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...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Women's international rugby's big weekend

This is one of the year's biggest weekends of international rugby with international championships and tournaments being competed for in four countries on three continents.

The NACRA Caribbean Championship reaches its climax tonight (or early tomorrow morning our time) with host nation the Cayman Islands taking on Trinidad & Tobago for the title. Cayman Rugby TV will have all the action, and an ever so slightly biased summariser from around about 2am BST, though recordings of all games are available for viewing at a more civilised hour. In practice T&T (as they are universally referred to) should stroll it as they seem to be a mile ahead of anything else in the region, with player-of-the-tournament Juliana Straker very likely to add to the 41 points she has personally racked up in just two games to date - but what this tournament has shown is how much the teams desperately need competition from outside their region.

Tomorrow in Kampala the second leg of East Africa's Elgon Cup takes place, with Uganda attempting to overturn a 12 point defeat to Kenya from the first leg in Nairobi. Like the NACRA tournament, this is a fiercely contested annual competition involving teams that live an isolated test match life, playing no-one but themselves. If the game is to grow they must be given a chance to play outside their region - and the World Cup should (in theory) allow them to do that. In the meanwhile, though Uganda may shave a win its probable that Kenya will retain the overall title.

At around the same time in Bucharest the FIRA European Sevens Championship kicks off. This one is the "top division" with the leading 12 nations competing for the title. In practice it will be a battle between five teams - Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and England - with the last three in the "group of death" that will see one of them knocked out before the semi-finals.

It should be fascinating stuff with England's mainly 15-a-side superstars up against sevens specialists, most notably the Netherlands. Can players from the long game easily convert to the wild and hectic world of Sevens, or is the short game now almost a separate sport in its own right? We should have a clue by Sunday. England have selected a much stronger team this year than the one that finished 5th last year in Moscow, and will be expecting to make the last four as a minimum, but the Italians, Dutch, Spanish and French are pretty much at full strength.

The big game in the opening pools will be England against Italy on Saturday afternoon - win that and England will be in the last four after which... well, anything could happen. I fancy Netherlands to just take the title, but with Spain and England not far behind.

The tournament will be shown live on Eurosport 2 in many parts of Europe.... except in the UK.

Then late Sunday, early Monday we have round two of the U20 Nations Cup with England and the USA - the two winners from round one - face-to-face. England will win, of course - they brushed past Canada in round 1 and most observers would see the Canadians as a step or two ahead of the Americans. South Africa will, meanwhile, be aiming to recover from a disappointing opener where - like their senior side at the world cup - they suffered badly from poor discipline, throwing away a great start to lose comfortably.

The ongoing internet problem at Storke Field will probably mean no live feed for this round, but again a recording of the game should be available for breakfast viewing on Monday morning.


  1. You missed out the return leg of the Elgon cup in Kampala tomorrow (Saturday 16th July). Uganda hosts Kenya at 2pm Ugandan time.

  2. Thanks for updating it and Uganda won 29 - 10 :)


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