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...

Monday, October 06, 2008

England top seeds for sevens world cup

With 14 of the 16 qualifiers now known, IRB have released details of the seedings for the first Sevens World Cup, to be held alongside the men's event in Dubai in March.

The qualification process have thrown up all kinds of surprise results, including the defeat of New Zealand by Australia (though the Kiwis still made it through their qualifier in second place), the failure of Wales to qualify from Europe, France scrapping in behind Netherlands, and now unfancied Thailand qualifying from Asia at the expense of Kazakhstan and Hong Kong.

Only the North American round remains, with two places on offer in the Bahamas next month - USA and Canada being the almost certain qualifiers (the only question being who will get the vital third seeding - and thus avoids England, Australia and New Zealand in the group stages).

The eight seeds for the group stages of the tournament will be:

1. England
2. Australia
3. North America 1 (likely to be Canada or USA)
4. New Zealand 
5. Japan
6. Netherlands
7. South Africa
8. Brazil

One of the remaining four European teams (France, Russia, Spain and Italy) will be drawn at random in each group. Thailand, China, Uganda and North America 2 will then be drawn in the remaining groups  - but presumably not in the same group as other teams from their region.

This will presumably put England in the same group as Brazil - which is a good draw (Brazil are good, but have virtually no experience outside South America) - but with some major nations floating around in the non-seeds, such as France and USA/Canada.

The qualification process so far also shows how exciting a 16-nation World Cup can be - which makes the IRB's insistence that the 15-a-side World Cup in England in 2010 remains a 12-team competition all the more disappointing.

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