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...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reading between the lines

On the odd previous occasion when comments on alleged National Cup activities have been mentioned here the administrative equivalent of the world has fallen on my head with demands for apologies, accusations of being a poor loser, of exaggeration, and such for even daring to suggest that something odd might be going on. Because it never happened (or at least no-one ever admitted to doing it).

It is therefore interesting therefore that one club taking part in this year's competition have passed the an official email from RFUW onto me, because they are concerned that whatever never happened before might still be whatever the antithesis of "rife" might be (if you see what I mean).

The rules were significantly tightened up for this season, but apparently RFUW have heard that "a number of teams are trying to borrow better/regional players from other clubs to play for them in the National Cup Competition. This is not allowed and any team found trying to enhance there playing position by doing this will be removed from the Competition. "

The email does go on to mention that "teams that have official clusters and have registered these with the RFUW" can still enter, and concludes that the competition "is not about getting the best 13 or 15 players on the pitch."

Draw what conclusions you wish but it is a pity that the the only major 15-a-side club tournament for girls clubs should continue to be shrouded by such rumours and unpleasantness.

Okay, one comment then. If clubs are doing this then... why? What is the point? Is a bit of silverware really that important? What effect must it have on players sidelined by "borrowed" stars? How do such actions develop clubs, or players, or the game in general (especially those clubs from whom players are "borrowed")? Are there not more than enough opportunities for elite players to play together at county and region as it is? Why must "ordinary" club rugby players always be sidelined and excluded?

["Oy - didn't Letchworth borrow players last year then", I hear some readers cry? Well actually we openly played as a combined team with Sudbury - and I think that pretty much every girl available on the day of each round from both clubs took part, all getting - so far as was possible - equal game time].

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