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 14, 2010

Rewriting history

There are times when you read an RFUW press release and think that you have fallen into some parallel universe. Take this one, issued last weekend. It includes such statements as...
On Saturday, in torrential rain, the National Under 15s 10s tournament took place. ...
On Sunday, Lichfield hosted the National 10s Under 18s... The final of the National U18s Cup saw last year’s winners Reading Baa Baas take on London Irish, with London Irish this time triumphing 20-10. The RFUW Fair Play award also went to North Dorset RFC.
Just a minute WHAT NATIONAL 10s???!!!!  Everyone will remember that last year - after two successful years - the National 10s was cancelled as there was (according to the RFUW) no demand for it. It is why the Gloucester 10s came into being - to fill the gap created by the cancellation. The decision to cancel the 10s was staggeringly unpopular but was not reversed for 2009/10 - there was nothing in the calendar and no general invitations were sent to all clubs - so where on earth did this tournament come from? And how did those clubs who took part get invited?

The answer - after a bit of digging and investigation (ie. working out what Reading did win last year) - this seems to be that a replacement for the National Cup, which was cancelled this year due to a lack of entries (the National Cup was completely different to the National 10s, being a tournament for 15-a-side teams - indeed, thanks to the rules, 15-a-side teams who could field squads of 22. It is small wonder that so few clubs entered!). At the last minute, without telling anyone, it seems to have been changed into a 10s tournament (a format that, according to RFUW only a year ago, no-one was interested in), and that only those teams that had entered the National Cup were invited to this competition instead.

It does not seem to have crossed the minds of anyone at Twickenham that a whole stack of clubs who were not interested in the National Cup would  have been interested in the National 10s, clubs that (going by my email box) are now ever so slightly upset about not being given a chance to play this year!

Even more remarkably this is not the only weird, strange and unexplained RFUW tournament advertised in press releases this week - there is also...

The Mysterious Case of the St George's Day Sevens.

This is a new, high profile, national sevens competition that will be played at Twickenham for the next three years as part of the "legacy" of the World Cup. Teams from "across the country" took part in the first edition apparently - 150 girls in all (hmmm... only about a quarter of the size of Herts Sevens then)?

At Letchworth we have always enjoyed Sevens, so why did we not take part? Very simple - because (as with the "National 10s") we were not invited. Nor were Saracens - or, so far as I can gather, about 99% of the nation's clubs. Quite how those teams who did take part got an invitation is difficult to work out - looking at the report it seems to be a curious mix of random school teams with (for some reason) the odd club like Liskeard thrown in. Still now we all know about it maybe clubs outside a select few will get a chance to play at Twickenham next year? Though, there again, maybe not as it doesn't appear in the "final" calendar for 2010/11...

Fact is that a new Sevens tournament would be an important development as most existing (and larger!) Sevens tournaments, including Herts 7s, are under threat next year. It is a strange sort of "legacy" that allows tournaments like Working, Dorking 7s and Herts 7s to disappear and be replaced by closed, select, invitation events.


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    It can be a little frustrating dealing with the rfuw at times. 2 years ago we are told there is not enough teams interested in the national 10s to run it and then 2 years later they go and run a 10s event.There are now less teams about than there was 2 years ago, so i do not understand there logic especially as more teams enter 10s than any national cup competition.

  2. Anonymous8:45 AM

    but there are more than enough teams to organise and run leagues across the whole country. The words, brewery, organise and .... up spring to mind.


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