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Staniford and Alphonsi witness Herts girls’ strength in depth

13 November 2012

  • Staniford’s Rickmansworth School brought two teams
  • London & South East TDO Alphonsi excited at new talent

Hertfordshire was the place to be for another example of the growing interest in girls’ rugby when 28 teams and more than 400 players from 17 schools took part in the Girls’ Rugby Festival for Schools at Hertford RFC.

Two of the most prominent faces of England Women’s rugby, Maggie Alphonsi and Michaela Staniford, were on hand to add to the excitement.

Staniford is a teacher at Rickmansworth School who entered two teams in the competition while Alphonsi is the RFU’s Divisional Talent Development Officer in London & South East.

Alphonsi said: “Many girls have the ability to play at a higher level, and the key is to let them know what opportunities are available to them and to help them progress. The talent is out there and it’s exciting to come to a school event like this and see their potential.”

In the Under 13 competition, 16 teams took part in the pool stages, with the top two from each of four pools progressing to the Trophy knock-out stages and the bottom two to the Shield.

The 12 teams in the U15 category followed a similar format, which meant all teams enjoyed a good number of matches.

Competition was fierce but every game was played in fantastic spirit, culminating in four finals as follows:

U13 Shield: Knights Templar 15 - Queens’ 0;

U13 Trophy: Presdales 30 - St Mary’s Catholic 5;

U15 Shield: Sir John Lawes 10 - Knights Templar 10 (Sir John Lawes win on countback);

U15 Trophy: Beaumont 30 - St Mary’s Catholic 10.

Mark Elliott, President of Hertfordshire RFU, presented the trophies and said: “The numbers taking part were unbelievable and it was good to see so many smiling faces of the girls clearly enjoying their rugby.”

Beaumont and St Mary’s U15 teams will be attending the QBE International between England and South Africa on Saturday November 24, to showcase the RFU National Girls U15 Schools Competition, which this year is being introduced in addition to the U13 Girls Competition.

The girls will play on the pitch before the match, and will form the Guard of Honour as England and South Africa run out – a marvellous day for everyone involved to look forward to.

For more information about Girls’ Rugby in schools please contact Clare Cooper, Women’s Rugby Development Officer clarecooper@rfu.com or your local Rugby Development Officer (RDO).