Joe’s honoured by RFU award

Joe Randall has won the RFU s Young Volunteer Award sponsored by Nike. He is the head coach of Letchworth Rugby Club s under-17 girls team despite being only 17 himself. The award was launched last year and allows the RFU to acknowledge and reward outst

Joe Randall has won the RFU's Young Volunteer Award sponsored by Nike.

He is the head coach of Letchworth Rugby Club's under-17 girls' team despite being only 17 himself.

The award was launched last year and allows the RFU to acknowledge and reward "outstanding young people who have not only made a significant contribution to their rugby community, but have also embarked on a pathway of personal development through their volunteering experience".

Joe, who also plays for Datchworth and Hitchin Boys' School, began working with the girls' team last season after his sister started playing for the club.


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His talent as a coach and a referee, along with his ability to communicate well with the girls' team, was quickly recognised and he was promoted to head coach of the under-17s about a year ago.

The team has since grown in strength and numbers, winning its first tournament in October, and Joe has gone on to assist at the East Region's women's trials this season.

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Joe is also in demand as a referee with all parts of the junior section of the club and beyond as has also refereed several of Hertfordshire's girls' county games this season.

John Birch, the manager of the girls' section at Letchworth, said: "Joe must be one of the best young referees in the county.

"In fact forget the 'young', he is probably one of the best referees of any age, especially with junior players.

"He communicates superbly, remains calm throughout, and his decisions are always clear.

"The reports from other clubs have been excellent."

This may be Joe's last season at Letchworth as he will be going off to university next season.

n Letchworth's extra first XV hosted Spanish side Poble Nou Enginyers from Barcelona.

Poble Nou have taken the brave step of playing in the English Greene King League and run two sides, fulfilling fixtures in the Catalonian league in addition to their overseas jaunts.

The Spanish side won 23-15 and their style, on and off the pitch, made a lot of friends.

After Poble Nou opened with a try, Dan Bendon showed his pace to touch down in the corner for Letchworth.

Then Darren Messenger, who was making his first start since injury three months ago, came into the line from full-back to make the break.

Poble Nou turned the ball over but were robbed by Alex Firth. It sped wide for Wayne Marsh to sprint home from 60m.

Just after half time, the visitors scored again with a try of the highest class and also added a penalty.

Firth dived over for a try in response before the Spanish regained the lead with a converted try and sealed the win with another penalty.

The return fixture is in March and is eagerly awaited by all concerned!

Letchworth's first XV entertain Twickenham this Saturday at Baldock Road (2.15pm ko).

* The postponed Stevenage Town versus St Albans tie in the first round of the Herts Presidents' Cup will now take place on Sunday, February 11 (2pm ko).

The draw has yet to be made for the quarter-finals which are scheduled for Sunday, March 11.

* Three local players are in the squad for Hertfordshire Stags for their match against Sussex under-20 this Sunday.

The Stevenage Town pair of Ian Crompton and Richard Penny are in, while James Alford (Letchworth) is a replacement.

Their fixture dates for the pool matches for the RFU National under-20 Championship have been revised once again.

Sunday, January 28: Sussex U20 v Herts Stags @ Worthing RFC.

Sunday, February 18: Herts Stags v Kent U20 @ Hertford RFC (tbc).

Sunday, February 25: Herts Stags v Middlesex U20 @ Hitchin RFC (tbc).

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