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...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

England U20s: best in the world?

Today's U20 Nations Cup final wasn't a contest - it was pure slaughter. Last week England beat the USA by 40-7 - today they exceeded that score before half-time. But they were not content with that and kept pressing on - relentlessly - to rattle up 18 tries in a 110-0 annihilation of (let's not forget this) one of the top four U20 teams in the world (RFUW report).

By a country mile this must be the highest score ever achieved in a U20 women's international - or any other age group game (well, so far as can be traced). Better than that - its the biggest win by any England women's team ever - eclipsing the senior squad's 101-0 win over South Africa four years ago - and by a long way the biggest defeat that the USA - or any other leading women's rugby nation - have ever suffered. On this form could any other U20 side live with this England team? It seems unlikely.

It took England - with Lizell starting for the second time (this time at full-back) - just four minutes to begin the massacre. Another seven tries followed before half-time, with England 43-0 up. Lizell added another try with a minute of the restart after which tries came regularly. Worcester centre Sam Bree racked up six tries adding to the five she had scored in the previous three games - a remarkable performance.

Finally if there was any question that USA were fortunate to make the final, the fact is that the other three teams were very closely matched and any of them would have probably suffered in the same way. To emphasise this earlier Canada - finally putting in the sort of performance we expect from them - squeezed Wales (who had been seconds away from beating the USA last week) out of third place with a 12-10 win.

So where next for this England team? Well, for many after three or four years with the team it was their last game at this level and they will be attempting to get a place in the senior squad - but for everyone else it will be back to square one and the U20 trials in September!

If you want to try to get into this team of world-beaters these will be "open" trials that anyone aged 17 or more can attend (though it is recommended that you should already have played at least regional rugby). Further details of where and when the trials will be should appear in the next few weeks.

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