iDrills App: the Perfect App for Touch Rugby Coaches

Are you a rugby coach who wants to utilise technology to your advantage? Unfortunately, there aren’t a great deal of apps for rugby coaches especially for Touch. iDrills is an effective rugby training app that has an intuitive user interface and logical progression feature to help coaches keep track of his or her team’s training as well as their progress.

iDrills is more than just a white board on a tablet screen, the app provides coaches of all levels aid in micro managing his or her team. The neat player-deployment system allows coaches to quickly place players on a canvas with just a swipe of a finger. There are many coloured tokens to use to represent specific players that coaches can edit regarding their positional information. Drawing tools are available on the app, too, including solid and dashed arrow lines, double-ended arrow lines and freehand tools. There’s also a smart eraser tool so that coaches can delete the lines and arrows no longer needed.

Player positioning can be saved using iDrills’ fast progression system. The training equipment that a coach wants a specific player to use can be toggled, as well as copied easily using the aforementioned fast progression system. All coaches need to do is to move players to a new position and draw specific lines instructed by the app to annotate the slides.

In the last couple of years, the advancements of technology to aid coaches in the planning and delivery of their work has resulted in the development of many apps across a host of high profile sports. Gaming Realms, the company responsible for the creation of a number of many themed online gaming products, suggests that growth in the mobile market is “one of the strongest trends in the Internet landscape today,” exceeding sales and development that used to attributed to PC and laptops.

However nowadays, coaches no longer need to use laptops during training sessions, as they can effectively manage the team using nothing more than a smartphone or tablet. The iDrills app is an effective assistant that gives coaches the power to create, edit, and execute training sessions anytime they want.

The iDrills Rugby App costs £3.99 in the App Store.

(image credit: i-drills.com)

Cyclones hit Whitehaven

The first Cumbria Cyclones Touch competition was held at Whitehaven Rugby League club on Sunday. Ten teams graced the hallowed turf of the Recreation Ground, where two pitches had been freshly mowed in by Tommy the groundsman just before everyone arrived. There were fears of a wet and windy competition but the Cumbrian sky held firm for the entire tournament.

Teams begin to gather

What started as an idea of get some local teams together to raise money for the Meningitis Now charity, the day ended up hosting a smorgasbord of Touch talent. Teams came from outside of the county including; the Blackadders from Whitley Bay, Percy Park Pirates from Newcastle, OSJ and Th’Anvils from Orrel and the Manchester Chargers. These teams contained a number of current England Touch representative players, Scotland Touch representatives, NTS level players and CTS competitors – not a bad effort for an event run by a club that doesn’t even exist yet!

Percy Park - Whitehaven Blackadders - Whitehaven Cyclones - Whitehaven Manchester Chargers - Whitehaven Orell St James - Whitehaven Orrel - Whitehaven

Local teams, some thrown together at the last minute, were filled with talented individuals from across West Cumbria. The Cuzzie Bro Cumbrians showcased Whitehaven Rugby League immortals. Pro Health Fitness included England Women’s Rugby League players, footballers and Strength and Conditioners for professional teams.  Jay & The Silent Bobs included coaching staff for RFL academies, physios and journalists and some exciting amateur and current professional semi-pro players. Hensingham RLFC, after winning the Division 2 Cumbria RL title, was a force to be reckoned with –literally!  The host team was also filled with some experienced and well skilled players from Try Touch Whitehaven, Barrow Rugby League, Great Britain Masters RL, England 40s Touch and a ringer from Manchester Chargers who happens to play for England Women’s 27s (who is now trying to see if her Chargers membership has been withdrawn).

There were some outstanding touchdowns, dazzling footwork, flick passes, overhead speculators, scorching runs down the sideline and more smiles, cheers and clapping than most of the Whitehaven RLFC season (but don’t tell that to Amanda Hewer the CEO).

The Cumbria Cyclones and Manchester Chargers played out an excellent final in which the hosts managed to win but it was never about winning at this event. Touch is almost non-existent in West Cumbria. There is an abundance of talent, as was showcased, but tapping into that on a regular basis needs some work to ensure there is a Cumbrian presence in RFL competitions and England Touch competitions in 2016.

  • Lesley Marshall picked up the Female MVP for her hard work and noted skills for the Blackadders.
  • Jordan Ostle dazzled his opponents for Jay & The Silent Bobs and was voted Male MVP.
  • Huw Buckley showed everyone how not to swan dive and collected the Post Try Celebration award.
  • Mike Backhouse from the Cyclones lived up to all expectations and was crowned Fool of the Day (and every other day for that matter).

MVP - Celebration Huw Buckley MVP - Fool of the DayMVP Mini Player - Anna Beattie

The biggest cheer of the day was for the MVP for the best Mini-Player. This award went to 4 year old, number 1, Anna Lilly Beattie who told everyone she scored 3 tries for the Cyclones (must have a good coach/slave driver at home).

The outcomes of the day were for people to come and try out, enjoy and have a good time playing a game that is inclusive of men, women, young, old, experienced and newcomers to Touch.  The most important outcome was to raise some money and awareness about an illness that affects a number of people each year in the UK, including the littlest Cumbria Cyclone, number 24, Elsie Lainé Beattie, who survived Pneumococcal Meningitis is August. We raised over £1000 for the ‘Meningitis Now‘ charity!

Thanks must go to all the people who helped out, including; Mark Shaw, Carole Shaw, Helen McDowell, Sam Carter, Laura Hocking, Tommy Johnson, Mark Stamper and Amanda Hewer.

Gregg and AndySpecial thanks to Gregg Cropper from England Touch and Manchester Chargers for helping get things sorted. Extra special thanks to Team Beattie and everyone who participated on the day.

All-in-all, a great first (hopefully annual) Cumbria Cyclones Touch Competition.

Team Beattie

National Touch Series 2016 – Schedule

Following a great season England Touch are pleased to release the confirmed dates for the National & Challenge Touch Series for 2016 and the Touch Nationals, which is being extended to 3 days.

Three bank holidays will be utilised to make the most of the extra days which will also allow the delivery of Open Men’s and Women’s tournaments on the Sunday of NTS 2 & 3.

Venues are still being confirmed. There will be a large gap between the NTS rounds and finals as England Squad players will be preparing for, and taking part, in the European Touch Championships in Jersey.

NTS Round 1 – Saturday 16th April – Nottingham

NTS Round 2 – Saturday 30th April – Cambridge

NTS Round 3 – Saturday 28th May – Coventry

NTS Final – Saturday 23 July – Manchester

 

England Touch Nationals 2016

Saturday 27, Sunday 28, Monday 29th August

Cambridge

 

Men’s & Women’s Open Series

Sunday 1 May – Cambridge

Sunday 29 May – Coventry

 

Further information and venue confirmation will be provided as it is produced. Further information from events@englandtouch.org.uk

England Touch Announces Coaches for 2016 Junior Touch Championships

Following the receipt and review of applications, England Touch would like to congratulate the following individuals on their coaching appointment to England junior sides that will compete at the Junior Touch Championships in the Netherlands in 2016.

England Boys 18s​ – Doug Benzie
England Mixed 15s​ – Ben Powell
England Mixed 18s​ – Leah Cuthbertson
England Girls 18s​ – Marnie Wills