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...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another big weekend of international sevens

Something like a quarter of the world's women's international rugby sevens teams will be in action this weekend in three different tournaments across Europe - its probably the biggest single weekend of international rugby since the World Cup.

In Rome on Friday a two day tournament will kick off probably (its not been confirmed yet!) featuring France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil, plus "Aotearoa Maori" (the nearest thing there is to a Black Ferns sevens team, being as NZRFU will not field one), and a US/NZ invitation team. Aotearoa Maori (who, despite their name, are not a Maori team but rather an unofficial invitation made up of mainly, but not exclusively, leading New Zealand players) are the holders, beating France last year - but this year Netherlands will be the team to beat. The Dutch - without the Canadians to frustrate their ambitions - should make the final, but whether they will go the extra step will depend on who Aotearoa bring with them.

In Zanka, Hungary Europe's third tier of nations will be competing the continent's Division 3 title (or "Division B" as it is also sometimes called... just to confuse everyone!), and promotion (for the winners). The hosts will be the overwhelming favourites - only Poland are likely to off a significant challenge. Indeed, Hungary should not be competing in this tournament at all.

When Wales pulled out of the Division 1 championship, all seeded nations moved up one - and Hungary (as top seed in Division 3) should have moved into Division 2. Unfortunately had they volunteered to be hosts for this tournament and - rather than have a tournament without a host team - the next team down (Norway) moved up. Chances are the Welsh RFU are not that popular in Hungary...

Finally in Richmond, London the Scrumqueens Elite Women's Sevens features Sweden and England, as well as several club and invitational teams. What is remarkable is that this will be the first time England have ever played in a sevens tournament in England - and, if they play Sweden, it will therefore be their first ever home sevens international (they did play an exhibition game at Twickenham in 2008, but that was against Aotearoa Maori, so was not an international). If you are in London on Saturday it'll be worth going along - play starts at 9am.

Incidentally, do not expect this tournament to be a walk in the (Old Deer) park for England. Teams have not been announced yet, but it is likely that the English team will be based around the recently announced (and young and, generally, inexperienced) sevens squad. Sweden, on the other hand, have reserved most of their best players for sevens this year - there are more players from the World Cup in the sevens squad this year than the XVs. Also, though RFUW are now beginning to take Sevens seriously, it has always been seen as a bit of end-of-season fun - whereas for nations like Sweden its a very serious game indeed.

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