Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Herts to play major role in next East Region programme

There are a number of familar faces among this season's East Region management and coaching team, including:

  • John Birch (Programme Manager) from Letchworth - and current Herts junior team manager
  • Simon Lascelles (Senior Coach) from OAs
  • Clive Cramphorn (U17s Lead Coach) from OAs (and formerly Welwyn) and current Herts Barbarians coach
  • Mike Crump (U17s Coach) from Letchworth
  • Simon Shutler (U14s Coach) from Saracens - and current Herts U14 lead coach

Other staff will be:

Mike Redding (Coach Developer); Malcolm Baker (Senior Manager); Alan Brown (Senior Lead Coach & Welfare Manager); Wendy Le Grave (Senior Coach); Cathy Acheson (U17s Manager); Ian McCready (U17s Coach); Tina Turner (U14s Manager); Pete Turner (U14s Lead Coach); Andy Marshall (U14s Coach)

Monday, October 30, 2006

12th November fixture: Details confirmed!

On 12th November the county U17 and U14 teams will be playing Oxfordshire and Essex (plus, possibly, Middlesex if they can get teams) at Grove Rugby Club (Cane Lane, Grove, OX12 0AA) - which is a small village about 2-3 miles south west of Abingdon.

The journey and directions etc. will obviously depend on where you are starting from, but from the middle of the county the distance is about 80 miles with a journey time of just over two hours - slightly more if you are in the north and east, slightly less in the south and west.

Kick-off time will be 12.30. Coaches will announce detais of when they expect you to arrive shortly.

Note: U17 Barbarians (ie. all U17s not in the county squad) will be training at OAs in St Albans.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What do you think you are?

As part of their coaching guidance the RFUW's have produced a list of the abilities a person should ideally have to play in any given position on the field.

Its a bit technical - but particularly for U17s - it may be useful as a guide to what skills you may need to improve to play in your chosen position.

For U14s it may just be a useful indicator of where you might be able to play.

Props (1, 3):-

  • Basic knowledge of scrummaging
  • Ability to take and retain ball in contact
  • Decent level of upper body strength for lifting
  • Decent basic handling skills
  • Good body position and ability to make impact at the breakdown

Hookers (2):-

  • Solid basic throwing technique
  • Able to strike for the ball in the scrum (flexibility and technique)
  • Good level of fitness
  • Work rate and ability to tackle
  • Good support and ability to link play
  • Good “Go Forward” skills

Second Row (4, 5):-

  • Athleticism (lineout jumping)
  • Good aerial ability (handling)
  • Good size and impact at the breakdown
  • Dynamic work rate (not just plodding!)
  • Decent handling ability

Blind Side (6) :-

  • Physical impact and power
  • Strong tackler
  • Good ball retention
  • Impact at the collision
  • Good handling ability
  • Good support lines and link work
  • Good communication (defence)

Open Side (7):-

  • High levels of work rate
  • Strong in the tackle
  • Pressurize opposition
  • Support to ball carrier
  • Ball winner – especially on floor
  • Good handling for link support
  • Good communicator

Number 8 :-

  • Physical impact in defence and attack
  • Good ball carrier
  • Strong in the tackle
  • Good ball retention
  • Ability to stay strong in the tackle, especially if isolated
  • Good decision maker
  • Good communicator
  • Ability to offload

Scrum half (9) :-

  • Good passing skills (off two hands if possible)
  • Excellent decision maker
  • Strong communicator (attack and defence)
  • Ability to run with the ball (sniping)
  • Good kicking skills
  • Confidence

Fly half (10):-

  • Good all round ability
  • Excellent decision maker
  • Good hands
  • Good kicking skills
  • Vision and “heads up” play
  • Good communicator
  • Confidence

Centres (12, 13):-

  • Strong in defence
  • Decent hands
  • Decent kicking skills
  • Good ball retention
  • Good communicators
  • Good evasive skills
  • Ability to offload

Wingers (11, 14):-

  • Excellent evasive skills
  • Good pace
  • Ability to defend 1v1
  • Kicking skills (able to chip and re-gather?)
  • Willingness to work off the ball – not just stay on wing
  • Act as extra defensive cover off blind side wing

Full backs (15):-

  • Good communicator
  • Safe under high ball
  • Good individual defence
  • Decent kicking skills
  • Good pace
  • Ability to read a game
  • Good support and entry lines in attack

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Herts at Saracens

Many thanks to everyone who gave up part of their half term to come down to Hatfield today.

Hope you got something out of it, and our apologies for the less than effective organisation by our hosts. I suspect Amanda will be having words with a few people...

Still some good pictures came out of it - and I gather that everyone who went down enjoyed the experience. And the new kit looks fantastic - as you can see!

Its gets its first "outing" on 12th November - and at this very moment I'm sure Amanda is drawing up a bid for similar kit for the U14s.

Regional 7s and 10s - bid now for Hertfordshire!

The RFUW are now inviting bids for clubs to run the regional "Sevens" and "Tens" tournaments next April.

The 10s tournaments will take place over the weekend of 28/29th April (the same weekend as the Herts Mini Festival and Herts Tens), with one event for seniors and one for U17s. Eight tournaments are planned across the country with winners qualifying for a National Tens that will take place on 13th May (venue to be decided).

There will also be similar arrangements in place for regional 7s tournaments due to take place om the weekend of 19/20 May, though there will also be a U14 sa well as a U17 SevensArequest for bids for those events has yet to be issued but can be expected fairly soon. So start thinking about it now!

The key thing - as far as Hertfordshire is concerned - is to ensure that at least one club (and ideally just one club) in the county puts in a bid for the Tens, and another for the Sevens. Or to put it another way, if no-one steps forward don't complain if you find yourselves on the road to in North Walsham next Spring!

RFUW will providing a lot of support - including Medals & trophies, Match Balls, official team entry invites, tournament rules & regs, a tournament check-list, tournament format, support in initial stages of tournament preparation, and sponsorship advice. Clubs essentially just have to supply the facilities and officials - and get to keep the entry fees, and the income from any sponsorship deals.

In short its a great deal - so lets make sure we get some bids in!

Application forms should have been sent to all clubs today, and also will be on the RFUW website soon. If you have not had one contact SusanAllen@rfu.com.

But also note - applications to host the Tens (senior, U17 or both) have to be in by 13th November - so there is no time to delay!!

Senior competitions 2007-8: RFUW proposals

The Competition’s Review Group (CRG) was set up 12 months ago to look at the Competition Structure for the 2007/08 Season, we gathered feedback from the RFUW Conference and also gave your club a chance to sit on the review group as well as write in with your concerns and ideas. To all those clubs who responded, we would like to thank you very much for your input.


The major issues that arose from the feedback were;

  • Traveling at Premiership 2 level was increasing as this league is National.
  • Some teams want the opportunity to play at a higher level but are stuck due to the amount of clubs in their area.
  • Standard of referees / lack of referees.
  • Cup Competition and teams not willing to play if they feel they may lose a fixture. 50% of fixtures were being cancelled.
  • Cup - no clubs wishing to play the top teams in Premiership 1.
  • Lack of players at grass root rugby.
  • Rearrangement of fixtures.
  • Increase the number of leagues that can play to the full IRB Rules as opposed to U19 laws.
  • Lack of quality coaches / coaching opportunities.
  • London clubs sending weakened side to play matches in the North.
  • The calendar being disrupted by England so clubs feel a lack of continuity.
  • Problems with play offs.

Some of these points have already been addressed as follows;

  • We have successfully launched a referee’s recruitment programme.
  • The onus of rearranging fixtures at National Challenge 1 and below has been given to the clubs and it is up to both teams to agree to rearrange a fixture, if one team refuses the fixture stands on the original date.
  • We have run a number of women only coaching courses designed for coaches who are coaching within the women’s game.

These targets are also in the new RFUW strategic plan.

Previous CRG Changes & Success

Three years ago the CRG brought in new guidelines including reducing and matching the number of players to get matches played and U19 IRB Laws for Division 2 and below, These have proved very successful we went from 65% of matches being completed to:

  • Season 03/04 – 80% completed 679/844 games played
  • Season 04/05 – 90% completed 722/854 games played
  • Season 05/06 – 84% completed 822/978 games played

Although there was a dip last season we must take into account that there were 48 players removed from League Rugby and due to the World Cup we had a very compacted calendar with the running of the Super League alongside the League Programme.

2007/08 Proposals

Taking into account the feedback we received we have put together the following proposals. It is imperative that we still run a National league (Currently Premiership 1) that has a geographical spread of clubs which enables all players the opportunity to play top class rugby. Whilst this league is not currently a closed shop, there is a strict criteria to this league, clubs who do not keep to this criteria will find themselves removed and replaced where possible.

We have looked at changing the names of the leagues to help the partners we work with these include the referee societies, where there has been some confusion regarding the playing rules.

The proposals could mean a movement in leagues for a number of clubs, these clubs would be expected to fill in their “Intention to Affiliate” forms with the guidance of the League Criteria as to which league they feel they would be best suited.

Proposals: League

1. Change the titles of the leagues to help our partners.

The current Premier 1 league to be known as ‘The Championship’.
The current Premier 2 to be Premier 1 and National 1 leagues become Premier 2.

2. Current Premiership 2 – Regionalized to Premier 1 North and Premier 1 South.

  • Reduces traveling with an increase in Leagues to give clubs the opportunity to play higher up the leagues.
  • Increases the number of teams that can play full IRB Rules.

3. Close the Championship so we have a geographical spread of clubs which enables all players the opportunity to play top class rugby.

Proposals: Cup

The Championship – Top 4 teams to play at the end of the season for a “Super Cup” this will offer further competition to help aid the development of the Elite Squads.

Premiership 1 North and South – The winners of the two leagues will play off for the Premiership Cup.

Regional Cup - Available to all other teams to enter on a regional basis.

Super League – The top 88 - 100 players to play in a Super League competition (3 x English qualified teams; 1 x Celtic qualified team).


Championship (Full IRB Rules) – Will consist of 8 geographically spread clubs, this is to enable players to have the opportunity of playing top class rugby wherever they are situated in the Country.

Relegation - Closed League providing all the clubs sustain their development plans and continue to grow and develop rugby within their region. Any club failing to do this will be removed and the option of going into the Championship will be offered to the Premiership Champions.


Play offs – winner of Premier Cup to play off with bottom of Championship.

Premiership 1 North and Premiership 1 South (Full IRB Rules) – Will consist of a maximum of 8 sides.

Clubs will qualify for the North league if they play their rugby in the North or the Midlands Leagues.

Clubs will qualify for the South League if they play their rugby in the South East or South West Leagues.

The winners of the league will playoff in the Premiership Cup to find the Premiership Champions.

Relegation - There will be a minimum of 1 side and a maximum of two sides relegated from each league at the end of the season.

Premiership 2 (Full IRB Rules) - North, Midlands, South East, South West.

Promotion – Winning sides will be promoted to Premiership North and South respectively.

Relegation –There will be a minimum of 1 side and a maximum of 2 sides relegated from each league at the end of the season. These teams will go into their regional league depending on their geographic location.

National Challenge 1 (U19 Laws) - North, Midlands, South East and South West, 15 a side.

National Challenge 2 and below (U19 Laws) - Teams can match numbers.

All leagues where possible will be produced with a geographical spread that will hopefully reduce traveling eg, North East, Midlands West.

Please send any comments regarding these proposals by 14th November 2006 to:

Competition Review Group, RFUW, Rugby House, Rugby Road, Twickenham, TW1 1DS or e-mail to RFUW@therfu.com

Referee Department launches new Referee Award

The Rugby Football Union Community Referees Department has launched its new Entry Level Referee Award (ELRA), with the first courses to be delivered during the first week in November.

The ELRA replaces the National Foundation Certificate (NFC) and is designed both for new referees and those with limited experience seeking to acquire additional knowledge and understanding.

The ELRA comprises three stages, with those wishing to join one of many Referees'' Societies around the country required to undertake all three. Those not wishing to join a Referees'' Society will undertake stages 1 and 2, each of which lasts one day. Prior to each of the first two stages, candidates will be asked to undertake a small amount of pre-course work based on DVD and CD Rom.

The content of the ELRA is far removed from the NFC and contains a significant amount of practical activity and learning. It seeks to provide referees with far more than knowledge of the Laws of the Game and covers areas such as Management and Control, Contextual Judgement, Positioning and Communication. The emphasis on Safety and Enjoyment prevails throughout.
"Mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Officiating, the new Award represents a huge advance in the way in which new referees are trained", said Andy Melrose, the Referee Department''s Training and Education Officer. "It has been produced following extensive consultation with the Game and will undoubtedly provide referees with many of the skills required to manage a game effectively. Ultimately, those undertaking the ELRA will be far more skilled, leading to a more satisfying experience for the players".

The ELRA will be delivered by recently appointed Referee Trainers, whose work programmes will be managed by the Department"s Referee Development Officers (RefDOs).
Richard Glynne-Jones, the RFU''s Referee Manager, said "We have recruited 27 excellent trainers, whom we are confident will provide an outstanding experience for those attending the ELRA. The better the experience, the more likely it is that candidates will go on to referee regularly, whether within a Referees’ Society or at their club, school or college".

Courses coming up in Hertfordshire are:

7/14/21/28 November: Marriotts School, Telford Avenue, Stevenage SG2 0AN (18.30 to 21.30)

25/26 November: Watford Grammar School for Boys, Rickmansworth Road, Watford WD18 7JF (09.00 to 16.00)

9/16/23/30 January: Sir Frederic Osborn School, Herns Lane,Welwyn Garden City AL7 2AF (18.30 to 21.30)

3/4 February: Hertford RFC, Hoe Lane, Ware SG12 9NZ (09.00 to 16.00)

7/14/21/28 March: St. Albans School, The Woollam Playing Fields, 160 Harpenden Road, St. Albans, AL3 6BB (18.30 to 21.30)

24/25 March: Marriotts School, Telford Avenue, Stevenage SG2 0AN (09.00 to 16.00)

19/20 May: St. Albans School, The Woollam Playing Fields, 160 Harpenden Road, St. Albans, AL3 6BB (09.00 to 16.00)

6/13/20/27 June: Hertford RFC, Hoe Lane, Ware SG12 9NZ (18.30 to 21.30)

For more information (including booking forms) see the RFU website

Monday, October 23, 2006

Its Oxfordshire on the 12th November. Or...

...maybe Essex. Or possibly both. And could be with Middlesex thrown in. In either Oxfordshire or Middlesex. Or Essex.


Well pity the poor person taking the phone calls!

Basically the most likely event is that the U17 and U14 teams we will be somewhere in Oxfordshire on 12th November to play in a four-way tournaent with Essex and Middlesex. This depends on the approval of the Oxfordshire committee this week, but if it does fall through we'll simply play in the fixture Essex have set up with Middlesex.

More news when more is known.

County photo shoot with Saracens in Hatfield tomorrow

A few final notes about the Saracens photo shoot tomorrow...
  • Arrive by 11.30
  • Once changed, gather in the Sports Bar area
  • Photo should be c 12.00
  • Herts county kit has arrived for U17s in the county squad
  • All other girls should come in club shirts
  • Smile for the camera...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Keeping it in the county

The Rochford Festival U17 championship remains in Hertfordshire after Sunday's competition at the Essex club.

The popular festival - which draws entries from clubs across East Anglia - was won for the county for the first time last year by Welwyn, and this year it was near neighbours Letchworth's turn for glory with wins over Rochford, Diss, and Saracens/Fullerians before beating Sudbury 5-0 in a close final.

Herts clubs were less successful in the U14 competition, which was won by the host club for the first time. Letchworth finished third, Welwyn fourth, and Hertford fifth.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Barbarian training: 12th November

The training session for the Herts Barbarians on the 12th November will now be at the Old Albanians ground in St Albans from 1-30 (registration) until 4-00 .

This will be the final Barbarian training before the tournament in Westcliff on 3rd December which will feature up to 10 U17 teams, and will also include several other county "Second XVs" (such as Yorkshire and Essex).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Regional Training at Culford School

Regional Training - both senior and junior - will be at Culford School again this year (see "Key Dates" for details). For those that havn't been there before its an excellent venue, just outside Bury St Edmonds so reasonably central for the region as a whole.

Venue for East Region senior trails announced [REVISED]

A venue for the first East Region's senior trials has been arranged. The trials - which will take place on 3rd December - will be held at The St Christopher School in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Directions can be found here http://www.stchris.co.uk/home/location.htm.

This venue was chosen after it was used by the Herts county girls for their development day on 15th October. "St Chris" is small independent school in North Hertfordshire with an interesting and unusual - but rather attractive philosophy - but (more to the point) a sports field that is kept in immaculate condition. There was room for three girls squads to train, the ground was available exclusively for the whole day, and the support provided by the staff - and pupils - from the school could not be faulted.

I was therefore delighted when St Chris said that they could also offer their grounds for East Region Senior trials. Start times etc. will be published nearer the time once agreed by regional coaches.

Note that there are two days of trials this year for senior players in order to enable as many players to be considered as possible. This shoudl regularise a situation where in the past the first squad training session was also being attended by those who missed the original trials - which in effect meant that that session had become a second trial by default.

Trialists will be expected to attend BOTH days unless their absence is unavoidable (and East Region staff are notified in advance).

The venue for the second senior trials - and the junior trials - on 28th January is still being arranged, but should be further north (we are aiming for Cambridgeshire).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

12th November is back on... somewhere

Good news - we WILL have games on 12th November now after all.

Exactly where and against who is still be tidied up, but one opponent will almost certainly be Essex. We may also be joined by Oxfordshire and/or Middlesex.

The venue will be somewhere in either Essex, Oxfordshire and Herts (if the latter probably Letchworth, as it was already "booked" for training for the day).

More news as it comes in...

Other regional news...

Just to keep people posted...

No firm venues have been booked yet to other regional events (its quite early days), but plans are as follows...
  • We are looking to return to Culford School again for Junior training - and possibly senior training too.
  • Junior trials are likely to be in the Cambridge/Ely area
  • The Senior game vs. South East is penciled in for a venue in Essex
  • The Senior game vs. North East and the Junior trianguar vs. Yorkshire and North East are currently planned for Cambridgeshire

Things may obviously change a bit, but that is how things currently look. Feedback on these plans is welcome. For actual dates see the "Key Dates" page (link on menu bar to the right).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reminder: U17 squad training tomorrow

Just a reminder for U17 squad members that there is an evening training session at the University of Hertfordshire tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Please contact me or Vicky if you cannot make it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh.... bother!*

(*actually I didn't say bother...)

We have a (hopefully) temporary hiatus due to an administrative error by Buckinghamshire which means that, as it stands, we now have no-one to play on the 12th November.

However I have three two possibilities that I am working on, ranging in prospect from promising to a slightly outside chance, and I should have some news within a day or so.

With a bit of luck.

Grants for county girls: don't forget to apply!

Many district councils give financial support to local people selected for county or regional teams. The form of this support, and its size, varies hugely from nil in some districts to quite significant ammounts in others, but in almost all cases there will be something you can apply for. The process varies a lot as well, some grants being competitive, some annual, some ad hoc.

But the key thing to do is ask you local council. Remember - its the district council area you live in that you should apply to, not the one where your club is based or you go to school.

Last year several girls received funding to cover travel and equipment costs of £100 or more, so don't miss out. And if you revceived money last year remember that it is probably an annual grant, so if you have been selected again apply again.

After all the worst thing that can happen is that the council will say is "no"!

Barbarians in business!

As well as U14 and U17 squad training yesterday the St Christopher School in Letchworth (and a superb facility it was too, with great support from Mark Sowden and his girls) we had an excellent turnout from U17s wishing to play for the proposed Barbarian team.

Clive the coach was more than happy with the numbers and as a result we will now be confirming that both the U17 County squad and the U17 Barbarians will be going to the tournament in Westcliff on 3rd December.

On the next county day - 12th November - Clive will be taking one more training session for the Barbarians, which will be held at either OAs or Letchworth, depending on availability. There is still time, therefore, for other U17s to come forward and seek a place in a team that - as last year - has the potential to be as strong as some 1st XV county sides.

U14 squad for Thames Valley tournament announced

After yestersday's training a squad of 17 to take part in the tournament with the three Thames Valley counties in Aylesbury on 12th November has been selected.

After long discussions the coaches chose the following "starting XII" plus a "bench" of five replacements (all of whom should play on the day):

Hertfordshire U14s (Aylesbury, 12.11.06)

1 Rebecca Dawson (Welwyn)
2 Megan Childs (Saracens)
3 Sydnie Grace (Tabard)
4 Olivia Payne (Welwyn)
5 Courtney Arberry (Welwyn)

15 Milly Porter (Welwyn)
14 Alice Nee (St Christopher School & Saracens)
13 Emma Wilson (Welwyn)
12 Samantha Voyle (Welwyn)
11 Ellinor Atkinson (Welwyn)
10 Rachel McCullough (Welwyn)
9 Claire Shutler (Saracens)

16 Laura Wennington (Letchworth)
17 Hayley Aldridge (Letchworth)
18 Megan Calder (Saracens)
19 Lydia Plummer (Welwyn)
20 Abigail Lee (Welwyn)

Thanks to everyone who came - and we are sorry we could not pick everyone!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saracens send half-term invitation to Herts Girls

Saracens have invited any junior girl rugby players in the county to come to their training camp at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village on Tuesday 24th October.

The main aim will be to produce publicity photographs promoting girls' rugby in Hertfordshire. The U17 County Squad will be officially presented with their new playing kit, but the aim is also to include in the pictures as many girls from as many clubs in the county as possible, all wearing their club kit.

As its a Saracens training day it is intended that as many as possible of the Saracens squad will be available for inclusion in the pictures, as well as for autographs etc. - though obviously this will be dependent on their training schedules. For example, if they have lost the previous Sunday things may be a bit more intense and their availability a little more curtailed than we might like! And equally how much of their training we will be able to see may well depend on what sort of mood the coaching staff are in!

However, come what may the photography session will start at 12 noon, so anyone coming will need to be changed into their kit and ready by that time.

Photographs will appear in future Herts publicity campaigns, including websites, posters, etc. as well as (hopefully) rugby magazines such as the RFU's Touchline, and Saracens' match programme for the Girls Day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Confirmed: OAs to host England's 2007 Six Nations campaign!

Breaking news:

It has been confirmed today that England will again be playing two of their home fixtures in the season's Six Nations at Old Albanians ground in St Albans.

On Saturday 3rd February England will face Scotland, who had a very good world cup - coming within touching distance of the semi-finals beford finishing in sixth place overall.

Then on Sunday 11th March its the big one against France in what may well again be the title decider.

In addition England will also host Italy - who replace Spain in the championship this season - at Twickenham on 10th February.

Last season the games at OAs prefaced with displays by Herts U14s (before the game against Wales) and Herts U17s (before the Ireland game). What will happen this year - if anything - has yet to be decided, but its still worth making a date in your diary NOW to see our World Cup heros defend their Six Nations crown.

Second Saracens "Girls Rugby Day" planned

Following the county's successful promotional day at Saracens last season, we are going being invited back again!

The most likely date looks like being the 14th January for the game between Saracens and French club Narbonne in the European Challenge Shield.

Rugby playing girls in the county will all be invited onto the field to form a "guard of honour" before the game. There will also be a write-up in the match programme and loudspeaker anouncements celebrating the girls game, and encouraging new players to give the game a try.

Parents will also be eligible for reduced price tickets. More information will appear shortly.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Maori Send-off for Kiwi Bound Mel

Mel Waite - who for the past three years has played second row and no. 8 for Hitchin, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, and East Region - will soon be emigrating to the "Land of the Long White Cloud" - New Zealand.

Mel learnt her rugby from a very young age with Hitchin minis before becoming part of a contingent of Hitchin girls who have played with Welwyn Warriors team since 2003. In that time she also came to the attention of both regional and county selectors, playing for East at both U14 and U17 level, before becoming a member of the first U17 county squad last season.

At last week's Beckenham Festival, Warriors skipper Lana Block presented Mel with a souvenir club shirt as a memento of her time with the team, while the remainder of the squad performed the All Black-style haka!

After the tournament, where Mel and her team-mates lost out in the final on penalties, the Warriors all signed the shirt. Mel is looking forward to life in New Zealand but she will miss her friends in the team.

The best bit of being a Warrior? "As a Hitchin girl it has to be all the victories over near rivals Letchworth" she said with a cheeky smile. Mel will keep in touch via the internet and wishes her club and county every success in the future.

Sexism at the BBC? Women's rugby invisible on the BBC website

Just weeks after England made the World Cup Final, women's rugby has become invisible again on the BBC's rugby website (ie. probably the most popular news source for the game) - see http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/default.stm

Well, you may say, that's amatuer or women's sport for you - the media just isn't interested.

But this is not the case. If you look around the BBC Sport website you will find that in every other sport - cricket, football, tennis, golf, athletics - there is a page for news on the women's game, with a link from the sport's front page.

ONLY the BBC's rugby pages fail to acknowledge even the existance of the women's game.

There is a feedback page to make a complaint about this - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/make_complaint_step1.shtml. So if you have a few minutes, why not drop them a line.

Appointed Persons First Aid Course

There will be an "Appointed Persons First Aid Course" presented by Tony Bennison at Tabard RFC Date on 15th November 2006, 6:30pm. Cost: £30 (Cheques made payable to Tabard RFC).

With his alternative approach Tony Bennison manages to entertain candidates whilst teaching them the basic principle of First Aid (must be a first)!

This course is designed to meet Appointed Person criteria as set down by the HSE and each candidate will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

The course is open to anyone aged 16 or above.

If interested please email philcalnan@aol.com. Cheques to be sent c/o Phil Calnan, 20 Hilfield Lane, Aldenham, Herts. WD25 8AJ

County training this Sunday

A reminder that we are at St Christopher School in Letchworth this Sunday, starting at 1.30. Directions can be found here http://www.stchris.co.uk/home/location.htm.

This will be the final outdoor training session before the tournaments in November and December and will be divided into three section:
  • U17 County Squad training for those who have been selected
  • U17 Barbarian Squad training for all other U17s, the aim being to form a county "second XV" which will take part in the tournaments as it did last season when it beat Oxfordshire!
  • U14 training for all U14s, the aim being to select a squada to play both in the county tournaments, and the National U14 Cup.
So there will be something for everyone! Don't miss out!!

Girls who were at Stevenage will not have to register again (though we will need to tick you in). Other girls will need to complete a registration form - which can be downloaded from the menu bar on the right (see under "County Newsletters & Forms").

Monday, October 09, 2006

Regional selection details finalised

Next weekend sees the second county day, this time at the St Christopher School in Letchworth.

Co-incidental with this detail of how the new "closed trial" arrangements for the regional team have been announced.

Unlike previous years you will not be able to simply turn up at trials, but will instead have to be invited. 15 U17 girls and 12 U14 girls from each of the three county team in the region (Essex, Hertfordshire, and Eastern Counties) will be nominated by their respective county coaches in December.

In addition there will also be a very limited number of "Wildcard" places available for girls who are not members of their county squads. Clubs who wish to put forward girls for a "Wildcard" place will need to do so, in writing, to the Regional Programme Manager by the end of November. The nomination should include details about why the girl should go forward and priority is likely to be given to girls who did not attend their respective county trials due to illness or injury, or because they are highly talented players who have just taken up the game.

And who is the Regional Programme Manager? Erm... is me....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Herts clubs perform well at Beckenham 2006

Players from two Hertfordshire clubs took part in the Beckenham festival last weekend.

In the Under 17 tournament Welwyn reached the final having beaten Havant, Letchworth, and Burgess Hill on the way. The final - against Cramberley/Petersfield - ended in a deadlocked 0-0 draw so the title was then decided on penalty kicks, which Welwyn were unlucky to lose 3-0.

Welwyn's defeat of the other Hertfordshire representatives Letchworth was the only defeat suffered by the North Herts team who were eventually placed 5th, with wins over Havant and Westcliffe.

In the U14 event Welwyn also finished runners-up to Cramberley 24-5 - but there was some Hertfordshire glory as one of the girls in the opposition was from Letchworth, who had been unable to field a U14 side of their own.