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, February 04, 2009

Getting your priorities... wrong

Given the forecast is not great, RFUW have come up with a detailed plan for deciding when and whether the weekend's regional games will go ahead or not. Essentially decisions will be made by Friday lunchtime at the latest, and will look at both ground conditions and possible travel problems.

This is all very commendable except for one tiny little point. Well, two really - the first might be to ask why no published contingency plan was already in place (bad weather in February being not unheard of) - but the main point is that the games concerned are not to be cancelled (as would seem unfortunate, but sensible, in a crowded calendar), merely postponed. They will be rearranged.

But not (as you might reasonably expect) in place of one of the regional training afternoons. Oh no - they will be rearranged for (in the case of the junior fixtures) the following weekend - that is the only weekend set aside in the calendar for club rugby in the entire month of February, and one of only three weekends made available to clubs between regional trials at the start of January and the end of March!

Yes - I know clubs can work together to put on festivals etc. etc. on regional days, which we do (or try to!) - but that only works if you have a few weeks notice. Last minute changes like this can and will only result in fixture cancellations and therefore hundreds of girls sitting at home NOT playing just so that a small elite can play warm-up games of no importance (after all its not the only warm-up fixture, and it has no effect on the festival).

But it doesn't end there. Oh no. Guess when the senior game would be moved to? I'll give you a clue - when did I say yesterday that Hitchin had their crucial make-or-break league game? Yes -that weekend. No content with mucking up the junior club season, the climax to the senior club season is also threatened. Okay, there are no Hitchin players in the regional squad (unless you count Hayley) but there will be clubs who are affected. Now I grant you that the senior regional game is important - it is one of three fixtures that will decide who qualifies for the championship final in March - but a cancellation of a fixture is one of those things that happen in sport - its tough but it happens, and its not as if the selection of the two teams (from 11) to make the final based on just three games isn't a bit of a lottery anyway!

As a final shot its interesting to look at why RFUW are in this pickle - why last minute rearrangements have to be squeezed in to a suffocatingly tight timetable. Could it be because RFUW imposed this straight-jacket on themselves by coming up with this concentrated regional season, instead of spreading things out as in previous seasons? The words "hoist" and "petard" might be appropriate if it were not for the fact that it is the clubs that are being hoisted on the RFUW's petard.

And before anyone asks what else could RFUW do and how else could they fit the season together, I think I covered that last August, but in short... regional rugby is unnecessary. It is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist anymore - in most parts of the country a season-long county programme would be just as effective while imposing much less of a pressure on the calendar. Sometimes less is more.


  1. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Oh what a tangled web - again the RFUW in their infinate wisdom get to decide what will or will not happen on Sunday. Will they be ringing up my u15 and u18 squad to tell them its cancelled. Reschedule I think I can fit it in probably Feb 2011 only providing the merger has happened. No only do I have my regional girls to contend with but my depleted pack of club girls will either be playing at Exeter Sarries or Cullompton weather dependent but at least we have a contingency plan at club level.
    This is just one more instance where they make themselves look inept - if this weekend is cancelled the girls are then looking at the rediculous sum of £75 for 1 match and Lichfield!!! Hohum Cully Vixen

  2. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Think the rfuw need to consider something else as this is the beginning of half term week.If the regional matches are cancelled this weekend and moved back a week to 15/02 some regions might struggle for numbers.We have 6 u/15s girls at my club who are in the regional squad but are all going on family holidays so will not be available to play.This might be an isolated case but i am sure there are other players who will also be away on family holidays


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