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...

Friday, April 04, 2008

RFUW add another tier to U18 rugby

Interesting news in the latest "Touchline" magazine. Following the success of the adult "Super League" (or "Super Fours" as it is sometimes called) - where the leading players are brought together to form four squads who play each other at the start of the season - a similar strategy is being adopted for U18 rugby.

Two U18 "Super League" squads are to be formed, including not only the TDG girls but also girls from beyond that elite group (there are only 30 girls in the TDG which is clearly not enough for two full squads). These teams will play each other twice at on the same dates (and presumably venues) as the adult Super League (no indication of any squad training session, but you'd think that logically there would have to be at least one!).

This actually sounds a good idea. To gather the leading girls together for just training sessions always struck me as an idea that seemed to miss something (you need a target - otherwise what are you training for?). The recent TDG game against the touring Canadian U19s was a welcome development, and there is a logic in building on that.

The only teeny tiny snag is that this "Super League" tier is being shoe-horned into what is already a pretty crowded - some would say over-crowded - calendar (see previous article). The county and regional tiers remain unchanged and there are some of us who have been saying for some time that it is stretching resources too far for a small game to run with two elite tiers. Now we will have three!

One positive - for clubs at least - is that Super League dates do not currently clash with the precious few remaining club dates in next year's packed calendar. They do, however, clash with the first half of the county season's dates which will make selecting and training U18 county squads a nice challenge for those involved. Numerically the loss of four or five girls (which is what, on past form, Hertfordshire might be faced with) would not make sessions impossible - but they will be the leading players so the loss will be out or proportion to numbers (and numbers in some county U18 squads may be a bit tight next season anyway). It may mean that some girls get county call-ups when they might not otherwise do so - but will they then get pushed out when the SL stars return in November? Not great for team-building that.

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