Medical Team for 2015 Season

Following a positive response to the recruitment advert for medical team members in our need to strengthen and expand the current team, we are pleased to announce the medical team for 2015. 

The need to grow the team comes in order to support the growth of the Touch Series along with the additional regional and national squads. All applicants went through rigorous interview process and those lucky enough to fit the criteria as well as having that je ne sais quoi.


Existing members:


Cari Thorpe MSc (Hons) PGCert MCSP HCPC

Cari Thorpe - Medical ServicesCari is beginning her 5th season as Head of Medical Services and brings a wealth of experience.  Not only working within the NHS for 14 years, Cari has worked in Semi-Professional Rugby and with GB elite Student Rugby League.  In 2001 and 2003, Cari travelled to Australia and New Zealand to support the team in their quest for the ashes trophy.  In 2012, Cari left her NHS career to take on the role of Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Throughout her time with the ETA, she has created a strong  multi-professional medical team. Cari’s main role is overseeing the injury management, rehabilitation and prehabilitation programmes, however this role is ever increasing to encompass injury prevention.

Cari has created a strong relationship  with the sports physiology department at Chester University and collaboration between both the ETA and colleagues at Chester continues to improve.  Collaborative research continues to Strength & conditioning programmes Research continues to support and improve players fitness by inform training programmes based on the demands of Touch.

Cari is looking forward to another successful season!


Emma Knott - Head PhysiotherapistIn her 5th year as an integral part of the team, Emma has over 12 years of experience as a Chartered Physiotherapist and has worked with the ETA since she accompanied the squad to the Touch World Cup in 2011. Emma was appointed as Head Physiotherapist for the ETA under the management of Cari Thorpe in 2012 and has supported the ETA squads in both national and international competitions over the past five years. More recently Emma worked as a physiotherapist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Emma currently works as a senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield and in private practice. As part of her academic role, she is carrying out research into Touch-related injuries and injury prevention developing her PhD ideas in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield, Chester University and Manchester Metropolitan University. It is hoped that this knowledge will be able to inform the practice of the medical team and ultimately benefit the players.

Gareth Marlow

Gareth MarlowGareth has been part of the team for almost 3 years. Currently working in the NHS as a team leader and enjoys doing many sports and activities to keep fit. Gareth loves the game of Touch and learns something new each time he watches it. He has a love for continually developing his knowledge and skill base within physiotherapy and is looking forward to the exciting times within the England medical camp(s) and working closely with sports sciences to develop ways to measure and enhance performance and fitness to keep the teams pain free! 



New members to the team:


Charlie Cotterill

Charlie CotterillCharlie is an experienced physiotherapist with over 10 years of working in the NHS, the British Military, private sports injury practices and various sports teams. She now owns her own business in Leicester.

Charlie has been the team physiotherapist for England Ladies Masters Hockey assisting with various events for England Volleyball and UK Athletics and was also one of lead Physiotherapists for hockey at the 2014 Commonwealth Games

Anna Laws

Anna LawsAnna is an experienced senior physiotherapist with a keen, specialist interest in sports injuries.

Currently Anna is completing her MSc in Sports Physiotherapy at Bath University. She has a wealth of experience with rugby union and swimming and enjoys working with a variety of different sports.


Amy Hill

Amy HillAmy qualified Physiotherapist from Sheffield Hallam University in 2010.  She has since worked in the NHS, private healthcare, the MoD and with elite level sports teams including England Volleyball, Athletics and National premiership Hockey.

Alongside employment, Amy has also had successful career in sport, gaining international honours in Athletics and Bobsleigh, and was on the World Class performance Rowing programme. Amy now lives in Lincoln, working at RAF Waddington with injured service personnel.

Peter Hall

Peter HallPete currently works in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in the North East of England. He has previously worked with Gateshead Thunder RLFC, British Army Women’s Rugby Union, Sunderland AFC Women’s Football, as well as the Minor Injuries Unit for the past 3 Great North Run’s. Pete has a keen interest in Touch having played with Percy Park Pirates for the past 5 years.

Thomas Sowter

Thomas SowterThomas is a dynamic, motivated and dedicated physiotherapist with a passion for sport and a lifestyle devoted to health and fitness. His physiotherapy experience spans across the NHS, professional team sport and the army. His ongoing participation in sport, combined with continued learning, gives Thomas an insight into the demands of sport and the formula for success no matter what your level.




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In memory of Mike Beard

It is with great sadness that England Touch has to announce the sudden and tragic death of Mike Beard, who unfortunately recently passed away in a bicycle accident.

For those who weren’t aware, Mike Beard has been the driving force behind Touch in Lincoln for the past few years. He was a big part of the Touch scene there and a popular figure both on and off the pitch. Mike was nominated in the Coach of the Year category in the 2014 Lincolnshire Sports Awards in recognition of him setting up Lincoln Touch rugby in 2012 and for the hard work and dedication he has invested in the sport ever since.

Mike Beard

ETA President, Gregg Cropper, paid tribute to the smiley gentle giant:
“Mike was Lincoln Touch’s founder and chairman of the club, he really loved the sport and did everything in his power to promote it. Mike was a true gentleman with a heart of gold, an inspiration to many and never without a smile. His pure vision and drive for Touch will be remembered and I’m sure that his legacy will continue. RIP Mike.”

ETA Events Director, Kevin Hill, met with Mike just last weekend. Mike has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Lincoln RUFC can successfully host two rounds of NTS/CTS/DTS later this year. Kevin added:
“Every club has a Michael Beard, someone that embodies the spirit and future of the team and inspires those around them to achieve their potential. Michael had progressed Lincoln Touch Club from scratch in just 3 years, through enthusiasm and drive, and was always looking to the future. Be it a local, regional or national level Michael left his mark and 3 days prior I was sitting down with him at Lincoln RFC planning the two national summer tournaments that the club were hosting for England Touch. A man always full of ideas, the talks progressed and we spoke of the pride he had in the club, who were training on the fields next to us and what he saw his players achieving in the coming years. The planned tournaments are some months off but I am determined that they will showcase the club Michael has left behind and we will ensure that they will stand to be a fitting tribute to a coach, player, referee and ambassador of Touch. My sincere thoughts and best wishes are with the family and friends he has left behind.”

ETA High Performance Manager, Zoe Parish, worked closely with Mike coaching the U18s Northern Stars. She said:
“Mike was so passionate about touch and such a genuinely nice guy. He couldn’t do enough to help anybody with anything at all. He was always smiling and positive with all the kids he coached. We loved having him involved in the Northern Stars and can’t believe he won’t be there this season. We’ll truly miss you, Mike. Rest in peace, Buddy.”

Mike leaves behind his beautiful wife Nicky and two wonderful young children.

Our thoughts and condolences are with them and the rest of his family and friends at this tough time. If you’d like to support his family in these hard times, a fundraising page has been set up in his name:


RIP Mike



Level 2 referee course in New Malden

On 21 March, Old Emmanuel RFC hosted the very first #O2Touch focussed Level 2 referee course in England. The course in New Malden, south-west London, was attended by 8 participants representing 5 different leagues/clubs, one participant came all the way from Switzerland.

The course started early in the morning in order to finish just-in-time for the kick off of the England-France game at Twickenham. And luckily, the referees weren’t demotivated by the icy wind sweeping over the grounds during the outside drills and exercises. We hope to see all participants soon on the ETA circuit pursuing their shiny green badge!

If you are interested in attending a Level 2 course, please register on




St Patrick’s Day Touch Tournament

Find Rugby Now held its St. Patrick’s Day themed mixed touch tournament on 14 March 2015 at East London RFC.
The winners of the competition were Tag 7s Warriors and the Runners-Up were the FRN Grasshoppers, who battled it out in a very close final. Best Fancy Dress was won by the Green Jugs and the best Guinness Pouring Competition was won by the Saracens.Irish Dancers
The St. Patrick’s themed event featured Irish dancers, a Guinness Pouring Competition, Irish music, Guinness flavoured cupcakes, fancy dress competition and themed prizes including Irish Whiskey, Guinness, Guinness pint glasses and chocolates made with Guinness and Irish Whiskey! FRN 2Players of the tournament took home an Irish Clover trophy and the winners took home a themed trophy.

Over £160 was raised towards the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund with the proceeds of the raffle and the cupcakes, which were kindly donated by Puhcums.


FRN Touch

England to host JTC2015


In 2014, the Junior Touch Championships (JTC) was created out of a committed and dedicated alliance of European National Touch Associations (NTAs). This was the first junior Touch tournament ever held in Europe. The hard work and devotion to the new category of international Touch has secured a bright and successful future for the sport of Touch.

The JTC2015 will build on this foundation and create benefits for NTAs through added junior participation, have a positive impact on the sport of Touch and create legacy opportunities for young adults to represent their country in Touch.

The JTC is about providing an opportunity or platform to encourage young adults to participate in the sport of Touch. As they do, they develop and feed into a constant stream of young talent, providing the building blocks for the future of the sport.


The new JTC logo is represented by the creation of a Touch ball, the four streams represent the journey of Mixed Open, Women’s Open, Men’s Open and Referee career paths.




Hosting award and delivery

England Touch are proud to announce that we have been hand selected from a range of applicants going through a rigorous two-stage qualification and tender process.

England Touch has for many years successfully strived to deliver high quality experiences for all its members both on and off the field. Delivering some of Europe’s largest established competitions and events and a commitment to developing all aspects of Touch, through our extensive committee structure made up of extremely enthusiastic, talented and resourceful volunteers. The ETA Executive Committee has 6 members with a further 6 making up the Non Executive committee and 5 further operational board members, including a new schools liaison officer. This structure ensures that we have expertise covering many different aspects of the sport, and allows the association to fully develop as roles and duties are spread across several people.

England Touch have a long tradition of hosting successful and high quality tournaments both through its member clubs and through the committee. 2014 saw a jump in the national delivery requirements as we combined both our tiers of competition into one, which saw a minimum of 32 teams participate in the 4 rounds and required a minimum of 25 referees and 8 fields. Through the ETA committee there is strong teamwork established which fits together as medical, referees, tournament control, high performance and player disciplinary panels which all have key roles both before, during and after each tournament, work together in all aspects of the delivery. We have a very committed group of volunteers and supportive clubs who ensure that we continue to reach very high standards of planning and delivery.

Junior Referees cc ShelleyEngland Touch tournaments have provided numerous referees the opportunity for coaching and upgrades which was key across European referees in 2014 in the road to the Euros.

 To ensure that we learn from others, Kevin Hill, our Events Director, assisted at the EFT Euros in 2014 which was a great learning experience as well as a chance to provide input during the delivery. This will be extended in 2015 when he looks to also work with TFA during the World Cup. Doing this is with the sole purpose of upskilling to be ready to deliver all aspects of Touch tournaments in the future.

In the weeks prior to the JTC, the ETA will host their Touch Nationals tournament, which will allow a run through of all proposed procedures for the JTC, including welfare as there is a junior division in which we will host 3 x U18 teams, as well as an opportunity to coach / upgrade referees for the tournament over the weekend.

Delivering the Junior Touch Championships will provide the association with an opportunity to further increase the level of innovation of tournament delivery and also inspire and engage many existing & new players, referees and coaches.

England Touch has been committed to raising standards across the association with an increase in the work delivered by the high performance team to upskill coaches for all levels of the game, extensive referee development with coaching and upgrade opportunities, a medical team present at all ETA tournaments and training camps as well as event delivery with learning opportunities taken at the recent EFT Euros and upcoming TWC.



DBSEngland Touch are driving forward our safeguarding and child protection policies and we have a support system in place to enable our identified coaches to go through the process of obtaining an enhanced DBS check. The ETA is working with GBG Online Disclosures (formerly the TMG CRB group) one of the largest criminal records checking providers in the UK, to administer online checks.

We are working on Child Protection Policies through our Governance Director, these will ensure that they conform to both Sport England and FIT requirements. We are a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and again ensure that we are utilising their policies and best practice. We also have a new position just filled for a Safeguarding Officer, which will take effect in January too.


When and Where?

The tournament will be hosted over the weekend of August 22/23, 2015.

Vaughan Parry Williams PavillionWe have selected Nottingham University, which we have a good relationship as a National Touch Series host and they offer fantastic facilities. The Universities premier outdoor sporting venue, Highfields is located on University Boulevard, just opposite University Park Campus, and hosts the majority of the student representative sport programme.

Highfields playing fields is fully equipped with extensive changing, viewing and conference facilities, including the iconic Vaughn Parry Williams Pavillion, constructed in the shape of a rugby ball.

As a leading higher education institution Nottingham University has full facilities for on site accommodation for the international squads. As the facility is all on one site this provides valuable safety considerations for the young people taking part in the tournament.

Located near the City Centre there is an ideal link to East Midlands Airport which is only 21km away and is only 77km from Birmingham International Airport. Nottingham is right in the centre of the country and is very well connected to all other major cities by the train network. Regular services operate between Nottingham and London St Pancras (for Eurostar) (from 1 hours 45 mins), Birmingham (1 hour 15 mins), Leeds (2 hours), Manchester (2 hours), or Sheffield (1 hour).



The ETA have been proud partners of the Junior Academy and provided opportunities for young referees and have seen the benefits of this link in 2014. One of our academy referees not only participated in the 2014 under 18 tournament but also ran out in the senior tournament. All our junior players will undergo the level 1 course in 2014 and we will follow this up across the country for more to undertake the qualification and hopefully see more young players joining the referee academy.

We are currently building the junior ranks as an association using the Euros in 2014 to grow the player base – a mixed U18 team competed in the ETA CTS tournament throughout 2014. A key legacy for 2015 would be to establish younger age groups so we can have a player pathway throughout the junior ages – not just U18s and allow clubs to assist the association with this provision. Our 2015 Touch Nationals is gearing up to have 3 U18 teams and hence each year we are building upon the successes of the previous year as more opportunities for the juniors becomes available.


To Enter

Enter your details on the following GoogleDoc – JTC2015_Enter


Briefing Documents


Brief 1.0 (13 February 2015)


Brief A (16 February 2015)


Further info

More information can be found on the Touch Europe Website, including the aims and objectives of the event, along with the age criteria for players:

Contact details:

Please contact for further details.


Highlights Reel from England’s Silver Medallists

University Touch Nationals 2015

Nationals-Univ-2015-01The University of Bath hosted the 2nd University Touch Nationals in the 1st week of March 2015. The weather was unexpectedly tropical, and the blue skies and sun mirrored the great Touch skills that were on display. 4 pitches had been marked out superbly by the University’s ground staff and these pitches held strong from start to finish which facilitated some great Touch.

Due to a late drop out, 9 teams participated in a highly competitive tournament styled on an Australian structure, with straight 20 minute games where end changes occurred after each score. This was a new style of game for all players which made for very exciting and fast paced games. 6 highly qualified referees ran the games with ease and made an invaluable contribution towards the professionalism of the day and the improvements to all teams.

As the day progressed teams were ranked in their groups, with 1st place heading straight into the semi-finals, 2nd and 3rd place teams playing in a cup quarter final, whilst the bottom 3 teams participated in a round robin. Bath Hawks and Exeter 1s both topped their pools while Loughborough Unicorns, Surrey, UEA and Bristol played the quarter finals whilst Bath Panthers, Southampton and Exeter 2s played out a round robin.

The lunchtime break saw the fastest female Touch players at university battle out a ‘dash for cash’ where a ball was scooped and a foot race to the end whilst all other supporters and team mates cheered from the touchline, a well enjoyed feature that was replicated with the fastest male players later in the day.

UTN - 1

The level of Touch that was displayed shows massive improvements from the tournament last year and progressions from previous tournaments that were hosted at Exeter, Bristol and Loughborough was evident. After the quarter finals Loughborough Unicorns progressed to play Exeter 1s in one semi-final whilst Bath Hawks faced UEA in the other. After 20 minutes of 2 extremely high quality games, Loughborough Unicorns and Bath Hawks progressed to the final, a re-match of a very tight group game.

By this point a large crowd of teams, family, friends and students lined the touchlines to witness what would turn out to be a highly exciting and fast game. A slightly longer game with half time saw a more conventional game structure. UTN - 2Bath Hawks got the first score before Loughborough unicorns got one back almost immediately, and that trend was repeated to make the score 2-2. Excellent defence saw a very tense game, however Bath did manage to sneak one with a dive for the line making the score 3-2 with 7 minutes to go. After 5 minutes of intense driving, a break away try with meant that the Bath Hawks led 4-2 with 2 minutes on the clock. Some excellent line attack from Loughborough was held off by Bath’s defence, with the help of some scrambling dives, before the final hooter marked the end of an incredibly exciting game, and Bath Hawks were crowned as champions.

A huge thanks to Ben Powell, the Technical Director of England Touch, for organising the schedule and referees, whilst Bath’s Hannah Lawless took a lead on the day making sure matches were played on times, scores were handed in and everything else needed to successfully run a tournament.

A great day from all involved and very positive for development of the game at universities. No doubt this event will run again next year, and well done to all involved.





Steeden DTS – Manchester (Round 3)

Manchester Chargers are hosting the 3rd leg of the Steeden DTS tournament for England Touch and are pleased to provide information for entry.

Please note all clubs entering MUST be affiliated to England Touch which for some will be a new requirement. Contact for more details.

Tournament Hosts: Manchester Chargers
Date: Saturday, June 6th, 2015
Contact: Gregg Cropper
Cost: £185


Entry Form (Manchester)


## Details on how to pay will be sent once entry form is submitted ##

The entry fee includes:
• Minimum of 4 matches
• Food/drink for each member of your team (14 max)
• Toilet, Shower and Changing facilities
• Access to photos/videos taken of the event
• Entry to the evening function

OUR contact details are:
Gregg: 07407 218096


TWC 2015 Fantasy League – News

To celebrate the Touch World Cup 2015 in Australia – England Touch are running a Fantasy League across our squads competing in Coffs Harbour. Although intended as a fun way of tracking performances of England players over the tournament we will look to rack up some prizes for the winners. Deadline for entries is Monday 27th April 2015

Squads are listed here

To select your Squad click here

To to the Fantasy League Overview page


Steeden DTS – Warwick (Round 2)

Sunday 17 May 2015

Hosted as part of the Rugby for Heroes Weekend in Leamington, Warwick Touch will organise the 2nd Steeden DTS tournament of 2015

Full Details on their website


Warwick DTS Poster