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, November 06, 2012

Women's rugby: the early days

A chance find had revealed a collection of 45 fascinating photos of women's club and international rugby in England and Wales from the mid-1980s. That may be barely 30 years ago, but for women's rugby its almost prehistoric!

The photos - which can be found buried in the Daily Mail's Picture Archive - include...

Several pictures (right) from games involving the Wiverns - the first ever women's rugby team from the US to tour Europe.

A national side in all but name (the USA - and come to that England - had not started playing test rugby in 1985), the Wiverns went undefeated throughout a long tour of the UK and France.

Many of the players went on to be part of the USA team that would win the first World Cup six years later.

A picture (left) from the first ever women's test match to take place in the UK - Great Britain vs France, a year later.

The picture shows France's Maris Gracieux tackling Great Britain's Suzy Hill.

The match took place at Richmond in London on 19th April 1986, France winning 14-8.

If you look carefully you see that the GB team have tape around their arms. This is because apparently the GB shirts only arrived minutes before the kick-off - and were found to be several sizes too big. The players had to tape up the sleeves to stop them flapping around... but the shirts still seem a big baggy!

Various club and university matches from in and around London are also featured (some in some very dodgy kit), one including a very young Carol Isherwood, as well as two pictures of the New Zealand team from the first world cup in 1991 doing a haka - apparently in the middle of a huge open field.

It all makes for a fascinating bit of women's rugby history.

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