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, April 01, 2010

The team that dare not speak its name

Since this blog began it has been reported to me that at times its contents have, on occasion, perplexed or even annoyed some people at the top of RFUW. This, obviously, has not been the intention but the fact is that the Powers That Be have, in fact, never actually contacted me - directly - to complain, comment or correct anything. So such concerns can never have been major

Well, that is not entirely true. They did contact me once.

I just mention this as on Tuesday - as a warm-up to the U20 international between England and Wales - there will be another game and, based on my experience, I suggest that anyone at the former game is very careful about what they say (and in particular what they call) one of the teams. Above all do not use the "E" word.

What do I mean? Well a few years ago I dared to suggest that RFUW's Talent Development Group (TDG) was in some way an England U18 squad - a not unreasonable thing to say being as the squad is selected by English rugby's governing body, is made up of (by common consent) the best players in the country in that age group, and everyone in the squad is English.

The response was quick and not a little heated. "Its not an England squad", I was told in a surprise phone call, "you cannot use the word England in relation to it". Apparently this usage would somehow grievously upset those who had worn the red rose, and anyway it was just a training squad for development purposes. I should not even call it the "England TDG".

As a result I have carefully avoided making any connection between the TDG squad and the "E" word ever since, which makes reporting or previewing events next Tuesday just a shade tricky because, as well as their U20 team to play England U20 at Surrey Sports Park, Wales are also sending their U18 TDG squad to play the... erm... England? English? Home TDG? British (not-including-Scotland-Wales-or-Ireland) TDG? The girls-not-playing-in-red TDG?

Actually its the second time the TDGs have played an ... uninternational(?) - they lost to the touring Canadian U18s a couple of years ago and, whatever they are to be called I hope they do really well. Indeed, given the recent performances of junior Welsh regions when playing their English equivalents, it should be a very close and exciting game. So much so that it is possible that some spectators may forget themselves and blurt out the "E" word when cheering on the Home Team. My advice, therefore, is to be very careful indeed. Bite your tongue. Practice your "Come on you R.F.U.W.T.D.G.U.18 squad" calls. Otherwise who knows who will be calling you - or even tapping you on the shoulder.

You have been warned!

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