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...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saluting Stéphanie Madaule


Well, because I am writing on French domestic rugby each week (or so) for ScrumQueens I have had to do a fair bit of research on the game over there - its partly the reason why there has been a number of French stories on here in recent months.

Women's rugby has been a part of the French sporting scene for longer than pretty much anywhere else - their national championship is 40 years old this season which makes it at least 10 years older than any other national championship (the first British league - and at that time it was a UK-wide competition - did no start until 1986) - and the enthusiasm for the game at club level is remarkable. Live local radio commentary on club games is not unusual, most home international are on TV, and the crowds at home internationals - and major club games - are routinely higher than anything seen over here. They have significantly more registered players than we do in England (though this probably says more about the the mess that is the women's registration process in England than anything else).

Indeed quite why, with all this, the French struggle to compete on the field against England is a bit of a mystery with any answer possibly saying more about attitudes among key people and the general lack of imagination within the French rugby union (FFR) than anything else.

One thing that the French do really well is promote their games - even at club level. Take a look at this example from last weekend, promoting Lille's home game against Bobigny (won my Lille, I am delighted to say as I am becoming a bit of a fan). When did any English club at any level, including the Premiership, ever routinely produce posters advertising their home games, never mind do anything of this quality? Posters advertising England games are rare enough!

Which takes me back to Stéphanie who has set up an advertising agency to advertise and promote women's rugby and women's rugby teams.

I came across her website last week and am increasingly amazed by what she is doing. Not only does she manage to publish national league results on her site some hours before the FFR can manage it (okay, that is a trick that some of us have managed in England too!), but she has launched a range of clothing, carried out photo-shoots at a range of clubs, published some great interviews with players at all levels, and is now moving into the broadcast media as well, getting onto radio and TV promoting the game. How does she find the time? And energy? And. presumably, make money while doing it?

Wouldn't it be amazing if we could have someone like Stéphanie over here? Better still, can RFUW arrange to hire/kidnap her, change her allegiance to England, and install her at Twickenham?


  1. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Thanks again for this article my sister is eccstatic, she always wanted to make it big and promote what is women rugby and how well they are doing. She probably would love to promote over here too..though we can arrange a meeting in the future as I am living in London and I am sure she can travel back here for a little while !!!! Glad to have read your great article. Steph's sister Marie

  2. Marie - can you drop me a line to We'd like to do something about Stephanie's work on ScrumQueens - ask/send her a few questions etc. - and as my French is not great a bi-lingual intermediary would be a great help.


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