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, February 18, 2010

Olympics beginning to change the game

A couple of signs this week that the inclusion of sevens in the Olympics may be having an effect on the international game.

The first was the US Sevens in Las Vegas where the women's tournament, where the national teams from France and Germany, two strong USA teams, and a Canadian Students team, all lost out to China. USA White - close to a full strength US national team - lost 10-0 to the Chinese in the final. China has been a significant power in Asia for some time, but spectators at Las Vegas came away saying that they have improved significantly since last season, when they won the Bowl tournament (9th place) at the World Cup, and would probably made at least the quarter-finals today - if not better. This will clearly not be the last tournament China will win.

One event they will certainly have in their sights will be the next (and last) Sevens World Cup, in 2013, and - in a significant sign that another non-traditional rugby nation is starting to take the game very seriously - this looks like being held in Russia, after they put in a bid to host the event today. With Brazil and Germany withdrawing their bids they currently have a free run. Russia will also be hosting this year's European Sevens tournament, as well as the men's Junior World Trophy - all of this has happened since the Olympic announcement. Once Russian women had to finance their international rugby campaigns by selling vodka - not any longer.

That is two "sleeping giants" who are showing signs of stirring. With six years still to go before the Rio Games the "traditional" rugby countries are not going to have it their own way.

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