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, February 28, 2010

"There are two camps in the perception of the women’s game — those who admire it, and those who have never seen it"

Rochelle Clark, Amy Garnett, Heather Fisher. Key members of the England team - you have to wonder what they make of the publicity other squad members get. Because there is another profile of an England player in today's Sunday Times and, as is the predictable way for feature writers, it focuses on one of that trinity of players who always grab the headlines. This time its not Cathy Spencer, or Maggi Alphonsi, but instead its Emily Scarratt's turn. Again.

Actually the men's game is barely any different - for every Jonny Wilkinson there are probably half a dozen forwards who could wander down Twickenham High Street without the risk of being recognised - but it would be interesting to hear more about, say, Fiona Pocock occasionally.

Fortunately the article does redeem itself by being quite a good read, though it does tend to go over the same ground that has been covered before. For example, it makes a point about how Emily is one of the new breed of England players who have played since the were children (rather than starting to play at university), but actually that does now apply to most (if not all) of the current England team - the days when you could switch into rugby from another sport in your late teens and still find your way into the England squad a few months later are long gone.  However, there is an interesting mention of Emily's punishing week - she is a student at Leeds Met, though where on earth she finds time to study it fails to reveal.

Perhaps of more interest are the words of England coach Gary Street, about how he emphasises the physicality of the team - that they should be strong and uncompromising (which certainly showed against New Zealand), as well as team traditions such as presentation ceremonies for team shirts.

Overall its good to see national newspapers like the Times writing about the game, but it would be nice if they could come up with something original. Like proper match previews, match reports, and maybe an acknowledgement that there is more than one home team in the Six Nations.

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