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, July 09, 2008

Good luck to Hayley and Sasha

Hayley and Sasha are off on SUNDAY [not Saturday - that'll teach me to rely on information on the RFUW website!] to Brunel University in North London, but not with anything academic in mind. While rugby for everyone else has finished, and we still have two months to go until next season, for these two girls the 2008-09 season effectively begins here - at RFUW's High Performance Academy (HPA) - where they will compete for places in the elite U18 Training Development Group (TDG) (there is nothing RFUW likes more than a good acronym!). This consists of the leading 30 girls in the country who receive extra support and training during the season, take part in the junior "Super League", and also play against any touring national teams* if they are in the right age group.

About 100 girls will be attending, and the top 20-30 will be selected join last year's TDG at a final selection at Hartpury College in August.

Sasha was in the TDGs for 2006-07 and will be trying to win back her place, while for Hayley this will be her third and (as its her last year in the age band) final attempt. Hayley has made it through the first selection on each occasion to date, but has yet to make that final step. Hopefully it will be third time lucky this time.

Good luck to both of them.

Footnote: It is worth saying that (surely?) in any other country the "TDG" would be the national U18 squad, but RFUW have a strangely precious attachment to the word "England". Admittedly they are selected as the best 30 girls, and not as a balanced team, so (in theory) there could be eight scrum-halves and no props but, that minor quibble aside, the needless bureaucratic precision is annoying - especially when you try to explain it to grant making bodies or the press!

So even though the TDG is made up of the top 30 girls in England, and it is an official squad selected by the national union, and everyone in the squad is England qualified, and they play games against age group national teams from other countries, far be it for anyone to ever hint at the possibility that it might be in any way an England squad - doing that really does get your wrist slapped, believe me. You'd think that national officials would have better things to do...

Personally I fail to see what is remotely gained by being so pernickerty - well, other than presumably making it difficult for the girls to access grants that they might otherwise be eligible for if they
were "England U18s". Oh - and losing out on some screeds of good publicity because newspapers are (not unsurprisingly) unwilling to try to unravel the complexities of the concept. <Sigh>.


  1. Good Luck to both Sasha and Hayley.

  2. Anonymous11:51 AM

    Good luck to the girls, but I hope they go Sunday not Saturday, to get to the right HPA!

  3. Anonymous3:24 PM

    oooh hartpury college is joes university =]

    yeahh yeahh yeahh
    rosie x x x


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