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, April 07, 2010

Asia's first youth international

The first youth international ever to be played outside Europe or North America will take place on Sunday when Japan U18s play Hong Kong at Japan's main rugby stadium, the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Saitama.

The Hong Kong team will arrive in Japan on Friday and both teams will have practice at the Stadium on Saturday. The Japanese will not select their 22 player squad until after the Saturday practice.

The structure of junior rugby in Japan is similar to that in England as girls' rugby is not played in any schools. As a result all the most promising players train with one of three regional teams - Kyushu (main southern island), Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe) and Kanto (Tokyo/Yokohama and surrounding provinces). Players from all three will be competing for places in the national side.

Japan were one of pioneers in the early years of women's rugby - a rugby union for women was formed in the country in 1988, only the second to be formed outside Europe. They took part in the first world cup in 1991, but after that development came to a near halt. After 1991 they played only seven internationals in the next nine years, five of which were at the 1994 World Cup. They were not invited to the 1998 event. However, the development of a national U18 team is just the latest example of how things are changing within Japanese rugby. Its also significant that both Hong Kong and Japan are putting money and effort into developing junior players, six years away from the Olympics.

1 comment:

  1. As rugby games continue to gain worldwide exposure, it's always nice to hear about women's rugby league outside England and US.

    Now I'm currently tuning in to a youth rugby league in the US and worldwide as I'm seeing young players who have to the potential to be the best in the game when their professional years come.


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