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, May 26, 2012

England change sevens policy

A subtle change has been made to England's policy on sevens, which I slightly missed.

Last season a separate Sevens squad was announced - selected from the Guildford open sevens trials - which, it was said, would be only occasionally bolstered by players from the Elite squad. In practice this did not happen. After a couple of defeats in warm-up tournaments the Elite players quickly took over a larger and larger proportion of the team.

The reality of the situation has been acknowledged for next season with a slightly larger Elite squad being given responsibility for both England's 15s and 7s campaigns, while the squad selected from this year's Guildford trials is officially the "RFUW Sevens Development", and will play in domestic sevens tournaments this summer. Curiously no announcement has been made about who is in this squad (the elite squad was announced earlier this week).

Its a subtle change, but I am guessing may have something to do with the arrival of Barry Maddocks, who was already referring to last season's sevens squad as "development" in the lead-up to Amsterdam last weekend. It certainly seems to be a change in policy that has come about since his arrival - before the Guildford trials last month it was clearly said that successful trialists would be playing for England, not England Development.

Which is not to suggest for one minute that there is anything wrong with this - on the contrary it makes more sense this way - but you do wonder about the way the change has been slipped in like this.


  1. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Since last season when 9 elite sevens players were announced, at least 20 other players have been involved with the national squad. An ‘A’ and ‘B’ system has been in operation, in fact they played each other in the final of the Newquay tournament last summer.
    Winning (London) or development (Amsterdam) seems to be a dilemma that exists at both International and club junior level. A key difference being that you wouldn’t find England borrowing players from say Scotland in order to field a team in a tournament.

    With the increasing profile of 7’s rugby, it’s interesting that there has been no news from the governing body about last months National Junior tournament or the UK School Games where the divisions competed. Or have I missed it?

  2. There has been local press coverage of the Junior 7s and UK Schools Games,where there was success, but as you say no very high profile. Buried away if you know where to look.

    In practical terms the policy does seem to have been to have an elite and development 7s team, but it has been confusing to watch as - unlike the 15s - almost all of the teams have all been called "England", so without studying the names you did not know what you were getting, or what England's aims at a given tournament were. Hopefully with an "official" development the elite squads we will now know.


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