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, August 24, 2011

Women's 7s international tour: announcement imminent?

"The result of discussions between various countries, to increase and improve the competition between Selections Women, the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced the creation of the IRB Women's International Sevens Tournament to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 1 to 3 December next."

Or so said the Brazilian RFU today.... but as yet nothing from the IRB.

Quite what is behind the IRB's reticence can only be guessed at, though if the Brazilian press release is accurate then it is possible that they are hunkering down to avoid a heap of irate complaints from much of the sevens world. Why? Because the release implies that the opening tournament (and maybe the whole tour) will be restricted to eight teams - New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, United States, China, Canada and Brazil.

No Spain (European finalists). No Netherlands (the world's only professional team). No France or Russia (either of who could finish in the top six, if not top four, if allowed to join in). No Japan or Hong Kong or Kazakhstan (all quite capable or beating China on current form). East Africa frozen out again, along with the Caribbean and Pacific. All missed out in place of several nations who rarely play outside their own region, if they ever play at all.

We can only hope that the release is incomplete, or the translation misleading. Otherwise what should be a great announcement for international women's rugby could be its worst kick in the teeth for years.

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