PUBLISHED: 11:47 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010
Twenty eight teams from eight counties and four regions will descend on Letchworth Rugby Club next month. It is for one of the biggest one-day girls rugby tournaments ever and certainly one of the biggest tournaments Letchworth have ever hosted. Hertford
Twenty eight teams from eight counties and four regions will descend on Letchworth Rugby Club next month.
It is for one of the biggest one-day girls' rugby tournaments ever and certainly one of the biggest tournaments Letchworth have ever hosted.
Hertfordshire Girls' Sevens 2006 will include representatives from just about every girls' team in East Anglia, along with teams from Leicestershire, Northants, Bucks and Middlesex.
The tournament is on Saturday, May 13 and illustrates the enormous growth in girls' rugby over the past few years.
It is less than two years since the first girls' rugby tournament in the county took place - a tag rugby competition in Hemel Hempstead which featured around 10 teams.
Last year this was replaced with a proper sevens event at Cheshunt which attracted around 14 sides from Hertfordshire and the neighbouring counties.
This year's event at Letchworth will dwarf that.
Around 300 girls - from Market Harborough to the Essex coast, and from London to Norfolk - will be packing the North Herts ground for six hours of intense competition.
Among the favourites will be Welwyn Warriors, who have been unbeaten against East Region opposition in both the under-14 and under-17 age groups.
In the under-17 event, they will be up against last year's finalists Hertford, Essex side Basildon - the traditional powerhouse of East Anglian rugby - and much-fancied Holt and West Norfolk, as well as the hosts Letchworth and big-name sides such as Saracens and Wasps.
Also among their rivals for the under-14 competition will be an impressive Milton Keynes team and Kibworth from Leicestershire.
The day will also showcase the next generation of girls' rugby by kicking off with the final trial for North Herts' new district under-11 team.
Play at Baldock Road begins at 10.30am and the finals are timetabled to start from 3.30pm.
* Two Priory School students represented the East of England at Coalville, Leicestershire.
Sixteen-year-old Claire Foster and Melissa Waite, 15, joined forces in the second row to play against the East Midlands.
They lost 5-0 with the only try coming in the last five minutes.
The girls are waiting to find out if they have made the squad for the national tournament at Rugby.
Claire was part of the winning East region squad last year.
The girls train with Hitchin on Tuesday evenings at King George's playing fields (7-8pm). For more details, contact Maggie Foster on Foster12@ntlworld.com or Mel on RugbyBabe1331@aol.com or 07790 165453.
Both girls also play as guest players for unbeaten Welwyn Warriors.