Monday, December 31, 2007

New Head Coach for Welwyn Warriors

Welwyn Warriors go into 2008 with a new Head Coach. Following the departure of Luke Williams, Warriors management group spoke to several possible candidates interested in taking over the prime role with one of the most successful girls sides in England. They are delighted to announce that Clive Cramphorn, currently Head Coach at Old Albanians Girls is taking over the number one role at Welwyn.

Clive was formally welcomed to Welwyn by Club Chairman Mike Davies, following the Herts versus Canada match on Saturday. 'I'm delighted to announce that Clive Cramphorn will be the new Girls Head Coach here at Warriors, while also liaising with O.A.s.' said Davies.

Team Manager Dave Marques explained, ' The RFUW are very keen that the Girls game keeps expanding. There are not enough Girls yet at O.A's to run full teams & play matches. By linking with Warriors, the O.A's Girls will get match time with Warriors and get great experience playing alongside some of the best players in the Country. From a Welwyn perspective, we've got the East Region and Herts U18 Lead Coach & we grow our squad size. This has been a major problem for us this season with our ongoing injury list. It's a win/win situation. RFUW Regional Development Manager Amanda Bate was delighted when I told her the news!'

Cramphorn is really excited about his new role. 'It's like being asked to manage one of the Big Four Premiership Football Teams' he quipped! 'Luke did a fantastic job here, and together with Chris Gallagher we'll build on that and aim to take take the Welwyn Warriors onto yet more success!'

Maple Leafs break Herts

Hertfordshire U18 Girls lost 5-41 to the Canada Girls U18 National Team at Welwyn RFC. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, The Canadians scored first through Maggie Cogger-Orr and Dana Achtemichuck converted to lead 7-0. Herts fought back and 'The Green Machine' piled on the pressure, the Herts forwards kept recyling the ball and eventually this paid off with Prop Milly Fuggles and skipper Hannah Gallagher jointly claiming the push over try. 7-5. It stayed this way until just before half-time when a quick kick and chase saw Susan Heald score again for Canada.

In the second half the Canadians took full advantage of their superior fitness and piled on the pressure. Despite some brave defence, the Herts girls were being worn down and Brehannah Hopgood, Clare Miller, Kayla Moleschi, Rebecca Le-Fevre and Amanda Lalonde all went over to score for Canada. Achtemichuck scored a second conversion and Rebecca Delaney score the final 2 points for the tourists.

Herts and Welwyn Warriors Captain, Hannah Gallagher spoke for all of the Hertfordshire Girls, which was well augmented by some Essex players, when she said what an honour it was to play a full National side. 'We're all really tired, we all had to work so hard but it was a great experience and a really enjoyable match to play in'.

Afterwards Canadian Organiser, Penny Delaney paid tribute to the RFUW for stepping in at such a late date to help Canada replace the cancelled USA tour. 'I'd like to thank everyone at Welwyn for staging the match and making us feel so welcome, thank you for the hospitality and the great food' she said. The Canadians would like to make the match an annual fixture and Hertfordshire & Welwyn are only too happy to oblige and will look forward to it next season.

Tha Canadians made it 2-0 in the bar afterwards comfortably winning the 'Mars bar & cola' challenge. They build 'em tough in Canada!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hertfordshire U18 v Canada U19: Rugby Canada's official preview

Rugby Canada have published a prominent preview of the tour by their U19 team, which begins at Welwyn on the 29th when their national U19 team takes on our U18 girls.

The article says that "Rugby Canada's Under-19 Women's team is set to depart for a tour of England on December 26th, through January 6th, where they will take on three English county sides over the Christmas holiday period.

"Taking on the top regional sides in the south of England, Canada first takes on Hertfordshire at Welwyn RFC on December 29th. Next the Canadian women will take on Berkshire/Buckinghamshire at Reading RFC on January 2nd. The tour wraps up with a match against Surrey/Sussex at Sutton and Epsom RFC.

"The team will live and train at Stoke Mandeville Stadium - a sports and leisure centre that is home to England's top wheelchair athletes.The players selected to travel to England are:

Dana Achtemichuck, Ottawa, ON; Katie Archibald, Hubley, NS; Caitlin Beaton, Hepworth, ON; Amanda Bedard, Erb's Cove, NB; Brooke Clubb, Sarnia, ON; Maggie Cogger-Orr, Gloucester, ON; Becky Delaney, Caledon, ON;Danika Gulliford, St. John's, NL; Susan Heald, Burlington, ON; Amber Hill, Charlottetown, PEI; Brehannah Hopgood, Wolfville, NS; Amanda Lalonde, Edmonton, AB; Rebecca Lefevre, Ottawa, ON; Jill MacLaren, Ottawa, ON; Marin MacLeod, Scotsburn, NS; Claire Miller, St. John's, NL; Chelsey Minter, Sidney, BC; Kayla Moleschi, Williams Lake, BC; Jessica Nixon, Virden, MB; Kendra Reeves, Abbotsford, BC; Kayla Roberts, St. John's, NL; Danielle St. Germain, Sarnia, ON; Stephanie Thiessen, Abbotsford, BC; Sarah Verreault, Ottawa, ON; Lauren Wizowski, Lindsay, ON

Schedule
December 29th vs. Hertfordshire at Welwyn RFC
January 2nd vs. Berkshire/Buckinghamshire at Reading RFC
January 4th vs. Surrey/Sussex at Sutton and Epsom RFC"

One name in the party will be familiar to the county's girls - second row Lauren Wizowski was a member of the IE Weldon Secondary School's touring team who played against Letchworth, Welwyn and Hertford last Easter. She was also part of the Canadian U19 team that lost to England and beat Wales either side of the Weldon tour.

In fact most previous Canadian tours have been based around internationals - and these are games that the Canadians tend to win (well, except when they play England!). Canadian women's rugby has never been stronger than it is today. The senior adult side are now fourth - even possibly third - in the world. This could be the toughest game our girls have ever played - and it certainly will not be one to miss!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cash boost for girls rugby in Herts

Girls’ rugby in Hertfordshire has received a great early Christmas present – a grant of £4,074 county’s teams and development programmes.

This comes on the back of a hugely successful first half of the season, with the U15 team winning two tournaments and scoring nearly 300 points while conceding only a single try, the U18s finishing runners-up at both the Essex and Middlesex festivals, and the new U12 programme resulting in the county hosting the country’s first ever inter-county tournament for the age group.

The grant will be used to provide playing kit and training resources for the teams, and will also allow the county to promote the game more widely, especially to girls already playing mini-rugby who will not be aware how they can stay in the game after their twelfth birthdays. At present most rugby clubs in the county have girls playing in their junior sides, but very few stay in the game once boys’ and girls’ rugby divides – tackling this loss of talent is a key aim of the county’s Women’s and Girls’ Group.

The money is coming from the Local Network Fund, an initiative resulting from the Government’s Every Child Matters Strategy which aims to improve outcomes for all children and young people. The fund, administered locally by the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, enables local voluntary and community groups to develop projects and activities for young people with limited opportunities or access to services.

Girls’ rugby fits firmly within this as at present, despite over thirty clubs offering teenage boys the opportunity to play rugby, only four clubs in the county play regular girls fixtures. Rugby is a unique game, offering opportunities for players of a wide range of sizes and athletic backgrounds to work together as a team – it builds self-confidence and self-esteem which those involved in running girls’ rugby in the county want to make available to as many players as possible. The Local Network grant is a big step forward in making this happen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Herts Womens and Girls Rugby Development Group Meeting Mon 14th Jan 2008

Confirmation that the next meeting of the HWGRDG is taking place at Welwyn RFC on Mon 14th Jan starting at 7.30.

If you have not previously attended these meetings (usually 3-4 times a year) this group works together to plan Tournaments, run the County Teams, exchange Best Practice and advice, and to try and help each other develop Womens and Girls Rugby in Herts.

If your club does not send a rep to the group and would like to do so, or if you are a regular attendee who has a specific Agenda item, then please e-mail me on peter.mccullough@ntlworld.com

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pictures of the U12s

A little after-the-even, but some rather good pictures from the U12 games at Ealing and Hitchin have been received.
In the first, coach Natalie Threlfall warms up the girls at sunny Ealing prior to the game with Middlesex:
Action from the game - a Hertfordshire scrum:
Then two weeks later, the return at arctic Hitchin - a picture which gives just a small hint about the temperature. The girls are not gathering together for warmth, though - this was one of many Hertfordshire mauls...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Senior regional trials: don't miss out

Regional rugby is now an essential stepping stone for anyone with any ambitions to play at the highest levels of the game. Nominations for this season's Senior Regional Trials (to be held on the 19 December) close of Friday - but at present East have had ten players registered!

If you know are interested in playing for the regional team, or know of any interested players, please get them to register online at http://www.rfu.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/rfuhome.community_detail/storyid/5972 .

Anyone aged 18 or over on the date of the trial is eligible to attend, provided they also are members of an East Region club, or were born, live or attend college/university in the region. You also need to be eligible to play for England.

Trialists - in particular those still playing at U18 level - are advised to consult their coaching staff before registering, especially if they have not played at regional level before.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

U15 County Fixtures fixtures for rest of this season

Last Sunday was the last official County Fixture date of this season. One of the biggest successes for Herts U15's was that we had sufficient numbers of Players to be able to field both A and B (Development) Teams in the Festivals we played in.

After Christmas the Regional Programme begins, but we are very keen for the B Team Players and those not selected for East Region from the A Team to continue playing Herts County fixtures on some of the Regional dates. We are therefore looking for other Counties who would like to do the same.

We would be able to host the Herts U15 Fixtures at Welwyn RFC on any of the Regional dates. Please contact Peter Mccullough on peter.mccullough@ntlworld.com if your County would like to play Herts U15 after Christmas.

Monday, December 03, 2007

County Festival at Newark RFC Results

In the absence of Herts U18's, two Herts U15 Teams (A's and B's) travelled to Newark RFC in Nottinghamshire for a County Festival now in it's second year. It was an emotional day as the A Squad have been together for two seasons (due to the age band change) and this was to be their final fixture.

Herts A and last years Winners Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire (NLD) both won their Groups without conceeding a point and met in the Final. In a very intense game played under floodlights, Herts won 5-0 (the only Try of the game coming at the end of the first half) and had to defend valiently throughout the second half to protect their slim lead.

Herts B's lost both their Group games, but the experience gained at this level will be very valuable as many of the B Players will step into the Herts A Team next season when half of this A Team move up to U18 Rugby.

Results affecting Herts U15 Teams:

Herts 'A' 53 (Alice Finn Tx3 Sam Voyle Tx1 Claire Shutler Tx2 Cx4 Courtney Arberry Tx1 Abbi Lee Tx1 Megan Childs Tx1) NLD 'B' 0

Herts 'B' 0 NLD 'A' 35

Herts 'A' 40 (Shira Kilgallon Tx1 Alice Finn Tx1 Claire Shutler Tx2 Cx5 Sam Voyle Tx1 Alice Nee Tx1) Northants and Beds 0

Herts 'B' 0 Leicestershire 45

Final: Herts 'A' 5 (Megan Childs Tx1) Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire 'A' 0

Friday, November 30, 2007

Newark Festival U18s.

Reluctantly we've had to pull the U18s out of this. Very best estimates gave us a squad of 14 on the day. Given the extensive list of walking wounded at both Letchworth & Welwyn, John Birch & I are looking into the possibilites of Touch Rugby while wearing American football padding & helmets for next season……….;-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

County Festival at Newark RFC 2nd Dec - update

Final information regarding the County Festival at Newark RFC on Sun 2nd December is as follows:

The venue is: The Rugby Ground, Kelham Road, Newark, Notts, NG24 1WN. Tel: 01636 702355.

12.45: Managers / Coaches Register Teams.

1.00: Changing Rooms available (please come ready changed if possible)

1.30: Warm–up and move to pitch allocated.

2.00: First Games of the POOL STAGES to start.

3.45: POOL Games to have finished and FINALS to start asap (Floodlights are available).

4.30-5.00: Presentations and post match food.

The POOLS for each of the Competitions are below, where they will play each other on the same pitch throughout.

U18 POOL A: East Midlands; NLD (Notts, Lincs and Derby) 'A'; Yorkshire.

U18 POOL B: NLD ‘B’; Hertfordshire; Leicestershire.

U15 POOL A: NLD 'A'; Hertfordshire 'B'; Leicestershire.

U15 POOL B: NLD ‘B’; East Midlands; Hertfordshire ‘A’.

Games will be played 15 mins each way, with a 2 minute half-time (this maybe adjusted to ensure all games are played whilst we there is light), so please ensure that you are ready to enter the pitch for your game.

Directions: on A46 towards Newark after going through Farndon where you will arrive at a roundabout signposted Newark B6326 road and a sign for Lincoln A46, take the first exit to Lincoln. You are now on the by-pass where you will arrive at another roundabout (you should see the club on your left), take the first exit (left) signposted Mansfield A617 and a sign directing you to Newark & Sherwood District Council. Travel along this road for about 200 yards, with the club on the right.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RFU launch second year of President's XV awards

RFU President Bob Taylor today launched this season’s President’s XV recognition awards for English rugby.

The awards offer £10,000 in prize money to clubs to reward their excellence and innovation in the grassroots game.cSixty five clubs applied for the first set of awards, sparking furious debate among a panel of distinguished judges who will be joined by RFUW President Gill Burns.

The winners came from everywhere from Cockermouth in Cumbria to Jersey in the Channel Islands, as well as Hertfordshire, who all addressed the RFU’s Community Rugby themes of More People, Better Places, Access for All and Enjoyment.

This year nominations can be made online at www.rfu.com/presidentsxv and Taylor is anticipating a bumper crop of entries before the March 1 deadline next year. “The President’s XV awards launched by my predecessor Bob Rogers last year clearly caught the imagination of our clubs,” said Taylor.

“There are thousands of volunteers out there whose expertise and innovative ideas help rugby to thrive at a grassroots level and we are delighted to be able to recognise their excellent work.

“We were able to publish their models of good practice this summer and hope that will inspire more clubs to emulate and surpass all that good work over the coming months."

This year there are three new categories reflecting activity within the grassroots game.

  • The Seal of Approval category will reward one accredited club for the safe and exciting way it introduces mini rugby to children and holds their attention.
  • Schools will also be rewarded in the Schools Development category that recognises teams of staff, volunteers and partners who offer rugby opportunities to girls and boys.
  • Go Play Rugby reflects this season’s nationwide recruitment campaign and will recognise clubs for the number of new players they have attracted and the methods used by their recruitment teams.

The President’s XV awards are also supported by Rugby World magazine. Editor Paul Morgan is part of a judging panel that includes Taylor, Rogers, Senior Vice President Brian Williams, Junior Vice President John Owen and England’s most capped player Jason Leonard.

PRESIDENT'S XV CATEGORIES

1 Seal of Approval club of the year – A club that introduces mini rugby in an exciting and safe way and retains players well into their teens
2 Club School Links – A club with an exceptional project that reaches out to local schools, supports teachers and brings young people into clubs
3 Schools Development – A school that offers high quality rugby opportunities for boys and girls inside and beyond the school gates
4 More Than A Game – The winners will have done the most to ensure 16-24 year olds keep playing rugby
5 Girl Power – Show your feminine side with a project that has greatly increased the number of women and girls playing
6 More Referees – A club that creatively encourages and supports its members to take up the whistle
7 More Coaches – For recruiting and developing coaches for all the players at the club to encourage more enjoyable rugby
8 More Volunteers – Using innovative ways to building a first rate 'off-pitch' team
9 Veterans – Increasing the number of players over 35 and encouraging competition, friendship and fun
10 Social Inclusion – For clubs that have reached out to communities who traditionally have little contact with the game
11 Community – Making a difference to the local community through innovative use of facilities and personnel
12 Better Facilities – Transforming playing and clubhouse facilities to improve the rugby experience for all members
13 Technology – An award for a club that uses technology and its tools to benefit all its members
14 Fundraising Venture – Innovative events that have captured the imagination of members to raise funds
15 Go Play Rugby – Rewarding the success of recruitment teams in attracting new players in an eye-catching way

2007 WINNERS AND RUNNERS-UP

1 Youth Rugby – Jersey. Runners-up – Castle Cary, Perranporth.
2 School Links – Bolton. Runners-up – Colchester, Witham.
3 More Than A Game – Caldy. Runners-up – Dorking.
4 Girl Power – Cockermouth. Runners-up – Darlington Mowden Park, Welwyn Warriors.
5 More Referees – University of Bristol. Runners-up – Handsworth.
6 More Coaches – Windsor. Runners-up – Northolt.
7 More Volunteers – Cockermouth.
8 Veterans – Eastern Counties RFU. Runners-up – Windsor.
9 Social Inclusion – Not awarded.
10 Community – Aretians. Runners-up – Aspatria, Knutsford.
11 Better Facilities – Chelmsford. Runners-up – Clee Hill, Peterborough.
12 Modernisation – Letchworth Garden City. Runners-up – Northolt, Windsor.
13 Fundraising Event – Not awarded.
14 Fundraising Venture – Bridlington.
15 Enjoyment – Mansfield. Runners-up – Market Harborough, Ryde.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Senior regional trials

The regional programme is fast approaching and the senior trials are on 16th December. For senior players to trial they need to register on-line this year.

An interested senior player should click here. This is the only way this year to register for trials. Closing date for seniors to register is 7th December.

Seniors wishing to trial should be registered with a club which is affiliated to the RFUW or be attending a University.

International Challenge for Herts U18s!

On Saturday, December 29th, Noon kick off, Hertfordshire's U18s will be taking on Canada's U19 Women at Welwyn RFC. As we know from I.E. Weldon, The Canadians are sure to be competitive! Please confirm to me asap if you will be away for the match.
 
It should be a great game. Get the Christmas cobwebs out of your system and come along to cheer the girls on!
 
Dave Marques,
U18s Team Manager

Monday, November 19, 2007

Essex County Festival Results

The Herts Girls Squads went to a very cold Harlow to play at the Essex County Festival.

In what is one of the toughest county competitions, the Herts u15's produced argueably their best ever result. They retained the junior trophy by winning all five games without conceding a point due to some outstanding defence, excellent passing and support, and a very solid scrum. The whole u15 squad should be very proud of an exceptional performance. The game that decided the winners was, as always, against Essex and Herts took two of the few opportunities in a very tight contest.


Results affecting Herts U15 Team:
Herts 27 (Georgia Peedle Tx2 Alice Finn Tx2 Sam Voyle Tx1 Claire Shutler Cx1) Leicestershire 0
Herts 32 (Courtney Arberry Tx1 Lotte Clapp Tx1 Sam Voyle Tx2 Alice Finn Tx1 Claire Shutler Tx1 Cx1) Eastern Counties 0
Herts 22 (Courtney Arberry Tx1 Cx1 Abbi Lee Tx2 Georgia Peedle Tx1) Oxfordshire 0
Herts 10 (Claire Shutler Tx1 Courtney Arberry Tx1) Essex 0
Herts 15 (Melissa Gargaro Tx1 Jo Busch Tx1 Georgia Peedle Tx1) Middlesex 0



The Herts U18's finished runner's up to Essex.


Results affecting Herts U18 Team:
Herts 12 Leicestershire 0
Herts 5 Eastern Counties 5
Herts 0 Essex 5

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Herts triumphant at first ever U12 girls "festival"

Hertfordshire U12s - with girls drawn from Hitchin, Letchworth, Saracens, Stevenage and Welwyn - were winners of the first inter-county girls U12 festival, played at Hitchin this afternoon. Organised in less than two weeks notice, after Essex cancelled the U12 section of the girls festival at Harlow, the afternoon was a remarkable success. Hitchin RFC proved to be excellent hosts, providing welcome hot food at the end of a bitterly cold day.

Opposition for the day came from Kent (a combination put together by Beckenham, but incuding girls from Old Alleyans and Mitcham) and Middlesex (Ealing RFC's girls, who had hosted Herts two weeks before). All the country teams are currently "unofficial", but that did not stop the girls taking things very seriously indeed.

Hertfordshire and Kent opened the proceedings, and within a minute Herts were two tries down - but remarkably these would be the only tries the home team would conceed all day. By halftime the score was back to 10-10, and in the second half Herts gradully pulled away to win 30-10.

Kent played Middlesex next and again started well, leading 20-5 at half-time. Middlesex, however, gradually pulled back over the second period dominating most of the half and pulling the score back to 20-15 with less than two minutes before Kent finally broke out of defence to score to seal the match 25-15.

Finally Middlesex took on Herts, with the home side looking to avenge their defeat in Ealing two weeks before. This proved to be a very physical game with both sides relying on strong forwards play to move down the field. At half-time the score was only 5-0 to Herts and the game was wide open, but in the second half the visitors began to tire as Herts drove in for three more tries to win 20-0.

Results:

Hertfordshire 30, Kent 10
Kent 25, Middlesex 15
Hertfordshire 20, Middlesex 0

P W L F A Pts
Hertfordshire22050104
Kent21135452
Middlesex20215450

Saracens half-price ticket offer!

Saracens have had a storming start to the season, playing some thrilling rugby and averaging 32 points a game. It's their best start for nine years and they want to invite YOU to come along and enjoy it for HALF PRICE* - that's JUST £10 for an adult ticket, and £5 for juniors (U16).

This Half Price Ticket Offer will be available to anyone connected with Herts Women and Girls Rugby for Saracens Heineken Cup match against Viadana on Saturday 8 th December, 3pm at Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford.

To buy your tickets call the Ticket Team on 01923 475222 quoting "Ladies Rugby Offer". Offer closes 5pm, Thursday 7th December.

There will be World Cup stars in action, plus there's as much entertainment off the pitch as there is on it, including cheerleaders, face painters and giveaways for the kids, meaning there's something for everyone!

*Half price tickets will be situated in the South Stand and offer a 50% saving on the matchday price.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

U12 girls' tournament in Hitchin: final details

Thanks to the generosity of Hitchin RFC we not only have a ground for tomorrow, but also hot post match refreshments. Our hosts are providing a pasta meal for all players from c3pm.

Please aim to arrive at about 12.30 so that we can start at 1.30 at the very latest - some of our visitors are coming quite a significant distance, particularly for this age group, and we want them to be able to get away before it gets too dark.

The three teams will be "Hertfordshire", "Middlesex" (mainly Ealing), and "Kent" (Beckenham and others). We will probably play the two Kentish games first - as they have furtherest to travel - and games will be 10-12 minutes each way. This would give us a (very draft) timetable of:

1.30 Hertfordshire v Kent
2.00 Kent v Middlesex
2.30 Hertfordshire v Middlesex

Rules will essentially be those of the U10/U11 continuum, suitably adapted dependent on player numbers.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Essex County Festival 18/11 at Harlow RFC - U18s

Directions for Sunday. Chris Gallagher is Coach/Manager for the day. Please offer help with running touch etc. Luke, Clive & I are all away this particular weekend.

 

From the A1 or M1. Take the A414 through Hertford to Harlow. As you come into Harlow you will cross the River Stort and the main railway line. At the next roundabout take the 4th exit into Elizabeth way. The club is 500 yards ahead on your right.

 

Venue: Harlow Rugby Club: Ram Gorse, Elizabeth Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JQ. Tel: 01279 429750 (N.B. Elizabeth Way is a Clearway. Parking is illegal on the Highway, new cycle track, grass verge, pavement. This applies to BOTH sides of the road. The council will have parking wardens issuing penalty tickets to offenders.) If you do not a pre-issued Car Parking Voucher for the Rugby Club you will need to use the nearby trading estate or public car parks.

There are 6 Counties participating, both at U15 and U18, who will play each other in a round robin tournament. All the games (see below) are being played on 3 pitches, and this means that the start time for the first game is 10.00, with registration at 9.00 


Teams: Essex(A); Eastern Counties(B); Herts(C); Leicestershire(D); Oxfordshire(E); Middlesex(F)

Schedule of Games K.O. Times:

U18's:
10.00 P1 A v. B P2 C v. D P3 E v. F
11.00 P1 F v. A P2 B v. C P3 D v. E
12.00 P1 F v. B P2 A v. D P3 C v. E
1.00 P1 A v. C P2 E v. B P3 D v. F
2.00 P1 A v. E P2 B v. D P3 C v. F

Dave Marques 

U18 Team Manager

Monday, November 12, 2007

Girls' Contact Rugby: Age Groups for Clubs and Schools

RFUW have issued the following summary of age group rules for girls rugby from U12 to adult level:
Age GroupU12’sU13’sU14’sU15’sU16’sU17’sU18’s
A player’s age grade is determined by their age at midnight on 31st August at the beginning of each season. Therefore if a player is aged 11 on 31st August then they are U12’s for the season.
School Year (for most players these age groups relate to these school years.) Year 7Year 8Year 9Year 10Year 11Year 12Year 13
Clubsa. Mixed rugby with the boys (1 year only)

b. Girls Only sides comprising U11’s and U12’s

(RFU Continuum U10’s rules)*

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U13’s U14’s and U15’s.

(RFUW U15’s rules)**

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U16’s, U17’s and U18’s.

Once players are 18 they can also play senior rugby.

(RFUW U18’s rules)

Schoolsa. Mixed rugby with the boys (1 year only)

b. Girls Only sides comprising U11’s and U12’s

(RFU Continuum U9 rules)*

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U11’s, U12’s and U13’s.

(RFU Continuum U12’s rules but uncontested scrums and reduce numbers if necessary)*

Girls only - can comprise of players who are U12’s, U13’s and U14’s.

(RFU Continuum U12’s rules but uncontested scrums and reduce numbers if necessary)*

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U13’s U14’s and U15’s.

(RFUW U15’s rules but uncontested scrums)**

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U14’s, U15’s and U16’s.

(RFUW U15’s rules but uncontested scrums)**

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U15’s, U16’s and u17’s.

(RFUW U15’s rules but uncontested scrums)**

Girls only – can comprise of players who are U16’s, U17’s and U18’s.

(RFUW U18’s rules but uncontested scrums unless both schools agree to play contested. Only players trained in the front row should participate in contested scrums)**

Emerging Schools

(The girls age group for Emerging Schools will be reviewed at then end of the season)

Girls only - can comprise of players who are U12’s, U13’s and U14’s.

(See Emerging Schools information for tournament rules and regulations)

* RFU Continuum rules and Regulations can be found on; www.rfu.com under regulations and then Continuum Regulations and Continuum Rules of Play.

** RFUW age group rules can be found at www.rfu.com women’s rugby and then follow links to “youth” and “rules and regs 2007/08” (http://www.rfu.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/RFUHome.Community_Detail/StoryID/17291 )

For further safety guidance please see the new IRB Resource “Rugby Ready” at: http://www.irbrugbyready.com/irbrr/en/home.jsp

Sunday, November 11, 2007

U12s vs "Kent": venue confirmed

Next Sunday's U12 game will now be at Hitchin RFC. We will have access to the pitches from c12.30, so that should give us time to warm up and kick-off by 1.30 at the latest.

The address of the club is King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, SG5 1XL and directions can be found at http://hitchinrfc.com/directions.html. It is suggested that you do not arrive too much before 12.30 as Hitchin juniors have a game in the morning so the car park might be a bit full before 12.00!

Potentially we could have around 14 players or more so, depedent on the number Kent bring and the number we have, that might mean one big game of c11 per side (if we keep strictly to RFU10/U11 rules) or maybe two 7 a side game, or something similar. We'll see on the day. Whatever happens it should be a good afternoon with something for everyone. Hitchin may be able to lay on food etc. as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Essex County Festival Sun 18th Nov Harlow RFC

The following details are now confirmed:

Venue: Harlow Rugby Club Ground & Clubhouse: Ram Gorse, Elizabeth Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JQ. Tel: 01279 429750 (N.B. Elizabeth Way is a Clearway. Parking is illegal on the Highway, new cycle track, grass verge, pavement. This applies to BOTH sides of the road. The council will have parking wardens issuing penalty tickets to offenders.) If you do not a pre-issued Car Parking Voucher for the Rugby Club you will need to use the nearby trading estate or public car parks.

There are 6 Counties participating, both at U15 and U18, who will play each other in a round robin tournament. All the games (see below) are being played on 3 pitches, and this means that the start time for the first game is 10.00, with registration at 9.00. Unfortunately there is not space for the Herts U15 B team to be involved at this Festival.

Teams: Essex(A); Eastern Counties(B); Herts(C); Leicestershire(D); Oxfordshire(E); Middlesex(F)

Schedule of Games K.O. Times:

U15's:
10.30 P1 A v. B P2 C v. D P3 E v. F
11.30 P1 F v. A P2 B v. C P3 D v. E
12.30 P1 F v. B P2 A v. D P3 C v. E
1.30 P1 A v. C P2 E v. B P3 D v. F
2.30 P1 A v. E P2 B v. D P3 C v. F

U18's:
10.00 P1 A v. B P2 C v. D P3 E v. F
11.00 P1 F v. A P2 B v. C P3 D v. E
12.00 P1 F v. B P2 A v. D P3 C v. E
1.00 P1 A v. C P2 E v. B P3 D v. F
2.00 P1 A v. E P2 B v. D P3 C v. F

Directions to Harlow RFC:

From the A1 or M1. Take the A414 through Hertford to Harlow. As you come into Harlow you will cross the River Stort and the main railway line. At the next roundabout take the 4th exit into Elizabeth way. The club is 500 yards ahead on your right.

From M11. Take the Harlow Exit junction 7 and follow the signs to Harlow.
Turn left at the Second Avenue Roundabout, At the next two roundabouts go straight ahead and then at the Town Centre Roundabout take the Third Exit onto a short section of dual carriageway. At the next roundabout go straight ahead onto 5th avenue. Go straight ahead at the Sainsburys roundabout and at the Station Roundabout at the bottom of the hill turn left into Elizabeth Way. The club is 500 yards ahead on your right.

Monday, November 05, 2007

U18 Results at Ealing.

The U18s finished Second to Hampshire 'A'. Details as follows:-

Hampshire 'A' 21 - Hertfordshire 0

Middlesex 0 - Hertfordshire 48 Tries: Alex Robertson, Hannah Gallagher 2, Megan Williams, Sophie Tyler 2, Frankie Dawson 2. Con Hannah Gallagher 4.

East Midlands 0 - Hertfordshire 14 Tries: Alex Robertson, Hannah Gallagher. Con: Hannah Gallagher, Geri Thomas.

Hampshire 'B' 0 - Hertfordshire 10 Tries: Hannah Gallagher, Megan Williams.

Dave Marques,
U18 Team Manager.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Middlesex County Festival: U12 match

"Middlesex" U12 Girls 20, "Hertfordshire" 15.

After everything that had gone before it was great to finally see this fixture start - and what an excellent game is was. The Herts team was completely different from the one that played at Rochford - but this means that the U12s have fielded 12 girls so far this season, with at least another two in the squad who have yet to play. If only we could get them all together what a team at the same time we would have!

Anyway, our opponents - "Middlesex" - were provided by Ealing, who have a squad of over a dozen U12 girls and are clearly going to be the name to look for in girls rugby over the next few years. All coming from a single club, they worked very well together - but the Herts team, with only a few minutes to prepare as a team, matched them in most parts of the game. An even first half ended at two tries each, and the score stayed at 10-10 until well into the seconf half thanks to some heroic defence by Herts, the hosts crossing the Herts line on three occasions but being unable to get the ball down each time.

Eventually the deadlock was broken, but a swift Herts response - with superb support and inter-passing - brought the scores level at 15-15. A break down the left with only two minutes to go then put Middlesex ahead again, a lead they held onto until the final whistle.

Hopefully the next U12 game will be on the 18th... we have opponents, we just need a venue!

Middlesex County Festival: U15 Tournament

Herts U15's entered two Teams into a Festival for the first time and a total of 32 Girls (from Saracens, Hertford and Welwyn) represented the Herts A and B (Development) teams today. In total there were 5 County Teams playing in the Middlesex Festival who played each other in a round robin:

Results affecting Herts U15 Teams:
Herts A 17 (Clare Shutler Tx1 Cx1 Georgia Peedle Tx2) East Midlands 0
East Midlands 10 Herts B 12 (Jo Busch Tx2 Abbi Maxwell Cx1)
Herts A 21 (Sam Voyle Tx1 Alice Finn Tx1 Georgia Peedle Tx1 Clare Shutler Cx3) Middlesex 0
Hampshire 24 Herts B 0
Herts A 0 Hampshire 5
Herts A 35 (Courtney Arberry Tx1 Cx2 Clare Shutler Tx1 Cx3 Lotte Clapp Tx1 Alice Finn Tx1 Shira Kilgallon Tx1) Herts B 0
Middlesex 19 Herts B 0


Tournament Final Standings:
Winners: Hampshire
Runners Up: Herts A
3rd: Middlesex
4th: Herts B
5th: East Midlands

Saturday, November 03, 2007

RFUW call for your help!

RFUW need your input to help them develop the game and have prepared six surveys tailored to key groups - Administrator, Coach, Parent, Player, Supporter and Volunteer.

Please find time to fill in an appropriate surveys (below). At the end of the survey you can include your email address or contact number for inclusion into a prize draw - prizes include:

  • Women or Girls team coaching session with Gary Street (England Head Coach)
  • Improve your coaching session with Club Coach Officer (CCO)
  • Museum of Rugby and Twickenham Stadium Tour for up to 15 Members of your Women or girls team
  • Pair of branded rugby boots plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Signed Ball & 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Signed England Women's Shirt & 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Selection of Canterbury Kit
  • Gilbert Training balls & ball bag
  • £15 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • £20 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • £25 Rugby Store Gift Voucher plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Pair of Asics Trainers plus 2 Women's International Tickets
  • Pair of Asics Trainers plus 2 Women's International Tickets

You have until the 18th January 2008.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

U12 game on Sunday back on again!

Sunday's U12 game at the Middlesex Festival in Ealing is now back on again thanks to Saracens finding us some new players "at the last minute". Middlesex will also lend us some girls if necessary. So - we'll see you there in time for a 2pm start.

In addition a team from Kent is asking for a fixture on 18th November... if we can find a venue!

County U15s After Christmas!

While some girls will no doubt 'Step Up' to regional level after Christmas, Jess Lane will continue a County U15 side. Several Counties have indicated that they would like to continue a County side to provide regular, competitive rugby for girls not on the regional programme.

This will very likely mean that girls who just missed out on County selection earlier in the season will have another chance to make the grade and represent Hertfordshire in full County matches.

The regional weekends are 20 Jan, 3 Feb, 10 Feb, 9 March, 16 March.

Further details will be published when fixtures are confirmed.

Dave Marques

Monday, October 29, 2007

England Women's 6 Nations 2008

England Women have two 6 Nations Internationals at home this season, but unlike in the previous 2 seasons they won't be taking place at Old Albanians RFC. However, it is not too far to travel from Hertfordshire to watch them as they are being held at London Irish RFC, The Avenue, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, TW16 5EQ.

The two games are:
  • England v. Wales on 2nd Feb 2008.
  • England v. Ireland on 15th March 2008

For further details visit Women's rugby at www.rfu.com

Middlesex County Festival 4th November Ealing RFC

U12 Teams: Middlesex and Herts

U15 Teams: Middlesex (A) Herts A (B) East Mids (C) Herts B (D) Hants (E)

U18 Teams: Middlesex (F) Herts (G) East Mids (H) Hants A (I) Hants B (J)

Schedule Time:
2.00 P1 B v. C P2 G v. I P3 A v. E
2.15 P1 F v. J P2 H v. I P3 D v. C
2.30 P1 A v. B P2 F v. G P3 U12's
2.45 P1 D v. E P2 H v. J P3 U12's
3.00 P1 A v. C P2 F v. I P3 U12's
3.15 P1 B v. D P2 G v. H P3 U12's
3.30 P1 F v. H P2 I v. J P3 B v. E
3.45 P1 C v. E P2 G v. J P3 A v. D

Trailfinders Sports Club (Ealing RFC)Castle BarVallis WayWest EalingLondon W13 0DD
Tel: 020 8998 7928

From the A40 take the B452 turn-off towards Ealing (actually signposted as Perivale) along the Argyle Road. Go through two sets of traffic lights keeping in the left hand lane. At the first roundabout, (about 0.5Km) turn right into Vallis Way. Trailfinders Sports Club entrance is at the end of the road.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Match report forms - in case you have forgotten

In their latest mailing RFUW remind all clubs that it is "vital to fill in and return Match Report Forms".

The forms are important. Its not a case of an over officious centre wanting to run everything - RFUW are heavily reliant on outside funding and they have to show grant providers how much rugby is being played, and how many clubs and players are taking part.

It is the responsibility of the home team to return any forms, which can be downloaded here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

County Girls Rugby U18 Squad.


Letchworth: Katie Alcock, Hayley Guilder, Emily Vivian, Charlotte Hughes, Laura Watson, Jess Robinson. Old Albanians: Rebecca Wilkinson.Tabard: Alison McCarthy Welwyn Warriors: Tia Arbery, Lana Block, Ema Burgess, Frankie Dawson, Charisse Fallon, Milly Fuggles, Charlie Sims, Alex Robertson, Megan Williams, Sophie Tyler, Mel Harcourt, Hannah Gallagher, Hannah Smith, Hannah Marques, Casey Shults, Geri Thomas.

Congratulations to all girls selected.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What is East Region? An official correction

Apparently there is an error in this year's "rationale" for regional rugby. For some reason the first draft apparently states that Bedfordshire is included in East this season.

This was news to anyone with any connection with our northern neighbour and Clarie Sanderson from RFUW has now confirmed that this is a mistake. An official correction will be issued shortly.

County U15 Selection

 

Following 3 coaching sessions for the U15 girls, which were attended by a total of 37 girls, it has been decided to run 2 squads for Herts. U15’s this year. In order to ensure that as many girls as possible are able to participate in the County Festivals over the next six weeks and ensure that there is movement on merit, we have decided not to pick separate squads. Instead the A squad for the festivals will be based around the following girls where available: Alice Nee, Melissa Gargaro, Charlie Fallona, Megan Childs, Sydnie Grace, Courtney Arberry, Claire Shutler, Georgia Peedle, Sam Voyle, Shira Killgannon, Alice Finn, Abi Lee and Rachel McCullough. With injury and other factors affecting availability it will be necessary for others to join as part of the team on the day. Everybody therefore still has the chance to play in the festivals for the A squad! The remaining girls will play as the development squad at these Festivals. Looking at the ages of many of the girls, this will be a good opportunity for gaining experience in a competitive environment, before stepping up to play in the main team next year.

 

Simon Shutler 
 U15 Head Coach

Monday, October 22, 2007

Junior player survey

An opinion survey is being circulated around clubs and county teams. The survey is about what you think about the county teams, development days, and training arrangements.

Note that this survey is for EVERYONE - not just those of you who are in the 2007/8 county squads. Even if you have not attended any county days this season (or indeed any other season) we still want to hear from you - because we need to know why!!

All responses will be treated in confidence - there is no need at all to put your name or club or any other personal details (other than for things such as age group) on the form. Nor do you have to answer every question - though obviously the more you tell us the better. You can get a a copy of a survey form from your club or county coach, but if they do not have any copies yet you can download one from here. Forms can then be returned via your coach. Please do not complete more than one form!

It is essential that the county days provide what you want - that you enjoy the experience and find that the days enable you to improve your game - otherwise there is no point. We want to build on what works, and eliminate what doesn't. So lets hear from you - its your game after all!

Take care of your valuables

Fortunately the following warning from the RFU and City of London Police does not concern our area... yet. But its a timely reminder to remain vigilant about any valuables you may bring to matches.

Dear All

It has been brought to our attention that local rugby clubs in the West and South West of London have unfortunately been the victims of thefts and break ins recently. This is almost certainly the work of one individual or small group.

The main problems seem to have been cars of players, referees and others left at the clubs on match days and also training evenings. The other problem has been referees rooms (which have been locked) have been broken into and wallets and valuables have been stolen.

Please can you make your clubs aware of this problem and alert local police of any suspicious behaviour.

Kind
Regards

Laura Fear (RFU)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

County Tournament 4th November - Ealing

The latest information regarding the County Tournament on 4th November is:

  • Venue: Ealing Trailfinders (http://www.ealingrugby.co.uk/Club/Directions.htm)
  • First Games Kick off: 2pm, but all Players should aim to be at the Ground by 1.00 as ready as possible, as changing rooms may not be available until after the earlier Boys matches.
  • Tournament Format: still to be decided, but the following Teams should be participating
    U18 – Middlesex, Hants A + B, Herts, East Mids
    U15 – Middlesex, Hants, Herts A+B, East Mids
    U12 – Middlesex, Herts

County Backs Training Monday 22/10 at O.A.s

Due to next week being half term, this will now be an 'Open' event. However there will be a limit on numbers to gain the maximum benefit for both players & coaches.

Please contact your club coach or manager, if you wish to attend and ask them to advise me, on numbers attending. Can clubs also confirm to me which club girls/women's coaches will be attending?

Many thanks,

Dave Marques

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

County Backs Training Monday 22/10 at O.A.s

There will be County backs training at O.A.s on Monday 22/10 at 7.30pm.

Both U15 and U18 backs are required to be there. Please confirm to me by Thursday Noon this week that you will be attending.

Dave Marques

U18 COUNTY TRAINING SUNDAY 21/10

Please note that as O.A.s is hosting 2 ladies games & a Memorial match, County training will now be at Welwyn. 1.45pm registration, 2pm start.

There are still squad places to be filled so this will be an open session but ALL girls already selected are expected to attend. Please advise me if you cannot attend through injury or any other reason.

Dave Marques
U18 Manager.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rochford U15 7's

U15 Results
Aylesford Bulls B 0 Basford 36
Aylesford Bulls A 29 Hertford 17
Welwyn Warriors 31 Aylesford Bulls B 10
Basford 21 Aylesford Bulls A 10
Hertford 0 Welwyn Warriors 28
Aylesford Bulls A 10 Aylesford Bulls B 15
Basford 52 Hertford 7
Welwyn Warriors 19 Aylesford Bulls A 19
Aylesford Bulls B 25 Hertford 10
Basford 31 Welwyn Warriors 7

Table Standings
Basford 19 points - Winners
Welwyn 13 points - Runners Up
Aylesford A 10points
Aylesford B 9 points
Hertford 4 points

U12 availability details required

Could anyone interested in playing with the U12s in the two forthcoming festivals (4th and 18th November - details above) please contact John Birch as soon as possible.

One thing we learnt this weekend is that U12s clubs run to a different calendar to girls teams at U15 and U18 level and we cannot guarantee that U12s will be "free" on RFUW county days, so we need to know as soon as possible if a significant number of girls have any "prior engagments". We can assume that the two tournament will be afternoon affairs - starting c2pm, possibly a bit later for the U12s - if that is any help.

Note that you do not need to have previously attended any U12 sessions - we would welcome any girls from the U11 or U12 age bands who wanted a game - so spread the word. Those of you who played this weekend are encouraged to wear your new green shirts with pride (at you club and elsewhere) and encourage any team-mates or opponents to come along and earn their own!

County training this weekend

Its the final Sunday of country training this weekend for the new squads before they go off to do battle at three festivals in November and December. So for the U15s and U18s its back to Welwyn to finalise who is in which team and put some finishing touches in place before the first games after half term - start time as previous weekends (2pm).

Note that, as they played last weekend, the U12s have the weekend "off".

Sunday, October 14, 2007

U12s make their debut

The first Ever Hertfordshire U12 team took the field today in an exhibition game at the Rochford Festival. The late withdrawl of a team from Sussex, and the loss of several Essex girls to a minis fixture in Kent, did result in a more low key event than had been hoped.

It was an "unofficial" match - neither county currently recognises an official girls U12 team - but the girls and spectators did not worry about such niceities. Seven Herts girls made the long trip to south Essex, on a day blessed with glorious sunshine, and wore some specially prepared t-shirts with pride.

In fact the Herts girls outnumbered their hosts and so the first try by a Herts U12 girls was scored by Byrony Pomfret against Hertfordshire.

"Essex" (mainly Rochford's U12s) were five tries up on the small pitch before Herts scored - and 7-2 ahead at half time - but the girls in green did not give up. Inspired in the second half by Byrony changing sides Herts gradually closed the gap, drawing level in the final minute before stealing the game in the final play, coming out 12-11 winners.

A few girls also arrived a bit late for the team photo at the start (below) - Rochford RFC can be a challenge to find!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

U12s at Rochford Festival: times and other details

Availability:
Please can you confirm your availability for next Sunday to John Birch as soon as possible. Anyone is welcome to come along - if we get too many girls for one team we will field two!

Kick-off time:
The U12 section of the Rochford Festival next Sunday will begin at around 1pm - so please arrive by c12.30. The festival as a whole begins at 10am for U15s and U18s, but there is obviously no need for U12s to arrive that early unless they want to cheer their local club teams on. There will now be at least three teams as there will be a U12 side coming up from Worthing in Sussex so it is difficult to predict when the games will finish.

Kit:
In the long run we will be getting U12 county shirts, but these can take a while to arrive even after we have obtained the necessary funding. In the meanwhile Heather's husband, Mike, is producing some t-shirts in Hertfordshire-green, complete with crests and numbers, which players will be able to wear - possibly over the top of an existing rugby shirt - so the girls shold look good!

Beyond that please bring gumshields and boots, preferably boots with "rugby" studs (all sports shop will have these). It will probably also be a good idea to arrive already changed if possible.

Directions:
Rochford can be quite hard to find, so if you have access to SatNav you will find it invaluable. The address for the club is: Rochford Hundred Rugby Football Club, The Rugby Park, Magnolia Road, Hawkwell, Essex. SS4 3AD. The directions on the Rochford website are:
  • Leave M25 at junction 29. Join A127 in direction of Basildon and Southend
  • Continue until you reach Rayleigh Weir junction. Take slip road left, A129 towards Rayleigh.
  • Stay on this road through Rayleigh town centre, following signs for Hockley.
  • At traffic lights at the top of the High Street (Church on left), go straight on.
  • Follow the road for 2-3 miles, going straight ahead at three mini roundabouts.
  • At next mini roundabout (Spa Public House facing), take left fork.
  • Follow the road past the shops, under railway bridge (Greensward Lane), continue past college on right for 1-2 miles, then past Ashingdon Primary school on left, continue on this road towards Ashingdon going up the hill, then on for another 2-3 miles until you reach mini roundabout (shops on your right), turn right at roundabout (Rectory Road).
  • Take the third turning on your right just before the traffic light (Magnolia Road).
  • This will become an un-made road continue down for about a half a mile, the club is on your right.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

County Girls Rugby U18 Training - Forwards.

There will be forwards training at Old Albanians on Monday 8th October, 7pm.

All County forwards are requested to attend, together with any other girls wanting to trial for the remaining forward squad positions.

When you arrive at O.A.s please repot to Clive Cramphorn The U18s County Coach.

Thank you

Dave Marques, U18s Team Manager.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

County Girls Rugby U18 Squad.

I am writing to let you know I have taken the decision to step down as coach for the U18s.

This is due to a number of reasons, mainly my commitments with my new job which requires me to be available on evenings and some weekends. Looking at the dates up to December I am unavailable for a number of training or fixtures. Therefore it seems unrealistic for me to continue as head coach when I will not be able to commit my time fully.

Hopefully with Clive on board for the 2nd team, which due to lack of numbers has not been created, and Luke there will be plenty of coaches able to work with the team this season.

At present myself and Catherine are joint signatures for the bank account. I would suggest we pass this over to Dave and one other in the near future.

Good luck for the rest of the season.

Best regards

Vicky Lowe

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

U12s now to play at Middlesex Festival

A third U12 fixture has now been confirmed. The Middlesex Festival on 4th November (venue to be confirmed, but presumably somewhere in Middlesex!) will feature U12s as the hosts have confirmed that they will be able to put a team together. This will as much a team of "beginners/mini players" ourselves so it sounds a well matched game.

Again as with the previous festivals now that it is confirmed that there will be at least two teams there it is possible that we might get a few more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

U12s to debut at Rochford

It has just been confirmed that there will be a U12 game at the Rochford Girls Rugby Festival on Sunday 14th October. Our opponents will be a South Essex team organised by Rochford RFC. Further details - including kick-off times - will be available shortly (obviously these will depend a little of whether or not any other teams enter).

The Rochford Festival is probably the region's most prestigious - and certainly oldest - girls' rugby festival. Orginally for only the oldest girls age group, it was expanded to include U14s (now U15s) teams in 2005, and will feature U12 teams for the first time in 2007. In fact this will almost certainly be the first ever girls rugby fixture for U12 teams. So, if you (or your daughter!) want to make a bit of rugby history let John Birch know about your availability as soon as possible.

Hertfordshire have a good record of success at Rochford, with Welwyn winning the U14 and U17 tournaments in 2005, followed by Letchworth in the U17 event in 2006.

County Girls Rugby U18 Squad.

Following yesterday's session 21 of the 25 strong squad were selected as below. The remaining 4 places will be decided at the next County training dates which will be confirmed shortly. All those girls that have turned up for either of the County dates held so far, are invited back to train, where a final decision will be made.

Confirmed U18 selections:
Letchworth: Katie Alcock, Hayley Guilder, Emily Vivian, Jess Robinson. Saracens: Grace Fabian, Amanda Finch. Welwyn Warriors: Tia Arbery, Lana Block, Ema Burgess, Frankie Dawson, Charisse Fallon,

Hannah Gallagher, Milly Fuggles, Charlie Sims, Alex Robertson, Megan Williams, Sophie Tyler, Hannah Smith, Hannah Marques, Casey Shults, Geri Thomas.

Congratulations to all girls selected.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Herts County U15's

The Herts U15 Management and Coaches had a meeting after the Session today and agreed that we would delay naming the Herts U15 A Team starting 13 for the first County Festival (on 4/11) until after the final County Session at Welwyn RFC on 21/10. This is because 34 Girls have now attended at least one of the Herts U15 County Sessions (on 9/9 and today) and as there are a number of Players who are new to the Herts County set-up this Season we want to give them as great an opportunity as possible to press their claims for a place in the Herts U15 A Team. We also have enough Players to form two Herts Girls U15 Squads this Season and propose to take both Squads to the 3 County Festivals that we are attending.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Girls Rugby again represented on Herts County Elite Athlete Support Programme

Nine athletes, including Hannah Gallagher from Welwyn Warriors, have been selected from a wide range of Sports to take part in the County Elite Athlete Support Programme this year. Each will receive individual nutrition consultations, physiotherapy assessments, individual and small group training sessions with a strength and conditioning coach and performance lifestyle advice. The programme has a value of approximately £800 per athlete. The athletes are aged between 14 and 17 years of age and have either been selected to represent England, are part of a national development squad or have competed in national competitions. All training sessions take place at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village. Last year Megan Williams of Welwyn Warriors was one of ten athletes selected.

U18 Talent Development Group (TDG) 2007/08

The Under 18 TDG of 35 for 2007/08 has been announced by the RFUW and includes 3 Hertfordshire Players. 2 Welwyn Warriors Players, Megan Williams and Hannah Gallagher, have been re-selected and they have been joined this Season by teammate Alex Robertson. The TDG will participate in sessions held both nationally and locally throughout the season.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

U15s and U12s this Sunday

The second day of county training and trials is taking place at Welwyn this Sunday (30th September). County selections will be made for both U18 and U15 squads, and we will be continuing to build a U12 team for fixtures later this Autumn.

There was a disappointing turnout at the first county day in some age groups this year and the county are keen to see as many of you as possible this Sunday as they wish to have two teams in both the U18 and U15 age bands this season. Particularly at U15 level enthusiasm is far more important than experience so don't let the fact that you're a newcomer to the sport hold you back. Having two teams at these age bands will allow us to arrange more fixtures against other counties which may be at different stages of development.

U18s County Trial this Sunday.

Any girls that have an injury and are unable to attend, please ask your club coach to confirm this to me before Sunday in order that we will be aware of your situation. For the remaining girls, on arrival at Welwyn on Sunday, will you please confirm your name & club to me so that I can confirm your attendance.

Many thanks,

Dave Marques,
U18s Team Manager

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

U12s: First fixture arranged!

Great news for the U12s - the first inter-county fixture has been confirmed. At a meetng yesterday evening Essex confirmed that they will be putting a team together to play a Hertfordshire U12s team at the Essex Girls' Rugby Festival in Harlow on 18th November.

We are still working on dates before that so this may not actually be the first fixture the team eventually plays, but it is the first that we ahve been able to ink into the diary.

County meeting: a reminder

A reminder that the next meeting of the Herts Women's and Girls' Development Group will be taking place at Welwyn RFC on Monday (24th) starting at 7.30.

Apart from discussions about the development of the game in the county at all levels, and the development of county teams, it will also be a chance to meeting the new RFUW Club and Coaching officer (see below) and hear more about his role and how he can help your club.

Amanda Bate, the regional WRDM, will also be present - so make sure your club is represented.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Herts Club Coach Officer

Amanda Bate has advised that the new RFUW Club Coach Officer (CCO) for Hertfordshire is Andrew Skipper. He will be working with Club, County and Regional Coaches, County Teams and TDG’s in the East Region (comprising Eastern Counties, Essex and Herts).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RFUW expands club and coach support

The RFUW have appointed ten "Club and Coach Officers" (CCOs) for the new season. These new officials will be responsible for supporting the "development of women’s and girls rugby across the country" with an "extensive remit" which will include player development, coach development and club development.

The officials have each been allocated a "region", but not regions that necessarily match either the existing RFUW or RFU regions - so at this stage it is not clear whether Herts's CCO will be Maggie Alphonsi (who will be the "London" CCO) or Andrew Skipper from St Josephs College in Ipswich (where he was the Director of Rugby) who will be CCO of the "East". More information on this (and the exact role the CCOs will have) once it emerges.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

County U15s - a great first session!

Message from Peter to all the U15s...

We hope you enjoyed the first Herts U15 Girls County Training Session of the Season yesterday. Well done to you all, whether you are an ‘experienced Old Pro’ or a ‘Rookie’.

There were 30 x U15 Players yesterday and we were delighted that so many took part (and I know that at least another 4 couldn’t make it). The next County Afternoon is taking place at Welwyn RFC on Sun 30/9 starting once again at 2.00. As there are now so many of you it opens up the possibility of a County A and B Squad, which we will decide after that Afternoon. If there are other U15 Players at your Club that didn’t come yesterday, please invite them to come next time.

Please keep practicing everything Simon taught you yesterday. We look forward to seeing you again on 30/9.

Monday, September 10, 2007

County fixtures

The following dates have been confirmed for U15 and U18 teams. We are currently checking to see if U12s will also be able to take part:
  • 21st October: County training for squads (probably at Welwyn) (if U12s go to Rochford on the 14th then this session will be U15s and U18s only)
  • 4th November: Middlesex festival (v East Midlands, Hampshire, and Middlesex)
  • 18th November: Essex festival (at Harlow RFC - opposition to be confirmed)
  • 2nd December: East Midlands Festival at Newark (TBC)

County U12s - after the first ever session

Excellent turnout yesterday by the new U12s section - but still time for more to join in. We had 14 girls, half of whom had only previously played tag, but by the end of the session everyone was playing full contact - and enjoying it too.

The next session will be on 30th September, probably at Welwyn again - 2pm start. We know this clashes with a tournament in North Herts, but this only affects a minority of the girls - and moreover the more experienced players - and it is really the newer girls we need to work with if we are to be ready for the Rochford Festival on 14th October (only two weeks later!).

The main things we want to look at next time will be areas not covered this week - mainly forward set-pieces like scrums and line-out, but also mauls - mainly so that everyone has an idea about what the rules are!

In the meanwhile well done everyone - and if you have any friends who also might like to play, bring them along too!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

County permission/registration forms

The registration forms for county squads/training have been updated (see link on the right) and a very slightly different form has also been produced for U12 girls. Please complete an appropriate form and bring it along on Sunday in order to speed up the processing so that we can ensure a prompt start.

The forms are on Word format. If this causes any problems please contact the blog editor (link also on the right).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Junior club fixture exchange service

Gravesend Gremlins in Kent have launched a ‘Fixture X-Change’ service on their website.. In theory this is just for South East clubs to use, but in practice I'm sure they'd have no objection if clubs from other regions used the service.


As they say, using the contacts, smaller clubs can also get together with others to form clusters.

Go to: http://www.gravesend-gremlins.org.uk/ and click on Fixture X-Change at the top

Sunday, September 02, 2007

County Day - next Sunday

A final reminder that the season's first "county day" is next Sunday at Welwyn, starting at 2pm. U18s will be having their county trials, but for U15s and especilly U12s a rather more relaxed development/"come-and-try-it" session is planned.

The U12 band is a new venture, aimed at girls who in previous years would have been able to play girls rugby at U14 level but who now cannot do so due to age band changes. The concern is that many of these girls who in years past would have taken the game up, or moved over from mini rugby, will now not do so and might otherwise be lost to the game - the drop out rate amongst girls in mini rugby is very high indeed between ages 9 and 11 as girls feel increasingly isolated in largely boys teams.

The aim therefore to to try to get enough girls to form at least one "squad" which can meet to play or train together once a month or so, thereby giving them a regular "boost" to keep playing until they reach Year 8 and join U15 sides. The publicity generated by the men's world cup, which starts on Friday, is also something that should not be missed.

So not only should you be making a note in your own diaries about next weekend, but it will be a great opportunity to bring a few friends along to sample the game.

Rules for players turning 18 during the season

A reminder that if a girl who is U18 at the 1st September turns 18 later in the season they can then play senior and/or junior rugby.

The 18 year old will have to register as a senior player if she wishes to play senior rugby, even if its for only one match. Players may only play senior or U18 county/regional rugby so must choose in which age band they wish to play. In National Sevens players will also have to choose one or the other.

More detailed rules and regulations can be found on the RFUW website. Apparently. Or contact the RFUW for details.

England U20 trials

The RFUW has moved its international age group from England U19 to England U20. This change to the age group banding falls in line with IRB policy and is consistent to changes already implemented within other nations. Essentially, the training and competition programme will remain the same.

The U20s (as with the U19’s) will give the next generation of talented players the opportunity to train and play within an international environment. The RFUW is committed to the identification and development of players of the future and it is anticipated that players from the U20’s age group will progress further and represent the England Senior Squad at future World Cups and 6 Nations competitions.

The first round of England U20 trials will take place on Saturday 8th September 2007.

The trial will be held at Lichfield RFC (Staffordshire) Lichfield RFC - (Directions from LRFC website)

The second round of trial matches will be played on 30th September and 21st October 2007

To be eligible for England U20’s players must be:
  • Eligible to play for England
  • Over 17 years old and under 20 years old on or before 31st August / 1st September 2007

To download a registration form click here. Players wishing to trial should complete a the form and return it to the RFUW office by Thursday 6th September at the very latest.

Whilst the trials remain ‘open’ we encourage players who have played Regional Rugby to register and attend.

Players should arrive for a 10:30am start. The trials will finish at around 4pm. All players should bring own lunch / refreshments, training and playing kit (including protective clothing)

Final Information regarding the trials will be posted on www.rfu.com (women’s rugby)
Please don’t hesitate to contact the office on 0208 831 7996 if you have any queries.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

For the more ambitious adult clubs, perhaps...

A message from Africa...
I'm doing what I can to let everyone know about women's rugby in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi) do play rugby. Can I take this opportunity to ask women's team (club, national sides etc) in whatever part of the world to consider touring Uganda. For club sides you can contact ugandarugby@utlonline.co.ug or contact me (ugrugbychiclet@yahoo.co.uk) or the uganda women's rugby association (ugwomensrugby@yahoo.com).

Women's rugby is a rapidly developing sport in East Africa - and the standard is pretty good. The Ugandan national side have been going for 2-3 years now but have never lost a game at 15-a-side and came close to winning the African Sevens last season, losing narrowly to South Afica the final. And its not totally out of the question - East's "Boadaceas" can routinely visit Dubai...

Friday, August 17, 2007

East Region needs YOU!!

Amanda says...

"Please think about applying for the Regional Programme. Ring me if you want to discuss a position first. Remember that the Reg Prog Manager role could be shared. I have had three coaches apply which is great but we do need six! And one person has applied for Team Manager role and we do need three."

Amanda's mobile is 07809 512738 and her email AmandaBate@rfu.com

Saracens Women's 10s - 1st September

Just come to the attention of the Blog that Saracens Women are hosting a senior 10s tournament Saturday 1st Sept. £10 per team. "An ideal way to play lots of rugby in preparation for your season".

There is a limit to the number of teams they can take so please contact kball15@hotmail.com ASAP.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coaching courses in Hertfordshire 2007/8

There was some delay in publishing these dates but they are now out. Remember that there are some grants available via Amanda Bate if you intend to coach girls or women. The courses will probably be at Hatfield, but this has yet to be confirmed. Note that the closing dates for applications are about a month ahead of each course.

Level 1:
  • Induction Eve 19th Sept, Practical Days 23rd & 30th Sept. Closing date: 19th August
  • Induction Eve 10th Oct, Practical Days 14th & 21st. Closing date: 10th September
  • Induction Eve 7th Nov, Practical Days 10th & 17th Nov. Closing date: 7th October
  • Induction Eve 9th Jan, Practical Days 13th & 20th Jan. Closing date: 9th December
  • Induction Eve 6th Feb, Practical Days 10th & 17th Feb. Closing date: 6th January
  • Induction Eve 2nd April, Practical Days 5th & 12th April. Closing date: 2nd March
  • Induction Eve 7th May, Practical Days 11th & 18th May. Closing date: 7th April
  • Induction Eve 18th June, Practical Days 22nd & 29th June. Closing date: 18th May

Level 2:

  • 17th & 18th Nov - Part 1, 2nd & 9th Dec -Part 2 Closing date: 27th September
  • 10th & 11th May - Part 1, 17th & 24th May -Part 2 Closing date: 10th April

Friday, August 10, 2007

Saracens to support girls' and women's rugby

Amanda met Hannah Pirnie (hannahpirnie@saracens.net) from Saracens on Tuesday, and discussed how Saracens might be able to help get the girls they coach in their various programmes into clubs. A number of positive things came out of the meeting, several of which individual clubs, coaches, or parental helpers may wish to chase up.

  • Saracens run tag sessions for years 5/6 at schools and would like to strengthen club/school links to provide exits for the children. If you have leaflets about what your club offers for girls, send them to Rigby Hse, The Parade, High St, Watford, WD17 1EA, and the community coaches will give them out at the schools near to your clubs.
  • Next summer Saracens are looking at a monthly tag league for girls, moving it around to the clubs who are active with girls, so those who did tag in yers 5/6 at schoolcan play tag at the clubs over the summer, ready to join the U12s projects in September. Also maybe a mixed adult/girls tag competitions (along the lines of Ladies link, but more for mums and daughters)Any club interested should contact Hannah direct and discuss.
  • Coaches of the women and girls sections from clubs who are in Partnership with Saracens(all except Tring) are reminded that they to can attend the FREE Saracens "coach the coaches" sessions.
  • Saracens work with Peter Engledow on a Sports Leaders Programme - if you have any 16-19 players interested they can find out about it thrrough the PDM or directly from Hannah.
  • There is a mixed Touch Rugby FE programme as well, so please tell your players who attend an FE college and get them to encourage their friends to go.
  • For parents and new volunteers Saracens run a course on how to teach rugby to a class of 30! And a course on how to prepare/coach a tag team and prepare the children for a festival - again contact Hannah.
  • Saracens will try and ensure if your club is hosting a tag festival that a club member is there.
  • The possibility of a girls matches and forming tunnels before Saracens games was also discussed.

Thinking of trying for England U20s?

This may be what Clive was thinking about when he said it was tough and physical!

Wales U19s vs USA, last season. Watch the Wales no.14...
(with thanks to Saturday's a Rugby Day)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Calling all regional volunteers (and anyone thinking of becoming one!)

Message from Amanda Bate, WRDM:

Hi to all current and potential Regional volunteers! Please click here to find out more about the Regional Programme and to register your interest in being involved as a volunteer. There is the 07/08 Rationale which explains all about the rules; volunteer training; the programme; the dates etc., which I suggest you read before you decide to get involved. There are also copies of the Roles and Responsibilities for certain volunteer roles. Please complete the Self Expression of Interest Form and send back to me (via email preferably) before August 31st. As the programme goes from strength to strength, we are hoping to have an influx of volunteers putting themselves forward for this season. There will be coach education training and general volunteer training on welfare etc., so that you feel completely confident in getting involved.

Please pass this information on to other people that you feel may be interested in being involved, and don’t worry about how much experience you have had previously! If you are the right person, we’ll get you involved! Also, we are always looking to develop the future volunteers so if you would like to use this season to shadow someone in a volunteer role that has taken your interest then please also get in touch.

For any queries whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on amandabate@rfu.com or 07841 367447.

All the best and I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still to time enter "Ladies Link" U18/senior tag tournament

There is still time for teams to enter Hertfordshire "Ladies Link" (first announced on 28th June) which is being organised at Welwyn on the afternoon of the 2nd September (kick-off 2pm).

The event is aimed and new and experienced players, and teams must include 5 adults and 5 U18s (that is the new RFUW U18 age band) - though actual squads can be any size. At least five teams have already entered so a great afternoon can be expected. More information can be found in the original posting.

One team is being put together by Amanda Bate. At present she has a good complement of adult players, but is looking for more U18s to join her team. If you are interested then drop Amanda a line (AmandaBate@rfu.com) or give her a ring on 07809 512738.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Welwyn Warriors set the example in Welwyn Hatfield

Welwyn Warriors Girls Team is to be used as a case study to help struggling Sports Clubs across its local Borough.
In conjunction with the Local Council and the Hertfordshire Sports Partnership, Welwyn Warriors will provide a 'blueprint' for the success that they have achieved in gaining funding in just one season. Team Manager Dave Marques is delighted the club are being used as an example for others to follow.
He said: “Welwyn-Hatfield Borough Council and the Sports Partnership have been very supportive of Girls Rugby so we are only too pleased to be able to try and help other Sports. At the start of last season, we didn't have anywhere near enough equipment or playing kit for the fast growing number of players. Now we have home and away kits (to avoid colour clashes); good training equipment; finance for continued work on our School Links programme for the next 12 months; money for transporting the teams to away games; and subsidies to run coaching camps. We certainly hope the approach we have taken can show other Sports what can be achieved. We hope we can also demonstrate that help is out there if you know where to look.”
Welwyn RFC is now seeking planning permission for new showers and changing facilities for their existing Girls and and newly created Womens teams as well as applying for £10,000 to install extra floodlights so that the Girls and Women can have their own training area in the Winter.

County Trails and England U20s

One or two people had been asking about the clash between the county U18 and England U19 trials - which are both on the same weekend. Some girls were interested in trialing for trying for the England U19s - and in one or two cases might well have got in. However following the announcement (below) now only girls at the top of the U18 age band are now eligible to attend (ie. 17 or over on 1st September) - so in most cases the problem is "solved".

However, the U20 trails are "open", and if you do meet the age criteria and your club coach agrees that you stand a chance of getting into the squad, it would obviously be wrong for county trials to get in the way. So if you are going to attend the England U20 trails but still wish to be considered for the county squad you should contact the county coaches Luke Williams or Vicky Lowe as soon as possible, and certainly before the weekend of the 8th/9th September.

If you are wondering about the standard expected then it is recommended that you should have reached at least regional level, and in addition Clive Cramphorn reports that "it was very tough and physical" last year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Earn Money Playing Rugby!

We are currently looking for U17 players to take part in coaching sessions which form part of our interview process for the Club and Coach Officer Interviews which are taking place at Twickenham on Monday 6th August to Thursday 9th August. We need around 6 – 7 players for each of the 4 days and have currently had quite a poor up take to this. As a result we have made the decision that we will pay each player £25 for each of the sessions you can take part in (so you can earn up to £100 for all 4 days!). The sessions will run from 9am – 11.30am each day (please arrive for around 8.30am to allow for changing and warm up). These sessions will be focused on developing the players’ handling skills and so will not be contact sessions.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to earn some extra money for the summer, play rugby and hopefully have fun all at the same time.

If you are available to take part in one or all of these sessions next week please either e-mail me on kellyrainey@rfu.com or call me on 020 8831 7996 as soon as possible.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

England move to U20 age band

The RFUW have announced that the England age group squad will move from U19 to U20 from next season. This change will bring the England team closer into line with other international sides, and also fits in with the junior age group changes which also come in next season.

The first round of trials for the new England U20 squad will take place on Saturday 8th September 2007 at Lichfield RFC (Staffordshire). The second round of trial matches will be played on 30th September and 21st October 2007

To be eligible for England U20s players must be:


  • English

  • Over 17 years old and under 20 years old on or before midnight on 31st August / 1st September 2007.

  • It is also recommended that players should have previously played at regional level.

If you are interested in attending the trails and meet the above criteria you can download a registration form here.