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...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

England on their own for the Olympics?

Surprise news this evening, with potentially massive consequences for international women's sevens rugby.

Wales have withdrawn from the European Sevens championship. At this stage no explanation has been issued from the WRU. Of the 36 European nations with women's rugby teams, only three have not entered - Ireland, Scotland and Wales. England are therefore the only Home Nation in the tournament.

With the Sevens World Cup qualification process starting next year, its difficult to see any of these three entering with any hope of success - and with what is expected to be a long and complex Olympic qualification starting soon after that, its difficult to see Ireland (on their own), or Scotland and Wales (as part of a GB team) taking part in that either.

On the one hand, all this will make the creation of a Great Britain Olympic team rather easier than expected - because only England seem to have any interest in taking part, so all RFUW need to do is design a new shirt! On the other hand its all a bit weird as it seems that the Home Nations have a totally different set of priorities to the rest of the women's rugby world.  Every other nation, without exception, is prioritising sevens - from Australia to China, from Netherlands (whose sevens squad will go full-time from next year) to Kenya. Only Scotland, Ireland and Wales are heading in the opposite direction.

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