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, April 27, 2011

RFUW surprise us again - with a new age band

RFUW have announced today that, from September 1st 2011, a new Under 13s age band will be introduced for girls’ rugby in England. You can read the full press release on the Herts Girls blog.

While it is great to see RFUW taking action to bridge the Year 7 gap, there is a positive tidal wave of questions that the Release does not answer. For example, we must assume  that the U15 and U18 bands will remain, so there will presumably be a one year overlap in the U15 band, but nothing is said about this. There is also no mention about how wide this band is - three years, like the other two (so covering School Years 6-8)?   Will there be competitions of any sort, for teams to play for? County teams? Or will the girls just play friendlies (no bad thing!)? And while we are about it, what set of rules will they play to? Should a club's Year 8 girls play U13 rugby, or U15 rugby? Will they have to choose, or can they play both? On the same weekend?

I think we can assume that a U13 band was chosen (instead of the "unofficial" U12 band that has been in use in Hertfordshire for the past 4-5 years) because it is thought it will have more girls in it - though I remain unconvinced about that. The advantage of a U12 band was that it gave a home for girls already playing club rugby at the crucial age when they start feeling marginalised and drop out. However, the decision is apparently the result of years of several pilots so presumably the feedback has been good.

Hopefully more information will be published soon...


  1. Anonymous8:57 AM

    I like this blog site!
    Dave from Morpeth RFC again...
    A good idea from the RFUW to introduce an u13 age band. My experience of coaching mini rugby shows that some girls do tend to get marginalised as at u11 and u12 become more physical! however the girls I have coached at these two age groups tend to have a better skill set than the boys and are certainly no push over when "targeted" by other teams (a sad indictment on mini rugby coaches).
    Reading the RFU news about the age grade rugby was akin to a political party announcement "all spin and no substance" and your comments about team size,matches,rule etc are all relevant and have not yet been anounced or conveyed to clubs or to the best of my knowledge.... CB's!
    What will happen to the more talented player who has been playing mini rugby is able to tackle and pass will she have to be held back a year to play developmental rugby in u13's!
    I was also interested to read that the announcement stated"To make the age band change, coaching and teacher training will be delivered by the RFU’s coaching department and distribution will be through the RFU delivery teams, English Schools Union and County Schools Union, together with supportive resource material."
    No mention of clubs! although I am lead to believe that each club mayhave a number of cluster schools to recruit from ( a North West trial)
    Another good thing form this age band will be the requirement to recruit more volunteers and hopefully bring more parents into the club fold.


  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Why did the rfuw announce something with out giving out all the details. They would have been better waiting until all the details have been sorted.

    I have had 2 different people speak to me on this.1 had been told that all year 8s can only do tag next season and not contact, another that year 8s can do either tag or contact.

    This needs to be clarified asap so eveyone knows what they are doing

  3. Anonymous11:40 AM

    To answer your question on girls who have played rugby through minis & are able to tackle & pass - yes they will be held back to play tag after 4 years of contact. Having spoken to David Rose at the WRFU they are looking to bring this in for boys also. Why bother with minis if you are going to start again at 13 and put on the sideline all the talented & committed players who have made it through Minis - Madness !


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