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...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Become a professional rugby player... if you're Dutch

England stage their Sevens trials next weekend.

However, if you couldn't make it, or maybe want to make a bit of money out of your rugby, then there is an alternative. All you need is to be aged between 17-25 - and to have are some Dutch relatives stashed away somewhere. Then you too could become something unique - a professional women's rugby player.

The other qualification you may need is to be able to read this...
The NRB (Netherlands Rugby Union) - along with the NOC (the Dutch Olympic Committee) - are taking women's sevens rugby very seriously indeed. One of the world's top sevens nations, the Dutch RFU have already removed their leading players from all fifteens rugby. In addition, at the end of this month, they will be staging trials for "Rugby Talent" - open to any sportswomen from any sport (they are partcularly targeting football, athletics... and judo), who will be fast-tracked into sevens rugby.

If the team makes progress and remains a medal prospect the leading players will receive full-time funding from the NOC, right up to 2016. But they have to perform on the field. The NRB have been set targets and apparently the first - in order to get the funding to become full-time professional sportswomen - requires them to finish in the top three at this year's European Sevens in July.

Its highly doubtful that any women's rugby team will ever have played for the sort of reward the Dutch will be faced with in Bucharest - and there is every prospect they will succeed. A very kind draw means that - realistically - only France stand between them and a place in the final.

So if you've got a Dutch granny somewhere, sign-up now!

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