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...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

There's a breathless hush in the IRB tonight...

... as all eyes turn towards Berlin. Not normally a city that features high in the minds of rugby followers, though it was the site of the last rugby tournament to have any association with the Olympics (an unofficial pre-games tournament - and ironically the best organised there had ever been).

Which is a neat coincidence that it can be assumed the IRB will have mentioned, because tomorrow sees the start of an IOC board meeting that will decide whether the bid to get rugby back into the Olympics ends here - or goes on to the "final". Because this week's meeting will slim down the seven sports currently competing to get into the games down to just two that will go forward to the full IOC meeting in October.

The IRB have thrown everything into this - a good thing after the shambles of an effort they organised last time round. The bid they have put together has been impressive and has achieved a degree of unity within the sport that few of its competitors can match. Compared to golf, where the leading players are at best luke warm (if not actually opposing that sports bid), and karate which is far from united, rugby (and possibly squash) have made most powerful cases for inclusion. Now they will learn whether it has all had any effect.

It has to be remembered that we are talking about Sevens rugby here - not fifteens - but this has helped the bid as Sevens is played more widely than the full game (especially in women's rugby) and far more countries are competitive. There is no guarantee that any of the seven sports will be selected (none were in 2005), but none have made a better case than rugby.

And why should you care? Well, first it is likely that any British team for 2016 (and certainly for 2020) will be largely made up of girls currently playing junior rugby, and secondly because, if a British team were to win gold medals, the game will change at all levels - Sevens would have to become much more than a bit of end-of-season fun.

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