Mini-Touch Nationals and Open Trials Info

What’s happening: Why another Nationals AND Open Trial for 2013?

England Touch (ETA) is changing the time of year that Touch Nationals are held.

This will:

  • Enable our national squads and coaches more time to prepare for annual international competitions and facilitate better timeframes for elite player development;
  • Better serve the annual progression of representative competition – i.e. linear progression from NTS/CTS to Touch Nationals within the same season (although the two might be separated by an international tournament); and
  • Avoid the need for regional squads to be selected, train and compete in the first quarter of each year (which for the past two years has clashed with periods of adverse weather).

The decision to initiate this change in 2013 is has primarily been driven by the dates for the European Touch Championships 2014 (ETC14) and World Cup 2015 (TWC15). The ETA has therefore decided to hold a ‘Mini-Touch Nationals’ and an ‘Open Trial’ (run side-by-side) in September 2013 to facilitate elite squad selection.

Added benefits in the lead-up and the ‘Mini-Touch Nationals and Open Trial’ day will see an increase to elite players’ exposure to high-performance (HP) competition and the opportunity to further develop HP coaching.  It is hoped that the net result will lift the standard of England Touch and form the basis for elite player development and elite pathways leading to national squad selection for World Cup 2015.

Mini Touch-Nationals

The ‘Mini Touch-Nationals’ will be a one-day event (on 21 September 2013) at which four/five (TBC), select regional sides will compete. Selectors and national coaches will watch these games to assess players (already identified by regional coaches) for inclusion in the England squads. Regional coaches are required to select a minimum of 12 players in their final team of up to 16 (TBC) who are eligible to play for England, 2 of whom must be 21 or under at the date of the tournament.

Open Trial

The trial will be coordinated by the national coaches and selectors. This is for all players (with aspirations to be selected in the ETC14 and WC15 squads) who do not compete in the ‘Mini Touch-Nationals’ tournament as a regional representative, but especially including:

  1. Young players, (including those under the age of 18);
  2. Masters grade players (see below);
  3. New players who have recently been exposed to Touch through O2 Touch/In2Touch/RFU links, who want to develop (this will give you a chance to see the high level on offer and also be directed to clubs/leagues, etc.).

Costs for the Mini Nationals and Open Trials

Overall costs are currently being finalised, with the focus on keeping them to a minimum. Unfortunately we need to cover costs associated with venue hire, trophies, referees etc. However, it is estimated to be around £5 per player (Nationals or Trials), this is to be paid on the day. Teams will pay collectively, trialist will pay individually.


Each region must providing 2 referees from their region, to assist in the officiating of the games. The ETA will aim to source others from elsewhere, however this is aimed at ensuring that the regions and clubs are engaging with their refereeing community.


Mini-Touch Nationals – regional leads will organise kit.
Open Trial – please bring a white and also a black top with you.


When? Where? Who?

When: 21st September 2013 (Timings below)

Where: Droitwich Rugby Club, Hanbury Road, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 7DU.

Who: This is not open to club sides, only sanctioned regional franchises are allowed to participate.

The regional sides for the 2013 Mini Nationals are:

The exact borderlines are as shown here – Regional Map


Coaches and Contacts

North West Blades
Regional Lead – Ben Powell
Men’s Coach – Simon Whitnall, Clark Hobson
Women’s Coach – Ben Powell

Midland Tigers

Regional Lead – Jon Lovell
Men’s Coach – Dan Mendis
Women’s Coach – Kellie James

West Wildcats

Regional Lead – Samantha Phillips
Men’s Coach – Will Ten Broeke, Jason Grace
Women’s Coach – Samantha Phillips


South East
Sharks – Women
Regional Lead – Kylie Hutchison
Sharks Women’s Coach – Kylie Hutchison
Taipans Women’s Coach – Benita Lee
United Men’s Coach – Adam Reid


Masters Grade for 2013

All Masters’ grades (35+) players should take in the Open Trial.

If you would like to get in contact with the relevant coaches of the Masters grades, to let them know you are attending, please use the below details.

Masters – Southern Contact/M35s Coach – Mike Roa
Email –

Masters – Northern Contact/M40s Coach – Jeff Bimson
Email –



In order for a player to be eligible to play for a regional team/attend open trials, players will need to have participated in an affiliated league (see list here) in their region in the last 12 months; or be registered (and regularly play) with an affiliated club; and live within the regional boundaries outlined (for the Mini-Touch Nationals tournament).

Any exemption (e.g. injury, holiday) needs to be authorised by completing the Exemption Application Form and sending to


Registering (Individuals trialists)

Please fill in the following on-line form, which will be sent to your regional lead coach: Registration Form


Timings and plan


9:00 – Arrival

9:00 to  9:45 – Trials Registration (numbers on shirts, photos etc)

10:00 – Intro and splitting into groups (ages, gender, etc), group warm up.

10:30 – Drills/Skills/Games

12:30 – 13:00 Lunch (n.b. Some individuals will not be asked back for the afternoon session)

13:00 – Games

16:20 – Watch the Women’s Mini Touch Nationals finals

17:00 – Watch the Men’s Mini Touch Nationals finals

Mini Nationals

As per playing schedule. Games will be 30 minutes long, with a 5 minutes half time.

Nationals Schedule – Sept 2013 V2


European Touch Championships 2014
The Next Steps

When: 7th – 10th August 2014*
Where: Swansea University Sports Village, Swansea, Wales.
Host: Wales Touch Association
Divisions: Competitions are expected in the following grades. If a division is not viable due to lack of entries, teams will enter merged divisions.

  • U18s Mixed
  • Men’s Open
  • Women’s Open
  • Mixed Open
  • Men’s 30s
  • Women’s 27s
  • Mixed 30s
  • Men’s 35s
  • Men’s 40s

*Note: Dependent on team numbers, the tournament may start on 6th August.


Contact and Questions

If you have any questions about the above, then please use the following contact.

Ben Powell
ETA Technical Director
07580 334 307



Please see here, for all the information you need, for the day ahead: Selection day information pack v2013.2


And Finally…

Most importantly of all – go hard, have fun, enjoy the day and play our game in the right spirit!

Good luck!


Galaxy – Play hard and Party hard

Galaxy London’s 4th Annual summer tournament was yet another excuse for teams to play hard and party hard.  This years event was coupled with the Aussie’s in London vs Kiwis in London sports challenge which saw players compete against each other in Rugby, Rugby League, Netball, Touch, Football, and ping pong. The Kiwis were victorious in all sports except touch and mixed netball.

Galaxy London would like to say thank you to all the teams that joined us for our 4th successful tournament and especially like to thanks the England Regional side the West Wildcats men’s and womens team for coming up to compete as well as the Canterbury U18’s men’s side.  We wish our own Galaxy team travelling to the USA for the FIT World Club Championships the best of luck.


Womens Winners – Babarians

Womens Runners Up – West Wildcats

Mixed Winners-  Galaxy USA

Mixed Runners Up – Tumeke

Mens Winners – Galaxy

Mens Runners Up – Canterbury Cougars U18



Cougars on the prowl

Kent’s premier Touch club, the Canterbury Cougars debuted their first U18 age group team at the Galaxy Touch tournament last weekend. The Canterbury Cougar U18 Men’s team was entered into the Men’s Open grade for the tournament which was made up of a mixture of social and elite teams.

The only player in the team over the age of 18 was 54 year old Miles Howard. As the father of three players in the team, Miles stepped into the fold to boost the numbers and provide a much needed substitute. Miles was three times as old as his teammates, but demonstrated on numerous occasions that he was also three times as experienced.

On debut the Cougars team didn’t know what to expect so approached their first match with caution, the end result being a draw. The draw gave the team confidence and they set their sights on their next opponent, The West Wildcats. The Wildcats were serious title contenders but the Cougars hadn’t come to merely make up the numbers and fought hard to take the win against the experienced side.

The team had now exceeded their expectations and carried on their winning streak beating ‘Grasshoppers’ the local  team, securing their place in the finals of the tournament. The Galaxy team took the final to win their own tournament by a single point, narrowly stopping the Cougars from stealing the limelight.

The Canterbury Cougars put on a fantastic showing and demonstrated that young, 100% British teams can mix it with the best clubs from the Southern Hemisphere. Several of the Canterbury Cougars will now be vying for positions in the South East regional team, to play at the upcoming ‘Mini Nationals’ and selection day in September.

Nottingham Hoods Touch Club Social Festival

Nottingham Hoods Touch Club hosted their first ever social festival fun day on Sunday 18th August. Held at Moderns Rugby Club in Wilford, Nottingham, the day was enjoyed by all those who attended.

Fun day out at Notts

Teams in the social tournament consisted of youngsters, newbies, more experienced players and veterans.

Trophy time

The cup final was won by ‘touching the void’…. but we know it’s the taking part that counts, hey Ben M 🙂

The wooden spoon playoff winners were ‘we charge by the hour’, who were strong contenders to win the cup until they discovered the bar.

Alongside the social league was the opportunity for children to learn new skills and have a go as well as play on the bouncy castle!

Chris Simon coaching the youngsters

Chris Simon coaching the youngsters

Kids showing off their skills

Kids showing off their skills

Bouncy Castle fun

Bouncy Castle fun


The youngsters came in to their own in the mixed tournament with the best male and female MVP votes going their way. Well done to Macy Kang and brothers Will and Tom Yarnell who scooped the most votes to win their prestigious awards.

Macy Kang - Female MVP

Macy Kang – Female MVP

Male MVP

Yarnell – Male MVP












Thanks to Chris Simon and Vicky Gaskell for organising this event and thanks to Moderns for allowing us to use their facility.

It is hoped that this will be the first of many of these events enjoyed by players, families and friends.



Notts fun

Notts fun

Presentation time

Presentation time
















Men’s teams announced for Mini Nationals

North West Blades – Men

Adam Brimelow
Ben Powell
Bobby Taylor
Clark Hobson
Gregg Cropper
Jake Melling
Jamie Roberts
Jonny Acheson
Jordan Melling
Rich Adamson
Rob Wellock
Salesi Tuiono
Sam Ratchford
Simon Bowker
Simon Whitnall


West Wildcats – Men

Amro Karim
Barney Hoskins
Charlie Tyler
James Hodges
Joe Hartley
John Weston-Stanley
Jose Luis Dias
Lucas Lee
Nathan Bourke
Rich King
Rohan Lee
Sam Jones
Shaun Hopkins
Will Ten Broeke


South East United – Men

Adam Reid
Christian Alonzo
Dave Cope
Dominic Tripp
Douglas Benzie
Gareth McRae
James Botten
John Hood
Justin Stokoe
Paul Smuts
Peter Watkins
Ruez Durrani
Thomas Devereux
Will Serocold
Zhayne Nel


Midland Tigers – Men

Ben Creese
Ben Meakin
Chris Blandford
Dan Holland
Dan Mendis
Jamal Mckenzie
James Knoop
Jon Lovell
Lachlan James
Liam Glynn
Michael Hicks
Simon Clare
Steve Cleary
Stiaan Albertyn
Travis Kenny

Women’s teams announced for Mini Nationals

North West Blades – Women

Beckie Yousefian
Cathy Spencer
Chloe Llewellyn
Courtney Horrocks
Denise Yarrow
Jenny Postlethwaite
Julie Walker
Kathryn Williams
Liana Leota
Meghan Clayton
Melanie Ratchford
Morgan Ogle
Pam Tomlinson
Rachel Jones
Sarah Acheson


West Wildcats – Women

Alison Hogg
Cat Bolsover
Catherine Fairclough
Claire Denison
Claire Rylance
Joleen Hughes
Kat Spring
Laura Mitchison
Leah Cuthbertson
Lucy Richardson
Natasha Verniquet
Rachel Fairclough
Samantha Phillips
Sammantha Powles
Sarah Kelly


South East Sharks – Women

Alice Watchorn
Angela Verniquet
Anna Smuts
Caroline Evans Jones
Jane Temple
Jessica Powell
Kylie Hutchison
Lisa Finegan
Lois Lau
Lucy Clark
Morenike Williams
Susannah Hudson
Tracy Andrew


South East Taipans – Women

Adeline Drut
Benita Lee
Clare Williams
Crystal Ravenscroft
Joanna Cremin
Lexy Staffurth
Marnie Wills
Melissa Day
Pepita Macalister-Knight
Sharise Wilkinson
Tania Leah
Tanya Winson
Vikki Jackson-Platt
Zoe Aubert


Midland Tigers – Women

Anna Brezinova
Claire Raisen
Emily-Jane Stearn
Hannah Murphy
Jade Grantham
Jo Howson
Jo Mckenzie
Julia Kang
Karen Jenkins
Kate Hyde
Katerine Daniels
Louise Rickards
Lucy Snape
Sadi Musson
Shahn Woodyatt
Vicki Gaskell


England’s Medical Team

This year’s Home Nations has seen a second season with a fully established medical team.  The core team; Cari Thorpe, Emma Knott, Nathan Wharton and Nikki Pritchard have followed and supported ETA from Euros to Home Nations and will follow through to Euros 2014  with their new additions; Ben Drew, Gareth Marlow, Matthew Davies and Heidi Greenslade.

The team has over 40 years of combined experience and each year proves more successful than the last.  This year’s HN saw some minor injuries compared to previous years.  “We are hoping this is down to the professionalism of all involved and the input of conditioning and plyometric programmes” says Cari Thorpe, Head of Medical Services.

Cari continued “My team are very professional, capable and each squad had fantastic input from our team.   Casualties were few and far between and the medical team managed to keep most players on the pitch… albeit with K-tape, strapping and massage!!”

The medical teams understanding and research into injuries sustained in Touch grows year on year, and the Home Nations saw the addition of Dr. Craig Twist and Dr. James Highton from Chester University collecting data using global positioning systems (GPS).

The medical team continue to work toward Euros in 2014 and the World Cup 2015.

We endeavour to continue to be a valuable resource to the England Touch players and many successful seasons to come.


August Newsletter – Now online

England Touch aim to bring you updates in the form of an eNewsletter each month, this is designed to keep you up to date with everything that is happening in the game of Touch in England, from news and events, tips and tricks and introducing the key members of the England Touch set-up.

This months edition: CLICK HERE

  • Blogs from our Nationals Teams
  • Home Nations Champions
  • NTS / CTS Roundup
  • The search for Touch stars of tomorrow
  • Development days
  • Keep up to date with what’s on – ALL EVENTS
  • COYS – New ETA Affiliates
  • Vacancies



So tell your friends and team mates to sign up for the eNewsletter to keep on top everything that is going on in the game.

Previous editions can be found here:

Galaxy Touch – Annual Tournament

When: 17th August
Where: Grasshoppers RFC, Macfarlane Lane, TW75PN
Format: Men’s, Women’s, Mixed.

Entries close Friday 9am.
Full Time refs are still needed and will receive £50 expenses plus food and drink.
Player refs will get £20 plus food and drink.

Nottingham Touch Summer Social

Nottingham Hoods would like to invite you to join them for their “Touch Summer Social”.

Throughout the afternoon there will be a mixed social tournament, which we would like you all to get involved in, a coaching session for kids, a bouncy castle, BBQ, drinks and awards.

There will also be a ‘showcase’ game seeing Nottingham’s England, Midlands and club players battle it out.

If you would like to play in the social tournament please e-mail We have four teams available and places are filling up fast.

Entry is FREE to all players and spectators so please feel free to take your family and friends and join them for an afternoon of Touch in the sun.

The Details

When: Sunday 18th August 2013
Where:  Moderns Rugby Club, Main Road, Wilford, NG11 7AA

1pm – 3:30 pm:        Social tournament
2pm – 3pm:               Kids touch rugby coaching session and games
3:30pm – 4:15pm:  Elite ‘showcase’ game
4:15pm:                       Nottingham Touch Club awards and trophy presentation

We hope to see you all there!