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...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More women's international sevens news

First, rather depressing news from Africa that Uganda's women's team - the first Ugandan sporting team of any sort to ever qualify for a World Cup (when they made the finals of the 2009 Sevens World Cup) may be counted out of the 2013 tournament without playing a game.

The Ugandan RFU are in deep financial trouble and cannot afford the £13,500 needed to send the team to the Africa South qualifier later this year in Botswana. Tournaments planned for their men's teams are also threatened.

Elsewhere the continued silence of the IRB concerning the heavily rumoured Women's Sevens World Series continues.However this is not stopping a fair few countries preparing for it. The first leg would be in Dubai in early December, and from various sources it seems that this will include - as a minimum - USA, Canada, France, Brazil, England and Netherlands, plus suggestions that we might even see teams like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China taking part.

The second and third legs - in Las Vegas and Hong Kong - are also firmly on the calendar of most of these nations, which rather implies a pretty strong unofficial Series even if the IRB cannot bring themselves to make it official.

The only problem seems to be the fourth leg. French plans (below) show that a tournament in London was being planned - a major first for women's sevens as there has never been an international women's tournament in the UK before - but clearly there are some problems, problems that may be behind IRB's delayed announcement. It is interesting that France were targeting Amsterdam instead if London falls through, but it would be deeply embarrassing for the RFUW and RFU if the world tour went there instead of London.

Beyond that... why else might the IRB be delaying its announcement? A few educated guesses...
  • IRB want Australia and New Zealand (and China maybe) to take part - but they will probably not commit.
  • An eight nation event would be financially viable, but more than that might be problematic - the more teams you have in a tournament the more matches you need to play, and the more stadium time is needed, so costs rise significantly. In some venues you'd need extra pitches.
  • Trouble is that eight teams means excluding teams like France, Netherlands, Spain, etc.
  • IRB may not normally worry about such things, but now the Olympics are involved many of these nations' NOCs will be very interested and will have the financial clout to to sue the pants off the IRB if their nation was excluded. The IOC itself would probably have things to say.
  • With the money the Dutch are investing into their Sevens a few extra Euros to brief m'learned counsel would seem a reasonable expense, especially if joined by France, Spain, et al.
  • Its difficult to see how the IRB could argue successfully, in court, that the likes of France (finalists in last Hong Kong 7s) and Spain (Euro Champs 2010) should be excluded while New Zealand and Australia (not set foot on a field in 7s since 2009) should be included.
  • IRB could get a very (expensive) bloody nose

What I suspect we are going to get therefore is... nothing. Well, nothing other than Dubai, Las Vegas and Hong Kong having far larger turnouts of women's teams than ever before - but no overall, official, WSS title. And no London sevens.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Total Pageviews (since June 2009)

Sport Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory