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, February 03, 2011

International season kicks off tomorrow night

Its been five months since that amazing evening at The Stoop. The World Cup Final, nearly 14,000 people watching the best women's rugby international ever on an evening that had everything, except maybe the right result! Since then not much has been happening, on the field at least. There has only been two internationals, anywhere in the world - the quietest winter for over ten years, which (for women's rugby) is practically forever.

But that all changes tomorrow evening when, at around 9pm our time, Scotland kick off the 2011 Six Nations against France in a small football stadium just south of Paris (the local rugby ground not having any floodlights), heralding an explosion of women's international rugby worldwide. As well as the Six Nations, there's three women's sevens tournaments - the most exciting of which will be the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, which will include USA, Canada, France, Spain and the Netherlands, and will be streamed live at, starting in the early afternoon on Friday 11th February. Later in February there are the South American Sevens, then the Hong Kong Sevens in March - when the Six Nations reaches its climax. Then in April there's the European championship, followed shortly after that by the European Sevens.

What makes this a particularly interesting spring of women's rugby is that - in the fifteens game - there is some huge squad rebuilding going on. As ScrumQueens has reported, almost all of the Six Nations teams are rebuilding - almost from the floor up in some cases. Scotland, Ireland, France and Wales will be barely recognisable from the teams that played in Guildford in August - Ireland, for example, will field seven previously uncapped players this weekend, which is pretty typical. The results will be one of the most unpredictable tournaments for years. Well, that aside from England who take on Wales on Saturday with very nearly the same team that took the field at The Stoop, a pretty scary prospect for a very young Welsh team.

Unfortunately - despite the success of Sky's TV coverage of the World Cup - none of these first round games will be on your screens (PC or TV) - though it is possible that the French rugby union will put highlights of their home games on their website. In fact the only game we know for certain will be on TV will be England v France on 27th February.

The Sevens are also important, as teams are beginning to finalise their squads in advance of next year's qualification tournaments for the 2013 World Cup. Almost every women's sevens playing country will take the field somewhere this spring - some 30 or more from Europe alone... apart from Australia and New Zealand.

Despite everything both of these nations are notable by their absence (at least as official teams) from any of the upcoming tournaments, 15s or 7s. The World Cup may have changed attitudes to the game, but that hasn't changed the behaviour of some unions.

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