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, December 29, 2009

Will the Olympic decision changing balance of rugby?

Interesting news that Wales seem to be changing the balance of their season in response to the inclusion of Sevens in the Olympics. Until recently sevens was not a major event over the border - as in England the format did not feature in the nationally organised programme, apart from a "fun" one-off National Sevens at the start of their season (just like we have at the end of ours). However their rugby development officer has organised four new tournaments - two for girls teams and two for adult teams - for this season, in addition to the existing pre-season event.

Elsewhere in some smaller countries there is a debate about whether to concentrate on just sevens (but only Brazil so far seem to have jumped one way or the other), while Scotland - who did not bother entering the last World Cup - surprisingly did send a team to the recent Dubai Sevens, so there are signs that priorities may be changing.

At the moment though, with the Olympics still seven years away, the effect of the decision has been limited. Certainly the RFUW's plans published a few weeks ago included no extra support for sevens beyond the Nationals (which, if the plans remain unchanged, would take place three weeks earlier next season) and it is interesting that - perhaps as a result of RFUW's slow response - a number of unofficial commercial sevens seem to be springing up. Bournemouth Sevens is now a major event (and probably a significant reason for RFUW's decision to move the Nationals) and it will be joined this summer by a four weekend series - the National Sevens Series - the first of which will include (RugbyRocks in London on June 12th) will include a women's event, organised with the support of ScrumQueens (no news yet on the other three).

The series has the blessing of the RFU who will presumably be watching the development closely. With several extra club weekends available from the next women's/girls' season there will be plenty of opportunities to follow the Welsh lead if these tournaments prove to be a success.

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