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, October 29, 2011

A Baltic good news story

One possible downside that Olympic rugby raised was the possibility that 7s would take over as the major form of the game, especially in women's rugby. The policy of the IRB when it comes to qualification for the Women's Rugby World Cup has hardly helped - what with free passes to the finals for USA, Canada and South Africa at the expense of any other nations who wanted to at least compete for a place in the finals.

It is reassuring therefore to see how much playing full 15-a-side rugby remains the ambition of so many players in smaller rugby nations around the world. Botswana - host for this weekend's southern African 7s - aim to form a 15-a-side national team next year, and last weekend all the clubs in Latvia got together to play their country's first ever women's 15s fixture, again with the aim of forming a national team to compete for with other Baltic nations like Lithuania and Finland.

A glance at the pictures appearing in an article in the local press suggests that they have a long way to go when it comes to, well, pretty much everything - in fact they look exactly like teams playing their first 15s match -but you have to admire their commitment, ambition (and range of ages!). Given just a bit of support by the IRB or FIRA and we could well have a new test playing nation in a few years time. As it is one team seems to already have gained a sponsorship deal with the Leeds Building Society, which is a neat achievement for a club side based some 1,500 miles and five countries away...

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