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...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

England: Number 1 in the world?

Men's rugby has had official international rankings now for years. A fiendishly complex statistical calculation is used, but the result is something that supposedly removes all argument about who is better than who. It also arguably adds an extra spice to games, an extra encouragement to play internationals in order to move up the table. It cannot do any harm to a sport if you can show that your national team is in the top 10 or 20 in the world.

Women's rugby has no such ranking. There are all kinds of arguments why this would be, like there being fewer games, but many of the teams in the men's ranking hardly have a full fixture programme so the real reason is probably more a lack of interest or effort on the part of the IRB.

So it is interesting to see that a rugby enthusiast/statistician in France has now stepped in to the breach and produced a detailed ranking for all women's international teams - the first ever produced by anyone. The methodology is complex, and may be debatable at the margins, but the result is interesting and - considering we have a Frenchman giving an English team top billing! - unbiased. After yesterday's games the top ten are...
  • 1 England 3963 points
  • 2 New Zealand 3928
  • 3 France 3625
  • 4 Canada 3612
  • 5 Wales 3449
  • 6 United States 3387
  • 7 Ireland 3340
  • 8 Scotland 3231
  • 9 Australia 3028
  • 10 Spain 2840
It is also interestingly the rankings are close (but not quite identical) to the IRB's seeding for the World Cup.

While on the subject of the World Cup, were you planning to got to the final in September? If so it may be an idea to ensure you get tickets early. The RFU have now confirmed that the crowd was over 12,500 for a friendly fixture on a cold, wet winter's evening yesterday at Twickenham. Quite how many there will be for the World Cup Final on a warm summer's afternoon next September can only be guessed, but its worth bearing in mind that the absolute capacity of The Stoop is barely a thousand or so more than yesterday's crowd. You have been warned!

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