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...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nations Cup: Leading players rested for France game

Captain Catherine Spencer is rested, along with several other leading players, as England prepare for their second game in the tournament against France (tonight, 9.30pm our time - free live feed here - don't miss it!).

Monday's team against USA was probably England's strongest possible starting line-up - virtually the same as the team that demolished France and Scotland at the end of the last Six Nations - and it is clear that England's management see France as rather less of a threat than either of the North American teams.

Overall only five of Monday's starting line-up will be starting against France. Fiona Pocock, double try scorer in the USA game, also gets a complete rest while Emily Scarrett (who also scored two against USA, as well as a hat-trick in the Six Nations game with France) starts in the bench. Only hooker Amy Garnett remains from the forwards, and while Charlotte Barras starts again she moves from full-back to wing.

It is a sensible move. With USA out of the way the big game now will be against Canada on the 22nd. The "1st XV" destroyed France 52-7 a few months ago and it was clear from Monday that Europe's 4th best team haven't exactly improved much in recent months. They will be expected to raise their game for England, but even so it is sensible to rest key players now ahead of tougher games to come. With the World Cup ahead it is also important that the entire squad gets game time, and finally it also means that Appleby College will not have to invest in a wider scoreboard.

Canada also start against South Africa in the second game. Reports suggest that they have called up a number of Sevens specialists for this game and will be targeting South African fly-half Zandile Nojoko, who demonstrated some real turns of speed and excellent kicking when she scored 12 of her teams 17 points against France. If the home team can neutralise her then it is possible that the scoreboard officials will have to reach for the woodworking kit after all!

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