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, August 27, 2010

World Cup Sells Out!

Ticketmaster- the online agent for Saturday's World Cup pool games - are reporting that all tickets have now sold out, 36 hours before the event. This must be the first time that any women's rugby internationals have sold out - anywhere. No doubt RFUW and the IRB will be saying how positive this is, but that is so much spin.

The fact is that by using a venue equipped to take a mere 2,500 spectators this cannot be entirely unexpected - indeed questions about that appeared on here and elsewhere a few months ago. It is clear that the venue could take more - probably another 500-1,000 easily. The stands that have been put up are pretty tiny, even on Pitch One, while the one of Pitch Two is a bit of a joke. However, at the time RFUW said that - if tickets did sell out - they would attempt to increase the capacity. Presumably it will now be too late, even supposing such plans ever existed.

It demonstrates a shocking lack of ambition and self-belief by those in charge. As days one and two also sold out within a few hours of the start, the net result of this is that the tournament has been and will now continue to turn away money - almost certainly thousands of pounds (an extra 500 spectators at £10 a head over three days...). In a sport that is so short of funding that is astonishing.

One of the arguments that is used by some in the IRB and various Unions to defend a male-dominated rugby world is that women's rugby and tournaments like the Women's World Cup always make a loss, and that they could never take place without the profits that come from the men's tournament. As a result the women's game has to put up with being a second class citizen in the rugby world, as many of the teams at Guildford can show. It is also the reason why three-quarters of the women's rugby world was not even allowed to compete for a place at this years tournament (it is clear that several African unions wanted to have a chance to qualify, but the IRB simply put South Africa forward, mainly - one suspects - to save money).

It will be fascinating to see the final accounts for this tournament, because a profitable WRWC 2010 could change those attitudes - forever. Indeed if does not now make a sizable profit then some serious questions will need to be asked.

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