take on South Africa (who they beat by over 100 points in 2005) on Monday (9.30pm our time) and then France (who England beat fairly comfortably in Paris in February) in their final pool game on Friday (also midnight our time). Then its the semi-finals the 12th, and - hopefully - the final at midnight on Sunday 17th September (county trials day!).

Anyway - spare a thought for the team tonight. After all, one day it could be you!

PS - Good article in The Times (who actually have a correspondent out there, ex-England cricketer Sarah Potter) and Planet Rugby have a preview as well.

Further coverage of the World Cup will appear on the Herts girls blog.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

U17: Training Aug 30th

Training went well last Sunday and there is now a need to already start organising and preparing for Beckenham which is now just over 6 weeks away.

Training is tonight from 6 till 7:30 lets have a good turn out please.

Many Thanks

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bits & pieces: Beckenham, County trials, Fixture news

A few small items of interest...
  • BECKENHAM will be a 15-a-side tournament for U17 teams this year (10 a side for the new U14 event). Well, that is what they are intending - my feeling is that they are a shade optimistic for both age groups and it may on the day be less than that - but what do I know? No news yet on whether the uncontested scrum rule will be in place for U17s (my guess is it will), or the unique "no hand offs" rule (which Nim will recall from last year). Entry now sent off to them - should be a good day as we can look forward to meeting and comparing ourselves with big name teams (like Petersfield) who we only ever normally see at the Nationals.

  • COUNTY TRIALS for U17s are likely to be based around a "tournament", ideally a 10-a-side inter-club event - though I guess extra teams will be made up on the day from smaller combinations or from extra players from larger clubs. Details still to be finalised, but the idea comes from the coaches' feeling that they learn more from watching players actually play than from drills.

    U14 trials are likely to be far less formal - for the most part girls keen enough to actually turn up will probably make the "squad". So even if you are new to the game this season it will still be worth going to Stevenage on the 17th September - you'll get to meet girls from other clubs across the county. You can do much more in a bigger group - and as one of the county coaches is our Rachel you'll be well looked after.

  • FIXTURE NEWS. We are likely to be joined by Aylesbury for our fixture at Milton Keynes on 1st October - another team we have never played before. Not a club you hear too much about (not sure they've ever been to the National Sevens, for example), but they have going for a long time so should well prepared - could be interesting.

    Attempts are also now being made to squeeze in at least a U17 fixture with Welwyn (given the strength of their U14 team last year we'll probably hold back throwing our new girls into battle with them for a short while!). They have contacted Mike, who does our fixtures, and after the U17s special request on Sunday that we try to get a game Mike is seeing what can be done.

  • NATIONAL KNOCKOUT. Our entry for the U17 competition also went off yesterday - so in about six-eight weeks time we'll see who we get (or indeed where we have to travel to!). Entries do not actually close until 16th October so Rachel is going to see how the U14s develop before making a decision (there is less of a urgency to enter for the U14s as there will be fewer entries anyway).

    The entry for Rochford festival should also be in the post (Dave Roberts was sending that off). Both U14 and U17s wil be going to this - and we can expect the usual "crowd" from East Region to be there. Voted (by those who replied to the survey) as the best away fixture of last season!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Background reading

There is a limited amount we can ever hope to cover in training. Ideally we were hoping to have a training Sunday in between each fixture this season, but there is so much going on that - as you have seen - this hasn't been entirely possible.

There is midweek training, but not everyone can make that and what you can do once the evenings draw in and it gets colder is limited. One of the main areas we miss out on is basic tactics and strategy, and individual positional coaching for specialist players.

Fortunately one of the coaching websites has now stepped in here ad released an archive of articles that some of you might want to glance through. They are all pretty short - only a page or so - and quiet readable. Certainly captains and anyone playing in key positions (such as scrum halves and fly halves) would do well to glance at the content of "Strategy and tactics". There is a good section on goal kicking too!

And - remembering events near the end of last season - everyone might do well to have a look at a couple of articles entitled "Playing against a side that cheats" (Part 1 and Part 2).

Friday, August 25, 2006

U17 : Season Start

This years Under 17 training starts this Sunday the 27th of August.

Many sides have been back in pre season training for weeks and with such a big squad its time we caught up a bit with our first major tournament just 8 weeks away.

The coaching program is being put in place now all myself and John need is your commitment to trainin. So lets get of to a good start and have a good turnout this Sunday ready to start at 10:30 promt as there is a lot to cover.

Could you please let me know if you cannot attend.

See you all Sunday

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fixtures 2006/07

Dates for club fixtures or tournaments are in bold, county dates in red, and regional dates in purple. Dates are for both U14s and U17s unless otherwise stated.

27th: U17: training

3rd: Registration and training. (Click here for essential registration information)
10th: Training
17th: County trials (Stevenage)
24th: Training
27th: County U17 training (Sports Village, Hatfield) (Evening)

1st: Milton Keynes & Aylesbury (A) U17s: 22-19, U14s 5-60
8th: Beckenham Festival (A) U17s: 5th place
15th: County training (St Christopher School)
18th: County U17 training (Sports Village, Hatfield) (Evening)
22nd: Rochford Festival (A) U17s: 1st Place, U14s: 3rd place
29th: Training

5th: Sudbury (H) U17: 5-15
12th: Inter-county tournament (Grove RFC, Oxfordshire)
19th: Ampthill (A) U17: 24-10
22nd: County U17 training (Sports Village, Hatfield) (Evening)
26th: National Knockout Cup (South Qualifying)* (U14s at Welwyn, U17s at Saracens) U14s 1st; U17s Postponed (waterlogged pitch)

3rd: Inter-county tournament (Westcliff)
10th: U14: Training. U17: National Knockout Cup (South Qualifying)(H) Qualifed
17th: Hertford (A)
[24th & 31st: Christmas/New Year's Eve (no training)]

7th: Kettering (at Kettering) U14: W/O; U17: 0-27
14th: Saracens & Sudbury (at Saracens) : U14 (with E Cos) 35-27; U17 Saracens 15-0; Sudbury 0-5.
21st: U14s: Thomas Becket (H) U14 (with E Cos, Maket Harborugh & Kettering): 38-26
28th: Regional trials (Ely RFC)


3rd: England v Scotland (at Old Albanians)
4th: Sudbury & Westcliff (at Sudbury) Lost both by unknown (but not close) scores
Training/Regional training (Culford School, Bury St Edmonds)
18th: Westcliff (A) U17: 19-15
25th: Training (U17s: 9am-10.30)/Regional training (Culford School, Bury St Edmonds)

4th: Saracens & Peterborough (H) U14: Lost; U17: 59-10
11th: England v France (at Old Albanians)
Training /Regional training (Culford School, Bury St Edmonds)
18th: Training /East Midlands v East (Aylestone St James)
23rd: U11 tag festival (Hitchin)
25th: National Knockout Cup (South Finals)
U14s: (as "Herts Barbarians") v Cranberleigh , Ellingham & Ringwood, and Thornbury (at Petersfield, Hants) Finished 3rd
U17s : v Ivel, Welwyn and Wimborne (at Camberley, Surrey) Finished 3rd (bt Ivel; lost to Welwyn & Wimbrone)

Training /East v North East v Yorkshire (Ely RFC)
4th: U17: "International Festival" v I E Weldon College (Ontario), Aylesbury, Others (H) 17-10 v Weldon; 10-7 v "Barbarians"
[8th: Easter]
13th-16th: Tour to Devon & Cornwall:
14th: Liskeard-Looe (Cornwall) (A) (11.00) 20-17
15th: Exeter Saracens (Devon) (A) 36-24
[15th: National KO Cup Championship play-off (North v South)]
22nd: Training /Regional training (Culford School, Bury St Edmonds)
29th: U14s: Training; U17s: Regional 10s (Aylestone St James) Runners-up

Training/U14 Regional finals (Rugby School) / U11 tag training
7th (Mon): U17 regional finals (Rugby School)
13th: National 10s (U17) (Lichfield) / Herts Youth Games (U11 girls' tag)
20th: Hertfordshire Sevens (Welwyn)
26th: National Sevens (Leighton Buzzard)

30th: Letchworth GC Festival. Possible stall and/or other promotional activities
8th: Herts "Superteams" (Hatfield)

*The U17s will be entering the National KO Cup as "Letchworth". The U14s contribute to a combined county team ("Herts Barbarians").

Training: Sundays - 10.30 to 12.00, Wednesdays 6.00 to 7.30
Matches: Most home games will kick off at 2pm. Away games will vary!
County trials and training: Sundays - likely to start at 1pm. Wednesdays - TBA
Regional trials and training: TBA - trails are likely to be in morning, trainging in the afternoon

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

ok so not sure if you have seen these....

some pics that I have found on my pc from last year....

Ok, hope you have all enjoyed the summer break and are ready for training again!
See you soon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Watch every match LIVE from the Women's Rugby World Cup

While we await any news about UK TV broadcasts (... long silence ...) , the IRB has announced that it is bringing you will be able to watch every match LIVE or replayed as live from the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup 2006 through the internet.

The tournament, which is being staged in Edmonton, Canada, begins on 31 August and climaxes with the final on 17 September. The Black Ferns of New Zealand are the defending champions but the competition is set to be stiffer than ever.

You can watch a single match LIVE for £2.50. Or you can follow England through their three pool games, LIVE, for £6.50. Access to every single game is also available via a "tournament pass", covering all 30 games, costing £49.99. There are also packages for the semi finals and final.

You can also watch a replay of every match as live, for £1.50. More details at

Friday, August 11, 2006

There will now be a short intermission...

For the next week or so...
  • Joe will be in South Africa (on a rugby tour),
  • I will be in Cornwall/Devon (Yo- surf's up! Or not, most likely), and
  • Rachel will be busy with the play schemes.

So its likely to be a bit quiet around here...

But never mind. The season is barely three weeks away (or sooner for the U17s), so relax, enjoy the sun if you can (may be a bit tricky this weekend) and get ready probably the most exciting season yet!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How does this compare with our posters?

USA Rugby have come up with a recruitment poster - what do you think?. Interesting difference in style to ours - and the RFUWs - efforts.

Main figure on the right looks spookily like our own Hayley A (U14s)!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Got any good pictures from last season?

Then you could win £500 worth of photography equipment, or a Nokia N70 phone, in a competition being run by The Comet.

If you have a copy of this week's see p33 for details. If not basically any picture of "Comet Life" (which includes sport, obviously) can be submitted. Pictures cannot be larger than A4 or 2MG, and should be sent to

You just need to include details of where and when the picture was taken (and it must have been taken in North Herts), and what camera you used. And obviously you need to include your name and contact details.

Going by just the pictures I've seen there were so many really good, interesting and unusual pictures taken last season that I reckon one of you must stand a really good chance of winning something.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Win the chance to train with England

The BBC are running a competition to give girls the chance to train with the England women's rugby team at their base in Loughborough on 16 August where they will be preparing for the Rugby World Cup in Canada (begins on 31 August). The winners will have lunch with the entire squad before lacing their boots up for a training session with members of the England team.

To win this prize, all you have to do is: explain, in no more than 50 words, why they should choose you to train with the England women's rugby squad. Be as original as possible with your answer, we want something that stands out from the crowd.

Ideally, they would like the winners to have previous rugby experience, but it's not essential. A runner-up will receive a signed England shirt and a bag of rugby goodies.

My thanks to Gill Randall for pointing this out - but act quicky, the closing date is Monday 7 August!!

More details and entry form can be found at

Thursday, August 03, 2006

U17 selection policy

With the exception of the odd Sevens tournament here and there, team selection has never really been an issue in the past. Essentially we have never had more than 15 girls available for any game, so everyone who has ever wanted to play in a given fixture has always been able to. In an ideal world that would still be the case but with a squad of at least 20 - and possibly more - its not always going to be possible.

So how are selections going to be made?

The key thing we will be looking for is reliability. If we select one person ahead of another we rather hope they will turn up, which why Sunday training is particularly important.

All our games are on Sundays, so if you cannot be relied upon to attend training on Sundays then we can only assume that you cannot be relied upon to play either. Such a consideration will come ahead of even matters such as ability - better to select a club-level player who always turns up come rain or shine rather than a county or regional star who has problems getting out of bed some mornings.

Beyond that other factors will be taken into account, including (order of priority):

  • Position. We need every position on the field to be filled. If the "vacancy" in the team is for a winger and the choice is between a forward and a back then its reasonably clear who will be picked. Moral - be flexible, try new things. The more positions you can play in the more likely you are to be selected!
  • Wednesday training. We know that Wednesdays are not ideal for everyone, due to the distance that you may have to travel or other commitments and priorities - not least GCSE, AS level and (next year) A level exams that most of you will face. But at the same time we know who have reasonable excuses like these those who don't. Attendance at Wednesday evening training shows more commitment to the team and to improving your own abilities, and both should be rewarded.
  • Ability. In general what we primarily aim to do at Letchworth is to try to give an opportunity for as many girls to play as much rugby as possible, regardless of actual playing ability. Apart from the occasional festival or cup game almost our entire season is made up of friendly fixtures where - ultimately - the experience of playing will be remembered long after the actual result has been forgotten. But in the end - if all else is equal - selection is most likely to going to go to the stronger player.

If we do have more than 15 available for a game (or significantly more than the opposition , which ammounts to the same thing) we will try to see if the opponents will allow us to being an "A" and "B" team perhaps, or will allow rolling subs, etc. - but such things can never be guaranteed.

So the more training you attend the more likely you are to play, and furthermore the more likely you are to play in the position that you prefer - because you can be relied upon, because you will show commitment, but also because you will become a better player in that position.

The less training you attend the more likely it is that you will be a reserve or - if you do play - the more likely it is that you will be asked to slot into where a vacancy happens to be rather than where you would want to be.

Calling all Bedfordshire girls (and anyone else qualified to play for counties in addition to Hertfordshire)

Everyone who plays for Letchworth is qualified to play for Hertfordshire, and in addition therefore East Region. However some of you will ALSO be qualified for other counties or regions and - when it comes to trials etc. - you may want to try out for these in addition to, or instead of, Hertfordshire.

Typically the rules for this are not currently written down anywhere, but generally speaking it seems to be accepted that if you live, were born, or attend school outside Hertfordshire you will also be qualified for that county (or counties) as well. So anyone who - say - was born in Essex, lives in Bedfordshire, and goes to school in Cambridgeshire (a not impossible situation) could have some interesting choices in September!

So - a quick summary what this would mean in practice.


County Rugby: Bedfordshire do not have a county side of their own, but combine with Northamptonshire to create "East Midlands County". 2006/7 will be the first year that they have had a county programme for girls, and its all a bit fluid at the moment. It you are interested in playing contact Derek Maybury (the Regional Development Officer)

**NOTE: On the plus side there are significantly fewer clubs in Beds/Northants so logically there may be less competition for places than for Herts but on negative side it is likely that your trials etc. will be further away.

Regional Rugby: Bedfordshire is in the East Midlands Region - which also includes Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire as well as East Midlands County, and their home games and trials tend to be in Leicestershire (more often than not Coalville). East Midlands are a very strong region - national champions at U14 level last year (East were runners-up).

**NOTE: The one plus is that East Midlands trials may be "open" for Bedfordshire girls - ie. you may not need to be nominated by your county.


County rugby: Essex are a county in their own right, and the most established in the region. Trials for the Essex squad have already begun - they have been tarining since early July, apparently. Most of what they do seems to be based in the Basildon/Westcliff/Rochford area (which is not great surprise). Competition for places in their squads will be as tough as for Hertfordshire.

Regional rugby: Essex are obviously in East Region.


County rugby: Cambridgeshire come under the new Eastern Counties structure - and they have their own blog which will give you all the information you could need (

Regional rugby: Again, part of East Region


If you think you may be qualified for any other county and want to know what you options are, please let me know.


Once you have been selected for one county you cannot switch to another part of the structure - so if you were picked by East Midlands County you could not switch to Hertfordshire or attend East Region trials - and visa versa. However there is nothing to stop you attending trials for more than one county (other than the fact that they will probably be at different places on the same day!).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

U17 season to start on Sunday 27th August

Full U17 training will now start on Sunday 27th August at 10.30 (until 12.00). We began on the same weekend last season and - despite it also being a Bank Holiday - had a good turnout, so there is no reason why we can't repeat that.

But this season there are even more pressing reasons to start a "week early".

The overall squad will be 50% bigger than it was last season. So in effect its a whole new team with all positions up for grabs. At least two players will be competing for almost every place in the team (only Carla at hooker lacks any obvious competition... at the moment!) and its going to take a while to work out the best combination of players. The first fixture could be as soon as 24th September - so we have very little time!

In addition county trials for the U17s this year are on 17th September. Unless you live in Bedfordshire and are intending to try out for East Mids the Herts county squad is the only gateway to the regional rugby - so its more essential than ever that you are able to make a good impression.

So if you have you heart set on any particular position, or have any ambitions to play for county or region (and hopefully all of you do) then its in you interests to be there.

Full midweek sessions for U17s will also start on 30th August, 6.00-7.30.

*** Note: At this stage it is still intended that the U14s will start on 3rd September. Rachel will be writing to everyone with more details nearer the time. ***

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Two more posters now available

"To rugby or not to rugby" and "What's missing - U" are now printed in A5, A4 and A3 sizes. Also still a few "Girls will be girls" left, and I also have some A5 size "Six Nations Winners" posters from RFUW. Probably still a week or so early to start putting these around, but not much longer before we start to build towards September.

If you could use a few posters or have any ideas of contacts who might display a poster or two please get back to me.

The A5 posters are great for the parcel shelf in the back window of a car, by the way!

Start the season at Twickenham?

Would any of you be interested in starting your the new season with a trip to Twickenham?

Details have been announced about the 2006/7 "London Double Header". It will take place at Twickenham on Saturday 2nd September and will include two matches - London Irish vs Harlequins followed by Saracens v London Wasps. There is also pre-match entertainment and a chance to visit the rugby museum where the main exhibition this year is on the history of the women's game. There is also lots of live music and pre-match entertainment.

A few girls have gone down to the last two Double Headers and had a gerat time - so I wondered is any more of you might like to go. If we book as a party would get seats together and we might also get some reduced prices (though it is actually pretty cheap anyway - £20 foir adults, and £10 for juniors, to see two competitive games involving some of the world's best players).

Please get back to me asap if you are interested - by, say, 12th August?

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