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...

Friday, May 28, 2010

All set for the last National Sevens

Something that may have escaped everyone - this (unless there are some dramatic changes) will be the last National Sevens. The calendar for next season includes no such competition next year - there is an "Easter Sevens" for junior teams, but its difficult to see how it can replace the Nationals when it will be clashing with both family holidays and exam preparation (does no-one at Twickenham have children?). There will be no official adult sevens - indeed there hasn't been one since 2008 anyway, which is odd as the format is clearly popular (at least in competitions not run by RFUW) - there will be over 30 women's teams playing in Bournemouth this weekend alone, not to mention a growing number of other events this summer. In fact it is quite odd the way that RFUW is all but abandoning the Sevens format when the rest of the world is moving towards it.

This is already the most downbeat National Sevens I have ever experienced. For the first time we have no idea who we will play as the website has no information (well, none that I can find), which is a huge shame as this has always been a great event, and the anticipation about who will be there is part of that.

I've no idea how long its been running - since well before 2004, though, that is for certain. Fortunately for us most of the time its been played in and around this area - Harpenden or Leighton Buzzard - though in 2004 it moved, on trial, to Northumbria. There is no list of past winners anywhere - senior or junior - though I would guess that Worcester have won more than most, with other clubs like Darlington and Basildon taking the odd title.

For those who have not been before the tournament, in terms of player and team numbers, is indeed now smaller than Herts 7s - but in terms of intensity and competition its in a different league. There are no easy games at the Nationals - its rare that a bunch of totally green complete beginners turns up to have go (apart from in 2005!) - the standard of play is normally very high, pretty much across the board. Its a brilliant social event as well, with players and officials from across the country meeting up, and its an emotional event too as many girls pull on their club colours for the last time. It also normally rains - sometimes quite a lot - and by the sounds of it this year may at least follow that tradition.

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