Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RFUW London & South East Regional Club Conference - 28th June 2008

The RFUW invites you to the 2008 RFUW London and South East Regional Club Conference, held this year at The University of Hertfordshire on Saturday 28th June from 10.15am – 4.45pm.

This annual event is always very well attended and not only provides an excellent training and development opportunity for the volunteers at your club but also allows you to network and share ideas with other clubs and members of the RFUW staff team.

The day will feature a variety of different sessions for coaches, administrators and referees and will involve both theoretical and practical workshops.

If you, or a colleague at your club would be interested in attending this conference please complete the attached form and return it to or by post to Gemma Ryan, RFUW, Rugby House, Rugby Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 1DZ. Please ensure you indicate which sessions you are interested in attending, e.g. coaches, referees or administrators. Please also note that there will be a £5 charge per person for attending this event.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Herts U15 Development Fixture Sun 27th April

This was the second time this season that Herts had hosted a U15 County Development fixture at Welwyn RFC. The two dates were chosen to co-incide with Regional dates, to give the next level of players an opportunity to gain more experience at this level.

The first event in March involved Herts, Kent and Middlesex and they were joined this time by Eastern Counties. Each team played each other in a round robin format, but there was no Trophy at stake. Herts had @25 Players, so quite a few of them ended up guesting for Middlesex and Kent, who were both short of numbers, to ensure they gained as much game time as possible. In the final round of games Herts Girls were playing for 3 different sides simultaneously, but we did ensure that all the Herts Girls did play in at least one game for their own County.

For the record the Herts scores were:
Herts 35 Eastern Counties 0
Herts 29 Kent 0
Herts 37 Middlesex 0

Both the County U15 Development and U12 Girls team initiatives have been very well received this season and we plan to continue them next season.

Monday, April 28, 2008

East Region - U15 National Festival Litchfield Sat 10th May

Congratulations to all those girls who this season played their part in the two Regional Games against Yorkshire and the South Region. With the Regional Festival at Litchfield only 2 weeks away, the coaching staff have selected the squad who will take part in this years U15 Festival.

The following girls will travel to Litchfield to represent the East Region at the U15 National Festival on 10th May:
Alice Nee
Claire Johnston
Ellie Martin
Alex Grant
Megan Robson
Courtney Arberry
Claire Shutler
Georgia Peedle
Sam Voyle
Abbie Cook
Olivia Stembridge
Alice Finn
Maddy Lockwood
Lucie Wood
Megan Childs
Jess Harris
Layla Pickering
Emma Wilson
Yasmin Pemberton
Frances Hughes
Kelsey Davis
Jess Wilkins

Could all those girls who have been selected, please contact Tina Turner to confirm their availability for the Festival.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

U12s: Four county tournament, and season in review

The U12s finished their first season with a four team tournament at Welwyn this afternoon. Again club fixtures resulted in the loss of several leading players, but that did give some girls new to the sport a chance to shine.

In practice this was probably the least experienced Herts side we have been able to put out, and the first up was Kent - now a very experienced team based around two Kent clubs. It was a steep learning curve for the new girls, but by the second half they were where beginning work together and even scored a try at the end, going down five tries to one.

The second game against Eastern Counties was a far closer affair, two missed tackles in the first half being the difference giving the visitors a 10-0 win. But the second half was hugely exciting with Herts very unlucky to fail to break the deadlock.

Finally the girls took on Middlesex, aka Ealing, another experienced team but performed very well, despite the 20-5 scoreline. Overall Kent were winners, Middlesex second, and Eastern Counties third.

At the end of the first U12 programme it is worth recording that around 25 girls have played in five fixtures, as well as two training sessions. At full strength a Herts U12 team could take on anyone, but we were never granted that luxury! But that did not matter - and was hardly the point. Rather more interesting is that the programme has allowed over a dozen girls to sample competitive, full-contact rugby for the first time in a supportive environment suited to their needs - something that would be very difficult to do as part of a standard mini team. In addition the rugby careers of several other girls who had dropped out of rugby, or were on the verge of doing so, have been revived.

It is this that the programme was created to do. There has been a degree of opposition from some in boys and mini rugby who have failed to understand this. The U12 programme is not a representative programme, nor is its purpose to establish an alternative "club". The aim is to introduce girls to the game, and keep those in the game playing. We know that Saracens and Old Albanians will definitely benefit from these new or revived players next season, while both Welwyn and Letchworth are likely to include girls in their U15 squads next season who played U12 county rugby this season.

The only disappointing aspect of the programme has been the lack of enthusiasm and suspicion from some clubs, amounting to active opposition at times. This has restricted the uptake of the programme to only a minority of clubs, most of whom already have U15 and U18 sections and therefore understood what it was trying to do. It can only be hoped that these negative responses will be replaced with a more positive attitude next season because the programme has quite clearly at least slowed the hemorrhaging of girls from the mini game in Hertfordshire. I think we would be the first to admit that it is not perfect, but until someone comes up with a better means of keeping girls playing rugby up to U12s it remains the only game in town.

Finally, the programme could not have happened without the active support of several people, including members of the Herts Women's and Girls' committee, but above all Natalie Threlfall - a U18 player at Letchworth - who (along with her mother!) has given up several of her weekends (not to mention her chance of a place in the county U18 squad) to support, coach, and inspire the girls. The U12 programme offers a great practical opportunity for older girls to practice their coaching and it can only be hoped that some more will take up this next season.

Friday, April 25, 2008

You can still go to the ball

Not enough players available to form a team for Herts 7s at your club? Never mind, Cinders, you can still go to the ball!

Tabard, organisers of this year's competition (Sunday 25th May), are organising a "Barbarian" team for the U15 and (if there is sufficient interest) the U18 competition. Any girls who would otherwise miss out on the day because they have no-one to play for is welcome. For more information contact Laura-Jo.

Barbarian teams have an honourable history in the Herts 7s - and being part of an "all-sorts" team does not mean that you will be uncompetitive. Remember - the first U14 tournament in 2005 was won by just such a side!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Herts Girls 7's update

The following teams have so far entered the Herts Girls 7's at Tabard RFC on Sunday 18th May.


London Irish.
OA Saints.
Bucks Jesters.


Pavworth Maoris.
Wisbech Grammer School.
Bucks Jesters.
Herts Swifts.
Herts Cluster.

There is room for up to 16 Teams in each Section of the Tournament, so entries are still invited, including from Barbarian sides. Please contact me Laura-Jo Pearce on 07793809586 or for further details

Monday, April 21, 2008

U18 Regional Tens 20th April results

Midlands Division:

Letchworth 17 Melbourne 5
Letchworth 10 Kettering 7
Letchworth 12 Newbold 12
Letchworth 7 Old Leomingtons 5
Letchworth 0 Worcester 17

Worcester and Letchworth progress to the National Tens Finals at Litchfield RFC on 4th May.

South Division:

Welwyn 10 Worthing 5
Welwyn 17 Solent Sirens 12
Welwyn 17 Exeter 0
Welwyn 0 Reading 12
Welwyn 10 Wimborne 14

Wimborne and Reading progress to the National Tens Finals at Litchfield RFC on 4th May.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wanted: County coaches and mangers for 2008/9

Herts County is looking for coaches and managers for the girls' teams for next season - including U18, U15, U15 Development, and U12 teams.

If you are interested in developing your skills while making a practical contribution to the development of girls rugby, or would like more information about the posts, please contact Peter McCullough before the end of April.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

East Region update

20th April

East Region training is on Sunday 20th April at Coopers Coborn School, Upminster. Training is from 10.00am until 2.00pm. Please ensure that you are on time and changed ready to start at 10.00am. For those girls who have not yet received their Regional Kit, Phil Robson has it and will hand it out on Sunday.

27th April

On Sunday 27th April East Region U15's and U18's are both playing friendlies against the South Region in lieu of the cancelled games in March. All squad members at both age groups will be required that day. The games will be structured to give all girls equal time on the pitch. The games will be held at Harlow Rugby Club, Edinburgh Way, Harlow, Essex. Please note, there will be limited parking at the Rugby Club so would all parents and supporters please use the trading estate next to the Rugby Club to park their cars. DO NOT PARK ON EDINBURGH WAY THE COUNCIL WILL TICKET OR TOW AWAY YOUR CAR. Kick off is 2.00pm. All players are to arrive by 1.00pm latest.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Under 18 National Cup Final Result

Worcester U18's 17 Welwyn / Basford U18's 15

Congratulations to Worcester U18's who have now won this Trophy in 5 of the last 6 Seasons.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Herts Girls 7's - Update

The following teams have so far entered the Herts Girls 7's at Tabard RFC on Sunday 18th May.

Tabard (Hosts).
London Irish.
OA Saints.

Pavworth Maoris.
Wisbech Grammer School.

Interested Teams are advised to get their Entries in quickly as there is a limit of 16 Teams in each Section of the Tournament. Please contact me Laura-Jo Pearce on 07793809586 or for further details

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Super League will not clash with county rugby in 2008/9

The recent article on the U18 Super League in Touchline initially appeared to indicate a clash between Super League and county dates in 2008/9. County officials have now been in touch with RFUW and they have now confirmed that this will not be the case.

The Junior Super League will, in fact, take place at the end of this season on May 18th and 31st. There will be no Junior Performance events on county dates in 2008/9 and so all U18 players, regardless of where they are on the performance pathway will be available for club, county trials, training and matches.

Super League teams will be selected after the regional festival at Rugby at the start of May.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Details of HPA programme published

The RFUW have published details of this summer's "High Performance Academy" programme for elite players. Full details can be found here, but in summary there are only a few differences compared to last season.

Regions will again select the leading players who are not currently in the Training Development Group ("TDG") (U18s) or Schools of Rugby (U15s) to attend a HPA "camp" to be held at Brunel University in Uxbridge, London, on 12th and 13th July. Players selected will be notified by post in the week beginning 19th May.

The leading U18 players at the HPA camp will then join the 2007/8 TDG girls at their summer training session a week or two later after which the 2008/9 TDG will be selected. U15s moving up to U18 rugby next season will also take part in this process, but other U15s will attend a U15 HPA at which girls will be selected for next season's Schools of Rugby programme.

One major change for U18s is that RFUW will now be running a "super league", similar to that run for the leading adult players. For 2008/9 two squads will be selected made up of girls from the TDGs but also including other girls selected the Regional Tournament on 11th May (the TDG normally has only about 30 players, but around 40-50 girls are likely to be needed to form two viable squads). The plan is then for the two U18 teams will play each other twice at the same venues and dates as two of the adult super league fixtures during next season.