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...

Friday, July 03, 2009

International rugby in August

I know its just turned July, but news of a bumper August of international rugby has come my way and - as some of it might even count as another world "exclusive" for the blog - so I thought I'd post the details now.

To begin with that "exclusive", as mentioned last week they England off to Canada to defend the Nations Cup that they won in the tournament in Esher last year. Full fixtures have not been published yet, but partial details have appeared on US and Canadian websites from which the full details can be worked out.

The tournament will include five teams this year - England, Canada, France, USA, and South Africa - so that is the teams finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th at the last World Cup so its not a bad lineup. It will also feature South Africa in 15-a-side action for the first time since the World Cup - have they developed as well as their U20 side seems to indicate, or will they still be only competing for the wooden spoon - and France's first games against non-European opposition since 2006.

The tournament will be played in and around Torono as a single round-robin for the five teams - no final, though the top two seeds (England and Canada) have been set-up to play on the final day. The fixtures are:

August 10: USA v England, France v South Africa (both 6.30pm local time)
August 13: England v France, South Africa v Canada (3.00 & 4.00pm)
August 16: USA v South Africa, France v Canada (3.00 & 4.00pm)
August 19: USA v Canada, England v South Africa (both 6.30pm)
August 22: USA v France, Canada v England (3.00 & 4.00pm)

A more detailed preview will appear nearer the event.

These will not be the only internationals during the month. In Africa the continents second and third-ranked teams (Uganda and Kenya) will be playing their annual home-and-away tournament for the Elgon Cup.

However the most important fixture of the summer will be taking place far away in the South Seas where, on 7th August 2009, Samoa take on Australia on a one-off winner-take-all qualifier for the World Cup the result of which is almost impossible to predict.

In connection with this news has come out that this should have been a four way event also involving Fiji and Papua New Guinea (no news about Tonga). However Papua - who have never previously played any international rugby - pulled out for financial reasons, while the Fijian rejected the invitation to take part... without (from what I hear) even consulting their women's team. The reason may financial as well, but its a shame that they do not seem to have even given their women a chance to do a bit of fundraising.

After this, we will know 11 of the 12 teams for 2010 and all we will be waiting for will be the Asian qualifier.

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