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, February 09, 2009

Media coverage of women's rugby: the worse you are the more coverage you get?

When you question the lack of press, radio and TV coverage of women's rugby you normally get the assurance that the media love success, and that once England win the World Cup they will get the coverage the deserve.

If that is so then, going by last weekend's trawl for information and coverage of the first round of the Six Nations, something weird is going on - because, from what I have seen and what others have reported about coverage of the weekend's game, the worse the national team is the more coverage they got (at least in the British and Irish media, I can't really talk about France or Italy!).

For example, certainly before and to a lesser extent after the game the Scottish newspapers gave really excellent coverage to their women's team. Two or three newspapers wrote quite long article, and the match was at least filmed.

Wales also were well covered - especially by the BBC with videoed interviews on the BBC Wales website, and match highlights on BBC Wales TV's Scrum V last night. And Ireland did almost as well, both before and after the game.

Which just leaves England, arguably the best team in the world, ignored. Okay the BBC and one or two other websites did reproduce (almost without amendment) the RFUW's pre-game press release, but other than that I have not been able to find anything that could be described as "journalism" (ie. creative, intellegent, writing). Sky did a couple of minutes on the Rugby Club, but then did not even mention the game on their website - not so much as a scoreline. 

BBC Radio and TV commentators - in the hours and hours of coverage - also could not bring themselves to mention the women's team's efforts, and the BBC's rugby pages included every rugby game down to villages playing in the Welsh second division - but totally failed to include any women's games in its list. And yet BBC Radio did find time for a long interview with members of the England women's cricket team about a tournament that does not happen until next month!

Maybe I missed something somewhere, but coverage - of England in particular - is dreadful. Personally I suspect the problem is the attitudes of commentators and rugby writers, but whatever its annoyed me so much this weekend I've written to the BBC to complain. If you think they could do better (including the fixtures and results in their collated results pages might be a start!) then why not drop them a line as well - no need for a stamp, just go here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I get a paper each sunday ' The RUGBY paper' and it usually has a small column for womens rugby but also had a half page write up on the England game, which as you are all aware is a darn sight more than others !! Unfortunatley, I can't pass it on to Mal as it's gone to the recycler.


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