Spotlight on Canterbury Touch Club

Canterbury Touch have developed very dynamically over a short time, turning itself from a social 6 weeks a year ‘off season Rugby club’, to a 3 times a week, all year round, Touch club competing in National Touch Series.  Within 3 years they have managed to achieve and produce the following:

• 16 England representative players including 8 X Open & 6 X 18s players

  • Over 500 registered social players
  • 150 league players
  • Over 1400 school players
  • 2 Secondary schools have placed it into their curriculum
  • 24 Level 1 coaches
  • 22 Level 1 Referees
  • A winning under 18 mixed National schools team
  • NTS and DTS squads

The president Tom Humphreys is keen to share what has worked well for the club to help others with their development of Touch.

‘My aim was to develop a competitive NTS team made up from home grown players through expanding the player base in the area’. Although a small social summer league had been running for several years, 4 Years ago Touch was still pretty novel in Kent and had never had the coverage that local Rugby clubs needed to see the benefits of the game for their off season fitness and skill sets. Southern hemisphere contact players grow up playing Touch and then often play in their off season and without a doubt become much smarter and tactical players in doing so. I was tired of hearing ex-contact players saying they play ‘Touch Rugby’: ‘yeah we always warm up with Touch before a training session’, then watching them hit crash balls, slow the game down and burn out after 5 minutes of being on the pitch when placed into a properly refereed and run Touch game.



Actually NO they had never played the game, similar concept but a totally different experience once played properly. So I thought to myself instead of trying to teach old dogs new tricks I need to start afresh and find enthusiastic open minded players not corrupted by other disciplines who had the simplistic mentality of ‘I’m big so I can smash through that space.’ The answer to this was I looked to schools to start my plan…

I set about looking for some funding focused at school aged players. I found this in the form of Sportivate funding. With many thanks to the ‘Kent sport team’ I put an application in to receive funding to send coaches into Simon Langton Boys School who, luckily, had some forward thinking PE teachers who could foresee the development of skills their rugby players would gain from Touch. Little did they know 8 of their pupils were good enough to represent England!



I also developed some teacher resources and ran training for the PE staff at the school, sharing knowledge is the best way to develop this sport. I used the Sportivate funding to put any promising pupils on a level 1 coaching course, this meant the school was set up to introduce and deliver Touch in their curriculum time for the whole of the school. They soon found many pupils wanted to do this as an after school club so we started one for mixed year groups. This had over 100 players each week and the teachers even clubbed together to put a team in which just develop their knowledge even more. I also ensured Sportivate participants received a Canterbury Touch T-shirt which helped to promote the club and gave them a little incentive. After piloting this we are now rolling it out into other local school both secondary and primary. We have future plans to help schools asses players in Touch for GCSE PE; for example we plan to produce a Touch booklet which helps players learn rules, specific plays, and refereeing enables mapping of fitness and individual progression.

A few areas I have found very beneficial are as follows:

  • Sportivate funding, which allowed me to find and develop a coach who could deliver Touch sessions into local schools.
  • Canterbury RFC, Simon Langton Boys and St Anselm’s School have all been very open to change and now see the benefits of their players, pupils and members being engaged in Touch and provide great support for further development. It’s been so beneficial for all parties since Canterbury RFC have fully integrated Touch into the club as part of their OneClub philosophy.

  • Engage key volunteers who have helped to develop the game and ensure they pass on what they have learnt from others. As a coach I ensure my players coach others with less knowledge, as this increase the development in such a progressive way.
  • All of this hard work and dedication has resulted in a successful touch club which is at the heart of the local community and continuing to grow in membership. Follow the NTS series results to see how Canterbury and all the other teams get on!

If you have news or information to share about your touch club or are interested in appearing in a Spotlight feature, then contact


Warriors lead the way in April

Following their first ever Belief NTS title in 2015, Wigan Touch Warriors have started the 2016 season with a bang as the countries top teams converged on Nottingham and Cambridge. In winning both Cups, Warriors have set a high bar for the remainder of the seasons and showcased great play and expansive touch skills on their way to the initial titles.

The Sporttape CTS has also seen great competition so far this year, and well done to Custard Jägers and CSSC Shadows on their respective wins. Halton Storm and Green+Gold, after their DTS promotion, are proving to be tough opponents and the atmosphere and standard of the 2nd division has been fantastic.
England Touch has had great support so far this year from the venues, referees and medical as well as the local clubs who have hosted in the past but who continue to support the centralised delivery. Team managers are working hard to select their squads as well as completing admin and we welcome feedback via

Click for Series Tables and TD Scorers



Nottingham Belief NTS


Lucy Neal-Hook – Thames Valley Vikings

Leigh Wylie – Hot Custard


Trophy winners:

Cup – Wigan Touch Warriors


Plate – Cambridge Hornets

Bowl – CSSC Phantoms


Shield – Canterbury Cougars


Full Results:

All are available here


Nottingham Sporttape CTS


Salesi Tu’Iono – Halton Storm

Steph Bricker – Nottingham Mavericks


Trophy winners:

Cup – Custard Jägers


Plate – Percy Park Pirates

percy park 001

Bowl – Thames Valley Vikings

Full results are available here

Cambridge Belief NTS

Onto Cambridge for the second leg of the series, a venue we are very familiar with and another great weekend of Touch.

Thanks to our NTS Sponsors, Belief Sports, for their ongoing commitment to England Touch and the great service provided throughout the year with all our national team kits too.



Josh Angell – Tumeke

Brea Singhman – Hot Custard



Trophy winners:

Cup – Wigan Touch Warriors

Plate – London Scorpions

Bowl – CSSC Phantoms

Shield – Thames Valley Vikings


Full results

Are all available here


Cambridge Sporttape CTS

Another thrilling event, with all the teams playing at a higher standard each time they meet! Thanks to our sponsors SPORTTAPE, for their ongoing support in all our events. Check out their website for more details and deals.

Adam Bimson – Wigan Touch Warriors

Keisha Raymond-Blyth – CSSC

MVR – Uma Ramaswami


Trophy Winners

Cup – CSSC Shadows

Plate – Nottingham Mavericks

Bowl – Galaxy CTS

galaxy amy caiger

Full results are available here


New Referees and Upgrade Courses

It wasn’t just the weather hotting up this weekend as the heatwave swept across England. Many Referees were hotting up on their rules and fine tuning their whistle shrills as they gathered to take part in some of the coaching courses up and down the Country.

There were two Level 1 courses running. 6 newbies attended in Hammersmith, London, ran by Nicolas Van de Rijt and 12 attended at Clifton Rugby Club in Bristol being ran by Stephen Dubreuil.

The Level 1 courses are now compulsory for all National squad players. If you haven’t yet completed yours then please contact England Touch for more details: Or email:

Hammersmith was also host to the Level 2 and Level 3 courses which included 6 and 11 participants respectively at each event. Thanks to Nicolas (L2 course presenter) and European Referee Director, Derek Fisher, for running the course.

Well done to all those who took part and we look forward to seeing you on the pitch soon to get your badge upgrades.

We need you!

With the Coventry NTS/CTS series just around the corner, we are looking for referees to help officiate on Saturday 28th May and also at the Women’s and Men’s Open series the following day.

Broadstreet Rugby Club, The Ivor Preece Centre, 105 Rugby Road, Binley Woods, Coventry, CV3 2Y

If you are interested in refereeing at these events then please contact:


JTC16 | England Teams Announced

It is with great excitement that we are able to formally announce the 4 Junior England Teams that will be representing England Touch at the 2016 Junior Touch Championships this summer.


To those who have not made a team this year…

Commiserations, you are no doubt extremely disappointed. Collectively, we recognise your commitment shown to date. Hopefully you will have learnt and developed as a player in this campaign, and no doubt there will be future opportunities for you to represent.


To selected players…

Well done. However, there is still plenty of hard work to do through to the tournament.


JTC16_Announcements_B18s JTC16_Announcements_G18s JTC16_Announcements_X15s