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...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

For your summer reading list...

The latest edition of the RFU's free Touchline magazine in now out. Available both electronically and as a glossy paper magazine (contact for copies) it is in some ways a model of how rugby journals should be. Okay, it is an "official" journal and therefore everything in the garden is always rosy, the sun is always shining, and heaven forbid that anything even slightly controversial should ever be so much as hinted at in its pages - but that aside its real plus point is that every issue gives a very fair coverage of the girls' and women's game.

Seven out of 50-60 stories in the latest issue are about women's or girls' rugby, and around a quarter of the photographs include female faces - most of them as active players - a far higher level of coverage than the women's game gets anywhere else (about 8% of the country's players are women or girls, so its actually very good coverage indeed). And one of the photos in the latest issue will be particularly familiar to you all (see the bottom of this page (click here) or the back page of the printed copy). Unfortunately in the printed issue its not a very clear image as, for some reason, the editor did not use the higher quality image sent to them but rather the one off the RFUW's website. Never mind - its the "thought that counts"!

(On the subject of which its also the second time in as many years that an article that is - at least partly - about a Worcester RFC triumph has been illustrated by a photo of Letchworth RFC so I'm not entirely sure what "thoughts" the Warriors have about it...).

There is also an interesting article in there that should send you checking you family trees. Its a men's rugby story, but still with some possible relevance to you. Apparently a teenage player from Yorkshire will now been travelling the world (or at least bits of it) thanks to the discovery that one of his grandparents is from Latvia. A chance meeting between his father and some Latvian rugby officials has lead to his being on a plane to Moscow to play for Latvia in the Eastern European Sevens.

If rugby gets into the Olympics there could be quite a few countries scouting around for talented players with the right ancestors - and especially in the women's game where there will be, let us say, a smaller pool of talent. So if any of you do have any non-UK born grandparents now might be a good time to drop a line to the appropriate RFU...

Finally I have come across what is possibly the only commercial book on women's rugby to have ever been published anywhere. Unfortunately the book (Des Filles En Ovalie by Jacques Cortie, Atlantica, 2005, ISBN 9782843949043) - the story of the first 40 years of women's rugby as an official sport in France - is in French so I am totally unqualified to say anything more about it (even if I had a copy, which I do not). But if there are any French linguists out there who fancy a bit of practice over the summer it might be mildly more interesting than the usual works in that language that you may be given to read.

The title translates directly as "Girls in rugby", incidentally, as "Ovalie" is a French synonym for rugby union, which I find interesting. For some reason.

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