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, June 20, 2010

County rugby 2010/11... is that it?

As well as taking over club leagues, RFUW have also taken over control of inter-county rugby. Which is a good thing - the management of representative rugby should be what a national body does, just as the RFU control inter-county men's rugby.

They have just issued the county fixtures for next season and another good thing is that the first fixture - which sees Hertfordshire away to Leicestershire - will bring together in one place, and for the first time, the U15s, U18s and adult county teams. As a result it will see both current and former county juniors together - should be a great day out! Indeed anything that brings the senior and juniors together must be applauded as it will help keep juniors in the game after 18.

The next game will see the adults hosting Notts, Lincs & Derby, while the juniors travel to Eastern Counties to play in a triangular which will also involve Kent.

And that seems to be it. Yes - the entire county season, that used to see the seniors play at least three or four games in a South East League, and the juniors take part in two or three festivals as well as a couple of friendlies in a programme that ran from September to December, has - as a result of RFUW's take over - been reduced to a couple of random games in November and December.

What is more there is no obvious room in here for county A teams - so no chance for newer players to get a taste of county rugby before joining the full side, nor any policy of giving everyone a chance to play. With only two games competition for places will be intense - especially as Divisional trial selection will be based on county performances

In short you are - yet again - forced to wonder what the heck RFUW are playing at. I know that in Herts we have been spoilt because our county and club programmes have been so well organised and managed (the promotion of OA Saints to join Saracens in the adult premiership is really no fluke), but why should we have to go backwards? What is to be gained by aiming for the lowest common denominator?


  1. Anonymous10:02 PM

    In my recent memory certain individuals within the 'club' game complained that too many players were taken out of their club environment to play endless representative fixtures (county & regional. This in turn left 'too' few players behind at club to do anything worthwhile with!! Further grievances included that the county programme dominated the national calendar before Christmas and the regional programme dominated the period between Christmas and Easter, ultimately minimising the opportunities for club development. These points of view were worthy ones and supported with a very strong argument, after all it is the increase of numbers at community level and the creation of sustainable girls sections within exiting Rugby Union clubs that will ulitmately provide the firm foundations on which to build for elite success.

    The RFUW have recently taken steps to release weekends within the national calendar back to 'club rugby'. The county programme as recently released is minimal but provides the opprtunity for players to truely earn their county appearances and not just accept it as a given. With the regional programme finally and quite rightly deamed not fit for purpose the new divisional programme has the potential to be very successful tool for the elite development of both players and management staff.

    The above may seem like a complete defence of the RFUW. However their insanity when it comes to centrally organised Junior leagues is simply unforgiveable. Please give up on the idea and forget it completely. Not only is their no need for it I suspect that very few individuals at club level 'truely' support the idea!

    So this is a message to all those individuals who were fighting for more time with their players at club level. Take this opportunity to take ownership on YOUR club players. Give them the personal one to one time they deserve at club level. Use them to help recruit players and make YOUR club sustainable. DON'T complain that you now have too much time with them.

    But perhaps most importantly don't go back on what you have been requesting for years by letting the RFUW plan YOUR season!!

  2. My concern, I think, is that - if this is the new-look county season - that its gone from one extreme to the other (and, actually, at around one weekend per month the old county programme was not overblown).

    But overblown or not, at least the old programme had a point - the adults had a regional league and the juniors some much appreciated festivals. But two totally random county fixtures? What is the point of that? How will any coach learn anything about anyone based on that?

  3. Anonymous9:57 AM

    The leagues, the county restructure and the monumental lack of support at grass roots levels in the girls game is evidence of fundamentally flawed planning and delivery of the highest order. I would suggest a vote of no confidence in the board of the RFUW before they totally destroy what is a very fragile model of junior rugby as it is. (Unless of course this is their plan).


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