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, July 29, 2010

World Cup on TV: Sky release details

Information about the games Sky will be broadcasting in the first two rounds of the World Cup have appeared on their website. This also has a relevance beyond our shores as Sky's choice of games will almost certainly be the games that the IRB will webcast worldwide.

So, on Day One (Friday 20th August) Sky, and the IRB offering, will be...
  • 1.30pm... Wales v Australia (Group 1)
  • 4.00pm... New Zealand v South Africa (Group 1)
  • 6.00pm... England v Ireland (Group 2)
On Day Two (Tuesday 24th August) they will be showing...
  • 1.30pm... France v Scotland (Group 3)
  • 4.00pm... New Zealand v Australia (Group 1)
  • 6.00pm... England v Kazakhstan (Group 2)
Match choices for Day 3 have not yet been fully listed, but ScrumQueens now say that the games they will show will be New Zealand v Wales, Australia v South Africa and England v the USA.

As choices go its not bad. They have certainly picked the big games from Day 1 - especially the opening game. One of the great unanswered questions must be how good Australia are going to be - personally I have severe doubts about them - and also whether we will see the Wales that nearly won 2009 Six Nations, or the one that played so badly in 2010. We then get to see the champions playing the most fascinating of outsiders, South Africa. While the Black Ferns will win, this is a game that should be way closer than anyone suspected when the draw was announced. Then to round the day off its England and Ireland - a real tough opener for England against a nation that gets better and better every year.

On Day 2 personally I'd have liked to have seen maybe South Africa and Wales, or Ireland v USA - both games that are impossible to predict. However, given restrictions of timings and the need to show both the hosts and champions I guess that Sky had little alternative. Its a pity as these three should all go comfortably to form. Maybe we'll get highlights of the rest?

As for Day 3, if ScrumQueens are correct then its a less good choice as Canada v France is really the match of the day as it should be a very exciting winner-takes-all game for a guaranteed semi-final spot. On the other hand Austrlia v South Africa is certainly an odd choice - both teams could quite easily be knocked out even before this game takes place. But maybe there is room to change here as the tournament develops?

Overall Canadian followers will be unhappy that they are likely to get no coverage at all - unless they reach the final four - and it is also a great shame that Sweden will also not get their moment in the televisual sun. Scottish and Irish supporters will also be less than happy.
  • On a related matter rather less good news about TV coverage of the men's World Cup. Unaccountably the IRB have again awarded the contract to show the next two men's competitions to arguably the world's worst broadcaster of rugby union - ITV. One can only conclude that the IRB have never watched ITV's previous "efforts", or that if they have that the broadcaster waved sufficiently large wads of cash to counter any artistic objections that rugby followers may have had.

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