. . . Somerset RFU . . .
|Feb 4||Somerset U20||Dorset & Wilts U20s||National U20 competition||
|March 18||Devon U20||Somerset U20s||National U20 competition|
|April 15||National U20 semi-finals|
|April 23||Somerset Women||Buckinghamshire Women||
Women's County Plate
|April 30||Hertfordshire Women||Somerset Women||
Women's County Plate
County Championship tier 2
National U20 final
|May 7||Hampshire Women||Somerset Women||
Women's County Plate
County Championship tier 2
|May 20||North Midlands||Somerset||
County Championship tier 2
County Championship tier 2 Final
Women's County Plate Final
Andy Shorney has been elected as the President of the Somerset County Rugby Football Union for the next two years following the recent Annual General Meeting, taking over the reigns from predecessor Des Chalmers. Shorney, who lives in North Somerset, was the County Secretary for 11 years until last summer when he didn't seek re-election as well as seven years as the County's representative on the Rugby Football Union Council.
"It is a great honour to have been elected by the clubs and individual members to be the new County President" said Shorney. "I will be combining this with my existing duties on the RFU Council where I believe I can make a valuable contribution. "I would like to thank Des for the tremendous work that he has done over the past two years as President and the ten months where, as chairman, he led the county at a difficult time following the tragic death of the President David Smith.".
As well as his numerous years on the administrative side of the game, Shorney played rugby for 20 years and gained representative honours for Somerset and the British Police, captaining both.
Shorney added: "In excess of forty years of rugby experience, both on and off the field, has provided me with an excellent all round knowledge of the Game and, in recent times, the RFU as an organisation. "I would like to encourage clubs in the county to recognise their volunteers who help make the game possible. Volunteers are one of the most valuable assets of a rugby organisation. They offer time, effort and expertise, and deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their hard work. Encouraging these traditions at clubs and at County levels helps maintain the ethos of the game we love.".
Photo: Former County President Des Chalmers (left) and the new Somerset County RFU President Andy Shorney.
The County Championships has undergone a restructure across the senior men, women and U20 County Championships with fixtures now announced for the new season.
The 2016/17 Men’s County Championships sees 28 counties compete with each side being seeded using results from the previous three seasons to ensure teams are more evenly matched. Each team is divided into three tiers with 12 in Tier One, eight in Tier Two, and eight in Tier Three. All tiers will play a minimum of three matches and a maximum of four. This will produce three finals, all to be played at Twickenham stadium. Promotion and relegation in the Senior Men’s County Championship will now take place every two seasons with points accumulated from season one continuing into the following season.
This means counties will have the chance to cement their position in the most appropriate pool and avoid situations where the same teams are being promoted one year only to be relegated the next.
Somerset will play in tier two and start with a home tie against Warwickshire on May 6, 2017. They will then travel to face Hampshire (May 13) before an away match against North Midlands (May 20).
Somerset U20s, Devon and Dorset & Wiltshire will be in Pool 4 of the National Under 20s competition. Somerset will host Dorset & Wilts on February 4, Devon are away to Dorset & Wilts on February 25 before hosting Somerset on March 18.
The winners of this Pool will be at home to the runners-up from Pool 3 with Pool 4 runners-up away to the winners of Pool 3 which will be either Eastern Counties, Middlesex or Sussex in the quarter finals. The semi-finals on April 15 will be an open drawn with the final being staged on May 6 at a venue yet to be announced.
Somerset Women have been placed in Pool 1 of the Women’s County Plate and will start with a home game on April 23 against Buckinghamshire. This is followed by two away games at Hertfordshire and Hampshire before hosting Essex on May 14.
The winners of Pool 1 and Pool 2 - which features Eastern Counties, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Cheshire – will play in the Plate Final on May 28, 2017.
Please note that all these dates are provisional and venues will be confirmed later
Dr Simon Roberts at Bath University runs the community rugby injury surveillance and prevention project (CRISP). For the last seven seasons the team at the University of Bath, funded by the RFU as part of the RugbySafe research strand, has worked with staff at a large number of English community clubs (levels 3-9) to draw together information on the injuries occurring in men's senior teams at this level. They are continuing the injury data collection again for season 2016-17 and to this end he is looking to recruit community clubs to assist in the collection of data (mainly from those who are responsible for player injury management within clubs).
If your club is interested in taking part please respond directly to the contact details shown on the foot of the flyer.
SOMERSET finished their Bill Beaumont Cup, Division 2 South campaign with two victories at Taunton RFC's Hyde Park ground having lost their opening game 39-10 against Devon at Teignmouth.
This was followed-up by a 26-22 victory over Kent, the favourites to regain their place in Division One South of the competition, and 14-7 against the North Midlands who were left to pick-up the dreaded 'Wooden Spoon', having lost all three of their games.
"I'm very pleased with the team, especially after the disappointing performance in the first game against Devon when we weren't able to field our strongest possible team due to other commitments," said Somerset head coach Mark Hawkes.
"It's just a shame that we are not in there at the last because of that first game. We had twenty new caps this season, nine who have progressed through from our development team last season.
"We spoke to 73 players this season and probably used around 35. The National League Two players certainly make an impact having played with the physicality and intensity every week so I am really pleased that they are with us."
HORNETS needed extra time to retain Somerset County Rugby Football Union Cup when they made the short journey to face neighbours Weston-super-Mare.
County President Des Chalmers presented the match officials, the losing finalists medals and trophy; then handed out the winners medals to the Hornets players before presenting acting-skipper Chris Francis with the Somerset Cup.
Photograph courtesy of John White Media. (click image for full size photogragh)
Yatton 62 - 17 Tor
at Weston-super-Mare RFC, Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Yatton ran in ten tries in their victory over Tor at Weston-super-Mare to lift the trophy on their first appearance in the Somerset Vase final. The match was a great advertisement of the quality of rugby played in the Tribute Somerset Premier league.
Yatton centre Ben Bowyer was named the 'Man of the Match' and the runners-up Vase, the Somerset Vase plus the players medals and plagues to the match officials, from the Somerset Referees' Society, were presented by the Somerset County RFU President Des Chalmers.
Right wing Chris Edwards scored three tries for Yatton with two inside centre Tom Moore along with one each for Ben Bowyer, Nick Raymond, Nick Wakefield, Ed Ryder-Smith and Matt Gooding. Chris Harrison added four conversions and Lloyd Richardson one.
Prop Dumiso NCube and wing Jack Burge were the Tor try scorers with fly-half Dan Ferriday converting both and adding a penalty.
Somerset County Rugby Football Union has granted Mike Berry Life Membership after the Bridgwater & Albion president stood down as the County's Treasurer at the 2015 Annual General Meeting at Burnham-on-Sea RFC.
Somerset President Des Chalmers commented "Mike Berry will be a very hard act to follow but we have to remember that he only agreed to become Treasurer on a temporary basis back in 2003 and during that time he was also President for two years". "The County recognised his valuable contribution at the AGM by presenting him with a whiskey decanter and also making him a Life Member. We know that Mike will continue to be seen around the County even though he has now retired from playing."
Berry has been on the County committee for 22 years and spent 50 years playing for Bridgwater & Albion having made his debut in 1965. His final game was in a 51-27 3rdXV victory when Somerton kindly and willingly provided the opposition back in April. Bridgwater & Albion led 46-27 in the closing minutes but there was time left for the crowning moment for scrum half Berry to rumble over on the back of a long driving maul - his first try for ten seasons but the 237th of his Albion career. The club held a Celebration Dinner in Mike's honour at the end of April when the guest speakers were Sir Gareth Edwards, the former Wales and British & Irish Lions scrum half and ex-Millfield pupil, and Father Mike Derrick.
Chalmers added: "We welcome Mike Wicks to the committee and believe that he has the appropriate skills, knowledge and passion to take the County's RFU forward at this exciting and developing time in the sport." Mike Wicks, who has been playing for Wellington since he was seven and currently manages the Property Finance team within Debenhams in Taunton, was appointed at the County's new Treasurer at the AGM.
Due to the generosity of Morris & Perry Limited, Somerset U15s and U18s Girls will have new shirts for the 2015/16 Season and the County wanted to ensure that the old shirts were put to good use. SoS KitAid is a charity which takes old but serviceable kit which is being replaced, and delivers it to clubs, mostly abroad, where funds are not available to buy new shirts. According to Ross Young, the SoSKitAid Representative for the South West, to date SoSKitAid has collected and distributed approximately £5 million worth of old but serviceable sets of rugby shirts to clubs in need around the world.
The picture on the right shows Ross Young being presented with a sample Somerset Girls U18 Shirt by Alison Bennett, Somerset RDP in the presence of two teams of girls, Yatton RFC and Bristol Telephone Area RFC, with the Festival going on in the background. In all 3 full sets of shirts and some spares were handed to the charity.
13 teams of women and girls (approximately 130 players in all) took part in the Somerset Women & Girls’ Summer Touch Rugby Festival which pitted players of all ages and experience against each other. Minehead RFC fielded the youngest (12) and oldest (60) player on the day. Girls who have reached the England Under 18 Talent Development Group played alongside and against girls, and women just starting out on their rugby career, and many of those who have represented Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset & Wiltshire at U15 and U18 as well as the South West took part.
Several of the pther teams are pictured (click images for a full sized version), but unfortunately this is not all participants as some clubs had long journeys and had leave once the playing was over.
Clubs taking part (in some cases with a couple of teams and in others with just a few girls who combined with girls from other clubs to make a team) were:
Cleve RFC, Bristol Telephone Area RFC, Castle Cary RFC, Somerton RFC, Minehead RFC, Cheddar RFC, Yatton, Wells RFC, Melksham RFC, Frome RFC, Bradford on Avon RFC.
"Aims and philosophy for Senior representative rugby teams"
Men’s County 1st XV :-
Selected from those eligible to represent the county at the highest level. Giving players who want the opportunity an environment which is special to play in with others and be the very best they can be whilst wearing the traditional "Hoops" of Somerset.
This team is selected by county selectors who invite players to attend training, development sessions, watch them at the clubs they represent and subsequently choose a "first team" that compete in the county championship.
Woman's County 1st XV :-
For developing and emerging female rugby players, this team is open to all who want to be the best they can be and have a desire to represent their County. Players who are eligible and attend county development days and training sessions will have the opportunity to be selected to represent this side.
A team that has no pressure other than that applied by the players themselves and one where all receive something new. A non RFU funded or pathway side. Players will however from this team have the opportunity to trial if selected at the RFU Senior Academy trials.
Men’s County Development XV :-
For developing and emerging rugby players
A team that is open to all who want to be the very best they can be and have a desire to represent their County. Players who are eligible and attend "county development days" and training sessions will have the opportunity to be selected to represent this side.
A team that has no pressure other than that applied by the players themselves and one where all receive something new. A non RFU funded side. A team that to date can say 14 of its players have gone on to play County 1st XV rugby in the County Championship.
We are proud that this group of players all wore the county age grades shirts and all can be very very proud of their achievements in the past season.
We at the County look forward to discovering what the future holds for these gentlemen and ladies and those who are, and will be, proudly wearing their county's shirt at whatever level - better never stops!
|Olly Hayes||Dave Ward||Freddie Burns||Yann Thomas|
|Nathan Catt||Kane Palma-Newport||Jack Cuthbert||Olly Woodburn|
|Chris Cook||Marlie Packer||Guy Mercer|
|Caryl Thomas||Dannielle Waterman|
Honorary Assistant Team Manager
The England Counties U18 XV is seeking to appoint an Honorary Assistant Team Manager. Click here for details
For season 2016/17 Cotham Park RFC is looking to recruit a new Head Coach for their 1st and 2nd XV for the 2016-2017 season. After a testing 2015-2016 season, the club is looking to establish some consistency and push for promotion into Gloucestershire Division 2.
Further details can be found here. If you are interested please contact Simon Coles (Club Chairman) at firstname.lastname@example.org with a CV and profile.
Following a four year review of rugby for under 18’s, led by the RFU, in consultation with a wide cross section of the game, the “new” Age Grade Rugby will roll out from September 2016.
The countdown is underway!
In Touch, the newsletter of the RFU SW Player Development Pathway is available here
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and everyone should understand its benefits and pitfalls. Somerset County Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) is keen to promote the safe, responsible use of this technology.
Together with making its members aware of the potential risks and to share best practice, SRFU has produced the following guidance which we believe will be of interest to experts and casual users alike.
Coaches can have a massive impact on the development of players and the shape of the game of rugby.
For many years Somerset County RFU have put out representative teams from U15 to 1st XV both male and female. These teams have been lead by volunteers from within the County. We are currently looking to add to these coaching teams in both the junior & senior sections.
Interested? Send a declaration of interest - outlining coaching qualifications, experience and philosophy to SomersetRFUCoaching@gmail.com
Closing date Sunday 14th August
The RFUs Positional Skills Handbook is available here
The county now has an on line kit shop so you can order directly through Webb Ellis. Training wear,replica shirts etc.