Junior Touch Championships 2015

The 22nd of August 2015 was to mark an historic moment in European Touch as youngsters gathered from across 7 Nations to represent their country and take part in the first stand alone Junior Touch Championships and we were honoured to be able to host this in Nottingham, England.

It started as a vision, a discussion between two gentlemen, Matt Reid and Kevin Hobbs, keen to see their love of our great game expand in to the younger generations. A tournament to raise the profile of the sport and highlight the development, talent and potential of these children. This vision certainly became a reality for Reid and Hobbs and a dream come true for all of those players involved, as the first whistle signalled the start of play on day one.

The tournament included the Mixed U18s who, for some, had tasted the magnitude of a European event as they graced the fields of Swansea in 2014. Teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and the Middle East were ready to battle for the 2015 JTC crown.
.
But for the U18 Boys division from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and Girls division from England, Wales, Ireland and a team grouped from European, this was to be their first international experience and undoubtedly the proudest moment of their young lives as they began an exciting journey through their touch careers. A huge step for some as they left families behind for the first time.

Results 

Full results listing, including scorers can be found on the following link – https://goo.gl/uEiEnf

 

Girls U18s

Silver medals for the Girls U18s Lions team. Wales took the top spot, beating the England Lions 3-1 in finals.

Slide108

 

Boys U18s

The boys were valiant runners up in a 5-2 victory for Wales, over the England Lions boys.

Slide87.7

Mixed U18s

Another England v Wales final, the England team came away with silver medals as Wales won 6-2, making it a clean sweep for the Welsh.
Slide164.

Top Scorer

Congratulations to Adam Bailey from England, topping the table with 11 Touchdowns over the weekend.
Slide94

MVPs

Well done to the following players, who were voted MVPs from their coaching staff.

England
Slide179Adam Bailey
Abbey Gould
Jack McHugh

 

 

 

European Select
Slide182Sadie Ruellan

 

 

 

 

France
Slide185Louis Bougrat

 

 

 

 

Ireland
Slide183Sally Dawson
Andrew Mays
James O’Donnell

 

 

 

Middle East
Catherine RichardsSlide181

 

 

 

 

Scotland
Slide184Angus Wood
Jack Pennell

 

 

 

 

Wales
Slide180Steffan Prytherch
Megan Webb
Daniel Messer

 

 

 

Charity Donations

A big thank you to all participants, manager, referees and parents that gave an amazing £171.44 to the Willow foundation. They are dedicated to bringing special days to the seriously ill who are between the ages 16 and 40 years of age and live in the United Kingdom.

Hobbs-Reid Cup

Slide142.1We were very proud and privileged to announce that the inaugural “Reid-Hobbs Cup” was to be presented at the end of the tournament and that this will hopefully set the precedent for many years to come.  This prestigious trophy was awarded based on the team that lead by example and signified the spirit of the game, fair play, team work and all of the values we are trying to instil in the youth of our growing sport.

This was judged by a panel, and the winners of Cup were the European Select girls team. A huge well done to the players, who came together and played their hearts out. Thanks to Mark Knight from Jersey Touch, for taking on the coaching role too, a great job in such a small space of time.

Slide143

Thanks

Firstly, to the England Touch committee. We’re a small group of volunteers who spend immeasurable hours dedicated to the development and running of the sport that both we and you all love.

Secondly, to those contributory in ensuring the hosting of this tournament was in England. Months of planning entailed to pull this spectacular event together.

Slide186Ken Pollard (England Touch Development Director) and Kevin Hill (England Touch Events Director), who have been instrumental in ensuring the event ran smoothly, even booking the most welcomed glorious August sunshine that saw temperatures soar (We are still investigating who ordered the rain just in time for finals!).

Thanks also must go to Gregg Cropper (England Touch President) for his continued input in to England Touch, the magnitude of his work in the build up to this event, and the fire-fighting done over the weekend.

To the 20+ strong referee team who assembled for the tournament, some travelling long distances, as far as South Africa to be in attendance.


Referees

.
And as always the England medical team who were there on hand all weekend to ensure the health and well-being of all the young athletes competing.
.
We are grateful to Nottingham University for their excellent facility and the ground staff who did a tremendous job of preparing the pitches ready for our stage.


.
To our sponsors and partners Belief Sports, SPORTTAPE and Steeden who have been a huge support to the ETA over the whole season.
Belief Sporttape Steeden
.
Thanks also to those who helped behind the scenes, setting up, packing down, taking photos and social media updating, and contributed their time to ensure the weekend ran smoothly, namely Julia Kang, Julie Walker and Neil Brimelow.

What an experience

So as the sun set and the flags came down, we can reflect on the success of the JTC2015.
The standard of play at the first event of this kind has been admirably high. The teams played with real maturity despite their tender age and the execution of skills was as good as their elders.
.
It was wonderful to see so many Parents and supporters come to cheer the teams on. The pitches were buzzing and alive with excitement and the proud-ness filled the air!JTC Family area
.
This has set a real precedent for the future. It has created an exciting pathway for the juniors of the Touch world and will surely strengthen the depth and level of all ages of our game.
.
All credit to the months of preparation and dedicated hours from the coaches and support staff who ensured that their players were ready for the international stage. We look forward to the next JTC already and hope that now our even younger generation of players have something to aspire to.
.

These memories will last forever and give the players the hunger and desire to do it again and again. For the youngsters, this is hopefully the beginning of a long incredible journey in the sport and we can guarantee you will have met incredible people who will become your lifelong friends through playing the sport so far…

 

 .

#TouchNationals bigger and better than ever

FlagThe weather in Cambridge didn’t disappoint as regional teams travelled from across the country to take part in the annual Touch Nationals event.

.
One Leisure, St Ives, Cambridge was the venue for the second year running with the pitches in pristine condition looking green and lush in the beautiful August sunshine.

Thanks to our sponsors Belief SportsSPORTTAPE and Steeden for their support in this event and throughout the season.

 

.

Bigger than ever!

The Touch Nationals was an even bigger event this year, not only accommodating the open divisions with 7 men’s teams including an invitational appearance from the Middle East, and 6 women’s teams, each battling it out for opens titles, but it also included mixed teams from developing regions to include Midlands Panthers, North East Raiders, South East Renegades, Southern Suns, with UAE also representing here as an invitational team.

Men's Open - Middle East Touch

 

3 x U18 teams take the stage

Fresh young talent was also on display with the U18s division which included Midlands Cubs, Northern Stars and the Southern Mavericks.

U18 - Southern Mavericks 2.1

U18s - Northern Stars 1

In the U18 category, where the matches were closely fought and draws had been the theme of the day, the only team having managed not to lose a game came out on top and it was the Midlands Cubs who celebrated their Top of the Table Status, winning the U18s division in their debut year.

U18s - Midlands 1

The talent in this division was overwhelming and certainly puts the future of our open’s divisions in good hands for years to come. Many of the players from the 3 regions will be donning their England kits as they play in the Junior Touch Competition next weekend in Nottingham.

 

Masters are back

Not to be outdone by new developing players, the Men’s Masters were also in the mix with Midlands Storm, Northern Monkeys, South East Samurais and Southern Suns and an invitational appearance in this division also from UAE.

Masters - Midland Storm 1

Masters - Northern Monkeys 1

Masters - Southern Samurais 2.1

The SE Samurai were the favourites to win the final of the masters division having topped the table with a clear 6 points ahead of their contenders for a battle for the title.

Congratulations go to the Southern Samurais and their star studded team, taking the top spot in the 2015 masters division, beating the Northern Monkeys and displaying a convincing gold medal claim as they beat the Northern Monkeys 6-1 in a great final.

Masters - Southern Samurais 2

 

A new dawn, for the developing regions

This year saw the addition of the ‘developing mixed’ division, which saw 5 teams battle it out to be the inaugural winners of the new division.

Development Mixed - North East Raiders 1 Development Mixed - Southern Renegades 2.1Developing mixed - Southern Suns 2.1 Developing Mixed - Midlands Panthers 1

The developing UAE mixed team had plenty to smile about and their trip across the waters wasn’t in vein, as they kept a clean sheet winning 4 from 4.

 

Women’s Open Division

Alison Hogg - Score

Midlands Tigers were hoping to go one step further this year to claim the title of women’s open champions after coming close last year and losing to South East Taipans in the 2014 final. Not to be underestimated, the female Taipans were there to prove to every other region that they were not to be reckoned with and after day one they had clocked up 3 wins with an impressive 34 touch downs and only conceding 2 scores in total which came from the hearty Northern Blades.

Women's Open - NW Blades 1

The Sharks were biting and back on form this year to secure their place in an exciting final as they tamed the Tigers and Wildcats and fought off the Saxons and Blades.

Women's Open - South West Saxons 1Women's Open - West Wildcats 1Women's Open - Midland Tigers 1Women's Open - South East Sharks 3.1
The Taipans rose victorious again with just 1 touchdown ahead of the Sharks to decide their fate, with a 2-1 win in an exciting final that saw them champions for a consecutive year.

Women's Open - SE Taipans 3.1

 

Men’s Open Division

Score 3.1

The Men’s open had some tightly fought games with the NW blades narrowly missing out on a place in the final just 2 points behind joint first place finishers.

Men's Open - South West SaxonsMen's Open - South East Sharks Men's Open - Midland Tigers

 

The men’s open was to be a repeat of the women’s with the Taipans and Sharks topping the table after the pool games. The end result finished in favour of the Taipans once more, after a nail biting final and the scores 9-7 on the final whistle. They matched their women’s claim to add to the South East Haul with a double men’s and women’s open win.

Men's Open - South East Taipans 1

 

Open Trials

Were there any touchies anywhere this weekend not involved in this mammoth event? The Open Trials were also running alongside the Nationals. England selectors, clip boards at the ready, were fishing for any talent that may have slipped through the regional nets, as 30+ unknowns arrived in force to showcase their skills and their love of their sport.

 

Thanks!

Gregg Cropper - President Kevin Hill - Events Director 1Thanks to everyone for making it such an epic event. Those behind the scenes ensuring it all ran perfectly on the day, namely Ben Powell, Gregg Cropper and Kevin Hill. Thanks to those running things over the weekend who worked tirelessly, Shelley Grace and Ian Syder for arranging the referees, Cari Thorpe and Emma Knott and their medical team, who enabled players and referees alike to perform at their best during the competition.

Thanks also goes to all those regional leads, coaches, assistant coaches, managers and helpers along the way, who have also put in many hours in preparing their teams to compete in the best Touch we’ve seen in the UK for a long time!

 

DTS Finals were Green and Gold

What a season it has been for the Development Touch Series (DTS) rounds, new to the England Touch scene this year as raw talent and unknown squads ventured out on to pitches for the first time to play in glorified tournaments. It was only fitting that the Steeden DTS finals be held at the Nationals Competition as the pinnacle to the DTS.

Well done to all those teams involved in making these finals and congratulations to Green and Gold for being the first ever DTS touch series winners.

 

 

 

England announces youth national teams to complete for silverware on home soil

Three England junior teams will travel to Nottingham to compete in the 2015 Junior Touch Championships over the weekend of 22 and 23 August 2015. England will be represented by the elite England Mixed 18s side and two development sides – the Lions Boys 18s and Lions Girls 18s.

The selection process for the Mixed squad commenced in the 2014 Touch Nationals with an extended training campaign. Meanwhile, the development sides comprise of the best five to six players from each regional junior team that completed in the recent 2015 Touch Nations. They have had a shortened training period with a recent training session at Droitwich.

We wish all three teams the very best in their final preparations and at the tournament. The team lists are as follows:

England Mixed U18s

Adam Bailey
Adam Brimelow
Bronte Sykes
Catherine Walker
Euan Kelly
Georgie Perris-Redding
Hannah Murphy
India Perris-Redding
Matt Smart
Poppy Martin
Salesi Tu’iono
Sam Lawton-Davies
Samuel Sibley
Toby Phillips
Tomas Bartlett
Will Lawrence
Nicholas Matenga – Head Coach
Tracy Andrew – Assistant Coach
Nigel Scadden – Team Manager
Emma Knott – Medical

 

Lions Girls U18s

Abbey Gould
Anna Goddard
Ayla Payten
Charlotte (Charlie) Wood
Danni Payten
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Adam
Elizabeth Dorey
Ellie Costello
Ellie Fuller
Eloise James
Fran Raymond
Freya Burt
Kate Davis-Bavin
Madeleine (Maddie) Rendell
Olivia Rae
Orla McCallion
Zoe Parish – Head Coach
Leah Cuthbertson – Assistant Coach
Sadi Meakin – Assistant Coach / Team Manager
Christina Finley – Medical

 

Lions Boys U18s

Adam Bimson
Andrew Brown
Daniel Mayall
Danny Hampson
Finlay (Fin) Creighton
George Alexander Dickinson
Jack McHugh
Kolia Bermann
Lewis James Graham
Louis Mcmanus
Mathew Davis
Rory Howard
Stuart Meredith
Thanh Ha Kistler-Bui
Tom Whitehead
Will Tyrrell
Benjamin Meakin – Head Coach
Douglas Benzie – Assistant Coach
Lucy Snape – Team Manager
Peter Hall – Medical

The In2Touch Social Fancy Dress World Cup Tournament 2015

This has become UK’s best social touch tournament of the year. Being a Rugby World Cup year it will be the absolute best way to kick off the celebrations!

in2a

 

 

With space for only 20 teams and already half being taken, you’d need to act quickly to get you and your team entered. Each year all 20 teams are given a country at random to come dressed up as and represent that country before, during and after the tournament. With prizes for best dressed team, most vocal supporters, most elaborate touchdown celebration to name a few….

 

 

 

Do not forget the infamous afterparty at G.J’s in London, Wandsworth where each team attending the after party will get a FREE bottle of toffee vodka or jug of Pimms to start the evenings celebrations. We can guarantee it will be a day and night to remember!

 

Date:                 Saturday the 5th September

Times:                       10am onwards

Cost:                         £195 per team

Venue:                       King George’s Park

Afterparty:                  G.J’s Pub

Registration:               Team Registration

If you have any further queries then please let us know by emailing london@in2touch.com or you can have a look on our In2Touch Website for more information.

in2b

 

England Touch Announces National Coaches and Selectors in Advance of #TouchNationals

At the up-coming #TouchNationals the newly appointed England Touch Head Coaches and selectors will be assessing the talent on display with the aim to announce initial England squads for 2016. An announcement of squads is planned for September 2015.

The following Head Coaching appointments have been formalised:

  • Men’s Open: Ben Smith
  • Men’s 40s: Lon Lovell
  • Women’s Open: Simon Clare
  • Women’s 27s: Gary Lambert
  • Mixed Senior: Martin Wright

The following team-specific selectors have also been appointed:

  • Mixed Open: Steve Melling, Ryan Miemczyk, Clark Hobson
  • Men’s 45s/Men’s 50s: Piula Tu’iono, Jo Whitehead

Other selectors supporting the HP Team and the teams listed above are:

  • Justin Conway
  • Paul Smuts
  • Anna Stibbs
  • Dante Germena
  • Michael Stibbs
  • Marnie WIlls
  • Nathan Bourke
  • Susan Kidd

 

This means that the following Head Coaches positions are still open:

  • Juniors – Mixed 18s, Boys 18s, Girls 18s
  • Mixed Open
  • Men’s 30s
  • Men’s 35s

If you are interested in applying for any of these remaining positions please refer to the following documents and submit an application form to the nominated email addresses:

Job Advert – National Squad_Head Coach_Job Advert_ISSUE-150604

Job Description – National Squad_Head Coach_Job Description_ISSUE-150604

Application Form – National Squad_Head Coach_Application Form_ISSUE-150604

 

 

Know your regions – Who to Watch!

Men’s Open:

North West Blades

North West Blades logo

Last Year’s Finalists will be looking to go one step further this year under the guidance of Clark Hobson. The squad has a good blend of Youth & experience with some exciting Rookies making their debut.

The gun player to watch has to be the NTS top scorer for the last 2 years, Sam Grant, hard to believe he is still only 16 !

 

 

Midland Tigers

Midland Tigers Logo

West Wildcats

Wildcats logoA very fast and fit team with good ball skills who won’t be afraid to have some fun throwing the ball around and will look to threaten from all over the pitch.

Alex Scott. The one and only original England u18s captain will provide natural leadership and a constant tide of flair. He’s performed well at NTS this year, never failing to hit the right hole.

 

 

South West Saxons

SWSaxons

This year the Saxons men’s team is full of youthful exuberance, boasting no less than 9 debutants in the squad. To balance this out there are some experienced heads who’ve played representative touch for a few years now. While a lot of the boys are new to Touch they have some raw talent which will ensure the other men’s teams take note when defending their 5.

There are a few players to watch in the Saxons this year who have turned heads during the trials, in particular the boys from Chippenham and those that have come through the University ranks. There’s even one who’s still in school.

 

South East Taipans

Taipan

The only individual franchise to have won the England Touch Nationals is back to compete in 2015. With a significant change in lineup, late awakening from dormancy, and limited preparation time this year’s pit of Taipans will be basing their slither of game play on predatory instinct and heightened levels of innate perception. One thing is for certain, the team will be looking to tighten its strange-hold on England Touch and will play with venom.

2015 sees the return of Shaun Bengtson. Shaun is an exceptionally dangerous ball runner with an uncanny ability of finding the line. After a break from competitive Touch rugby Shaun will be reasserting his dominance and demonstrating that he is still a force to be reckoned with.

 

South East Sharks

Sharks

The SE Sharks Men’s side are coming together well for nationals. Once London Touch’s tribal rivalries were overcome the boys have all pulled together with a big fitness push before nationals. Building from last year’s game plan the team’s strength is a running game that utilises the speed in the team at link. A focus on basic ball skills and the ruck will be the key to delivering on the team’s goals at nationals.

James Thurston is a key player in the middle for the Sharks. Following on from a strong NTS season with Tumeke, James or Shimmy as he prefers to be known has been working on his defence and his setup play. James will be a key motivator and calming influence on a volatile Sharks sub-box and be just as valuable there as he is on the field.

 

 

Women’s Open:

North West Blades

North West Blades logo

World Cup medallists Julie Walker and Julia Kang bring experience as do multiple international tournament representatives Pam Tomlinson and Meghan Clayton who have all just come off the back of the NTS season. Great to have Morgan Ogle back in the regional team again. Mel Ratchford and Emily Veivers have both had great seasons this year and Kathryn Williams is certainly one for the future having already represented England at U18s level.

The North West also have a few names playing in their first Nationals tournament which allows the squad to have a balanced mix of youth, experience and first timers.

 

Midland Tigers

Midland Tigers Logo

The Midlands Ladies finished runners up last year and although losing a few key players,  early signs in this year’s  preparation show that the squad could be even stronger this year. The strength in depth within the team is a testament to the development ongoing within the region. We have a number of new players joining this year’s team which will create a good balance of experience and youth. We are looking forward to having another strong tournament.
It is difficult to choose just one player to watch as we have a number of exciting players. Roshanna Cormack after breaking into the England Women’s team last year has worked hard during last season to improve on her basic skills which adds to her relentless work rate.  She has had a strong NTS season and is improving all the time.

 

West Wildcats

Wildcats logo

This year’s West Wildcats women’s team has an interesting mix of experienced players, who have proven their skills by winning Bronze medals in the recent Touch World Cup, and brand new players who have never played at this level before. But don’t let their lack of experience fool you, they will play with high intensity and pace. Together the team is more than a match for any of the other regions and the games this year will be very close.

There are a number of players to watch: Laura Facey will be one of the quickest girls in the whole tournament and given any time or space will run through to score. Lucy Neal Hooke is another speedster to look out for. Completely new to Touch last year, she has developed over winter and become a regular for the Vikings NTS team. Lastly a newcomer this year is Sammie Grahams, she has awesome rugby skills and a great step.

 

South West Saxons

SWSaxons

2015 has seen the most competitive South West trials to date, allowing the selection of a 30 player squad that was challenging to whittle down to the final 16. You could say inexperienced, but they would say fresh and exciting with 10 Saxons debutants, many with a very promising future of Touch ahead of them.

Alissa ‘Liss’ Grant Walker  joined Bristol Fijians CTS team at the start of this season, quickly progressing to the NTS side. She finished the season by being voted MVP by her team mates at the NTS Finals in Lincoln, and is looking forward to her Nationals debut

Cathi Farrer was awarded female MVP at the South West mixed tournament and trials, whilst playing for Oakmeadians, and is looking forward to replicating this performance at her first Nationals

Sofia Luxton has improved considerably over the year whilst training with England Women’s Open and is ready to show off her skills at the Nationals once again this year

 

South East Taipans

Taipan

The South East Taipan Ladies have had a great lead up to the Nationals with trials and training sessions at the weekend and weekday evenings. The team have worked hard on decision making skills and communication, with some valuable practice against the South East Taipan Men. Mindful of the high standard of teams at the Nationals, 100% will be given towards achieving top honours. Bronte Sykes: As captain of the U18 England Mixed team, Bronte plays with exceptional game awareness and impressive speed – a star for the future.

 

South East Sharks
SharksThe Women’s Sharks team for 2015 is a strong combination of the old and new. With players coming from a variety of clubs across London they have worked hard to ensure their team is unified in their game plan. As always, the goal of sharks is to develop players and they aspire to see the highest number of players selected into England squads.  Like sharks themselves, the team strength lies in their killer instincts. They never give up.

While there are many players to watch in the Women’s Sharks team for 2015, one can’t look past the young and raw talent of Lucinda Paul. Lucy is relatively new to Touch which has made her an absolute pleasure to coach. She is a sponge for new information and with her speed and fitness we’re sure she will do well in years to come with the ETA.

 

 

Developing Regions:

Midlands Panthers

Panthers

This is the second year of the Midlands Panthers Development Squad. With Last season’s squad having provided one England WO debutant, one England W27 and two players moving into the 2015 Midlands MO and Masters; Our 2015 squad sees four players return and represents development prospects for all four of the other Midlands squads.

With an exciting squad focussing on player skill development, integration and enjoyment of the game, we are of course targeting the inaugural title. However the true success will be measured beyond the Nationals when we hope to see each of our players achieve their true potential.

Oliver Maynard. The squad’s youngest player by far and one of two U18’s representing the Panthers. This young man has a rocket pass off both hands and looks set to provide energy, enthusiasm and a killer step from link. His progress through training suggests an exciting future!

 

North East Raiders

North East Raiders logo

Raiders are pleased to get the opportunity to play in the mixed division this year.  They have players representing from 3 clubs in the region; Yorkshire Thorns, Blackadders and Pirates but hope that a competitive performance at the Nationals will be the springboard they need to further develop Touch in the North.  They want to give players a great experience of playing Touch at the next level so that they can develop their own game and take what they’ve learned back to their own clubs.

David Scribbens has had an excellent CTS season, great pace and huge work rate in defence. Lesley Marshall – great handling skills. Works hard, talks well

 

South East Renegades

SE Renegades

 

Southern Suns

SouthernSuns

 

 

Masters:

Midlands Storm

Midlands Storm - Masters Touch

 

Northern Monkeys

Northern Monkeys

Jeff Bimson has assembled a Northern Masters Squad that boasts some experienced players and some newcomers to the representative Touch scene who might cause a few upsets.

Good to see Rob Bowden return to the Masters Touch arena. Liam Lawton could be a new player to watch out for.

 

 

 

South East Samurai’s

Masters_South

 

Southern Suns

SouthernSuns

 

 

U18s

Midlands Cubs

Midland Cubs

 

 

Northern Stars

20140707-132814-48494233.jpg

Southern Mavericks

southern-mavericks

 

 

 

Open Trial Information for 2016 England Squads

Along side the #TouchNationals, open trials will run for those not playing in a regional team. The trials are the alternative pathway for selection in an England squad for the 2016 international season. Details below:
.
Date:
Sunday 9th August
.
Time: 
Muster from 0930 for a 1000 start (duration will depend on numbers, Nationals finals commence at 1340 (these are well worth a watch)
.
Venue: 
One Leisure in Cambridge
 
Pre-registration form to be completed in advance of attendance:
https://goo.gl/yVc1Oi
.
Age limits:
Any players under the age of 18 will need to bring a Parent Consent form.

ETA-Parental-Consent-Form – ETC16 Squads

.