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, May 26, 2011

"The English? They are robots."

The author of one of the few histories of women's rugby ever written - Des Filles en Ovalie - has been in touch. Its the book we've has been serialising here, but instead of complaining he has sent a free copy! It is in French, obviously (in fact no history of women's rugby has ever been published in English!), but thanks to its well ordered layout, Google Translate, and some exceedingly basic and barely remembered French language skills, its quite possible to get the gist of the book.

Most of the actual history the book covers has already appeared on here (see below), but there are also some amusing - and even probably quite controversial - bits later in the book, where it reviews in some detail the state of French women's rugby at the time it appeared (2006).

For English readers the best bit comes on p126 where the author, in a very relaxed chat with several senior French team officials, gets onto the subject of doping and the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. This, of course, never happens in France we are assured - but elsewhere?

Remy Louis, at that time the French physio, had some real suspicions. "For two years [around 2003-2005] the French team has worked really hard with targets and preparations at a high level and yet over the same period the English have changed a lot physically. There must be some chemistry involved here."

Team doctor, Nicole Darrieutort, replies "The English women? The are robots" before going onto say how he warns his players about the dangers of drugs.

However, the best bit comes next when French team coach Philippe Laurent sums up what is wrong with his team's biggest rivals - "Nous, en fait du rugby feminin pour filles et les Anglais font du rugby masculine pour filles!" Or, roughly, "Here, we have women's rugby for women and the English have men's rugby for women!"

I'll leave it for you to decide - regardless of what was intended - whether we should take that as a complement or not!

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