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

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

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 .

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 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