Scorpions snare Belief NTS Round 2

London Scorpions took home the main title from the second round of the 2017 Belief NTS.

Due to unforeseen circumstances in Cambridge, Nottingham again played host to their second NTS/CTS event of the year.

As players left their homes for the next round of series, they prayed for kinder conditions, as the memories of Nottingham’s cold and wet opener was still fresh in their minds.

The morning conditions were dry, and blue sky broke through the threatening skyline.

Ever optimistic that the day would stay fine, players stripped to their shorts and vests as skins and thermals were tucked safely away in kit bags. But conditions took a turn for the worse and black clouds erupted over Riverside, as spectators ran for cover to the safely of the control marquee.

Soggy score sheets, mud soaked players and puddle dodging seemed the order of the day, but all the teams battled on in high spirits, not to be dampened by the extreme conditions.

Here’s hoping for a dry and sunny Round 3 in Coventry!

Thanks to everyone in making the day such a great success.

Thanks to Loughborough University for stepping into the Belief NTS, for Nottingham Hoods to providing a third team and also the 2 barbarian teams coming together to make the SPORTTAPE CTS a great success! Thanks to those people, for helping to bring these extra teams together.

As always, a huge thanks to the medical staff, keeping everyone in working order and to the referees; we had 28 full-time refs attend, ensuring that all the games had three officials. Thanks to all those teams who provided multiple referees for the event too.

CLICK HERE for the pictures from Nottingham!

ROLL OF HONOUR

Belief NTS

Cup London Scorpions
Plate CSSC Phantoms
Bowl Canterbury
Shield CSSC Shadows

MVPs Clarke Hobson and Emily Crowe

SPORTTAPE CTS

Cup Crewe and Nantwich
Plate Green and Gold
Bowl Northampton COYS
Shield Manchester Turbo Chargers

MVPs James Copnall and Phoebe jay

MVR  Marine Douaud

#TeamRef’s growth crucial for successful Touch in England

Referees manager Nicolas van de Rijt says that this crucial aspect of the sport is developing all the time in England, which is being reflected in the selection of officials for this summer’s Premiership Permit tournament.

Nearly half of the officials in Edinburgh will be from England, and the number of referees is growing in the country all the time. Already this year 27 referees successfully achieved their Level 1 qualification, the latest five of whom received their badges at last weekend’s STEEDEN NTS in Newbold, and 111 people have attended courses.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, but we feel like there is a bigger base coming through,” van de Rijt says. “We’re trying to get more referees through the pyramid, which will be good for development in England.”

The referees who will be heading north joined the Premiership Permit squads at Welbeck recently, a weekend that van de Rijt said was crucial in the group’s preparations.

“Of the 24 referees at this event 11 are from England, which is a massive achievement,” he says. “We also have quite a few referees going to the senior and championship tournaments as well, so that’s good for England as well.

“Referees as much as players are preparing for the international tournaments this summer. Referees have goals as much as players have goals, and we’re working with them specifically and individually to ensure that they have the best preparation.

“Referees need games, and having high level competitive games where players are fighting for their spots is really good test for referees, because at international tournaments they need to achieve the same levels as they had here.”

If you’re interested in joining #TeamRef CLICK HERE to register your interest!

Teams confirmed for Junior Touch Championships

England Boys 18s are set to face their counterparts from Scotland, Ireland and Wales following the confirmation of the teams entering the 2017 Junior Touch Championships.

The four home nations have entered the Boys 18s category, and are the only four countries to be in all four competitions that will be played later in the year.

Here are the full teams that will be heading to Dublin in August.

BOYS 18s England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

GIRLS 18s England, European, Ireland, Middle East, Scotland, Wales

MIXED 18s England, France, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, Middle East, Netherlands, Scotland, Wales

MIXED 15s Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Middle East, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Wales

There are two more training sessions to go before the final squad selection is made.

England Touch Leagues hits Cheltenham

The brand new England Touch League in Cheltenham got off to a sunlit start this week.

Half-a-dozen teams made up of 72 players, including former England international and Gloucester Rugby star Olly Morgan, headed to Cheltenham RFC. The conditions were perfect for the three matches that took place, each lasting 40 minutes, and set the standard for the 10 weeks of competition still to come.

England Senior Mixed international Ollie Stills has set up the England Touch League in Cheltenham in partnership with the England Touch Association, and with the town having been host to an O2 Touch team for the past year he knew that there was going to be strong interest for this new competition.

Opening night of the Cheltenham League, a great night of fun!

 

“It has taken lots of hard work to get the England Touch League up and running in Cheltenham, but it’s been really worthwhile,” he says. “I’ve played in social Touch leagues in Bath and Bristol and the game is thriving in the west country.

“Friends, friends of friends, O2 players, ex-team mates, and even the local police force have entered teams, and it was really good to have so many people who had not played Touch before take part.

“It was a really fun evening; everyone left with a smile on their faces and we’re already looking forward to the next round of competition.”

To find out more about the Cheltenham England Touch Leagues email chelttouchleague@gmail.com

The England Touch League ‘in a box’ product has been the brainchild of England Touch CEO, Gregg Cropper, who has been at the forefront of the development and implementation of the project. Touch is becoming increasingly popular across England, in many forms, with well over 25,000 registered players participating in both social and coached sessions in 2015, with over 150,000+ hours attended.

“To see the first England Touch League successfully open in Cheltenham and be part of it every step of the way has been great and personally very rewarding,” he said. “Creating this easy to use product, engaging those sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs is a perfect way to get our sport out to to the masses.

“Now the time is right for us to spread our reach and take our sport to more communities and sports clubs nationwide. By creating a UK-wide network of England Touch Leagues, engaging those sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, we can make our sport even more accessible, more competitive and more sociable for all those who want to play.”

England Touch League are a great opportunity for individuals or clubs to run their own league in partnership with the England Touch Association. Running an England Touch League is about encouraging participation in the sport and providing a quality experience for all involved. It’s also about creating and maintaining the social buzz around it too.

We know that Touch players are like minded, like to have fun and socialise together, so it’s our job to help them do this! Join us and you will benefit from an authorised ‘League in a box’ product, with first class training, continuing support and backroom assistance.

CLICK HERE for more information!

Spirits soar at STEEDEN DTS Round 1

CSSC Spirits headed down the M1 with the first STEEDEN DTS trophy of the season following a dominant day at Newbold-on-Avon RFC.

The Londoners’ momentum grew during the day to culminate in a superb performance against Cheltenham in the Cup final, a match that Spirits built on an early score to win 5-1.

Success in the Cup capped an excellent all-round day for CSSC, whose other team, the Spectres, also took home the Shield, beating Rugby Barbearians in the first final of the afternoon.

In stark contrast to the Belief NTS and SPORTTAPE CTS in Nottingham last weekend, Newbold-on-Avon served up superb conditions for Touch, with dry, warm weather that got better and better as the day went on, and excellent pitches provided by the host club.

This was reflected in the standard of Touch shown in all the competitions, and all of the teams can be proud of how they played.

Cheltenham may have lost the final, but this was an excellent outing in what was their first competition at this level, and they were also involved in one of the matches of the day, a nailbiting knockout 2-1 win over Canterbury.

Indeed, this was the Cubs’ only loss of the day, and they went on to beat Yorkshire Thorns 6-3 in the Plate final.

Nottingham Legends, one of two teams entered by the East Midlands outfit, took home the Bowl after a 3-2 win over Thames Valley Vikings.

Thanks to all the players, organisers, physios and referees, and especially to our hosts at Newbold-on-Avon, for making the day such a success.

The next STEEDEN DTS national tournament will be in Manchester on May 27th. A limited number of spaces are available for teams to enter; CLICK HERE for more information.

And check out the England Touch Facebook page for pictures of the day!

Bareback Riders and CSSC take home first NTS and CTS silverware

By Julia Kang

After a wonderful week of sunshine across the country, temperatures plummeted and heavy grey skies threatened in the East Midlands last Saturday, which meant it must be the start of the NTS/CTS season.

An expanse of open space at Grove Farm, Riverside, was the new venue for the opener in Nottingham, which saw 32 teams descend on the fields, players hungry to put all their months of preparation together as Round 1 of the 2017 series got underway.

The pristine Nottingham University pitches provided the stage for some fantastic Touch as teams battled it out to bag their points to start off their campaigns.

Last year’s NTS overall winners Wigan Warriors had a quieter day and were held off the top spot, knocked out of the Cup semi-finals by Cambridge Hornets. Through to the final Cambridge faced a strong opposition, with Bareback Riders building on their impressive semi-final win over London Galaxy to beat the Hornets 5-2 in a gripping final.

The Plate winners were Hot Custard, with Nottingham Hoods winning the Bowl and Oxford the Shield.

Not to be overshadowed by the NTS, the talent on show in the CTS was the highest it’s ever been with a spread of experience across all teams and touchdowns coming thick and fast.

The eventual cup winners were CSSC, who beat Nottingham Mavericks 3-1, with Thames Valley Vikings taking home the Plate, Wigan Warriors the Bowl and London Galaxy the Shield.

Check out our Facebook page for more pics of the day!

Touch in England – not just the national tournaments!

The NTS, CTS and MWTC tournaments may be underway, but they are not the only competitions to give Touch clubs up and down the country the opportunity to test themselves.

There have been several development tournaments across England, which clubs are using as stepping stones to the various national series.

BOURNEMOUTH

Bournemouth’s O2 Touch and ETA Touch Centre, home of the Bournemouth Titans, hosted eight teams from across the south, south-west and south-east for an afternoon which developed both Touch teams but also referees, too, thanks to the referee buddy system used in all games.

Participating teams included Horsham, Basingstoke, Southampton University, GForce, Bournemouth Titans, JPM, Exeter and Thames Valley Vikings; each team playing a minimum of five matches each.

The Titans made home advantage count, beating the Vikings in a final that showcased the talents of two well organised teams.

WIDNES

ETA is supporting the development of touch at the Masters level through the development of regular national tournaments for teams from various regions. The Over-45s held their second national tournament on April 29th with four regional teams pitted against each other on sun-kissed fields at Widnes.

We added a 35s division this time and local teams also played during the day. The Northern Monkeys beat the Baabaa Warriors (Wessex) 6-1 in the final of the 45s tournament and the Cobras (England 35s) beat the Sorok squad (England 40s) 6-4 in the 35s division final.

Many thanks go to Piula Tuiono and his team for organising the day and thanks to all the referees. Our next objective is a Nationals masters event in Autumn, with regional teams at multiple age groups competing – watch this space!

NORWICH

Despite the slightly colder weather we’ve been having recently, the sun shone down on the first Norwich Development Touch Tournament on April 29th. The tournament, hosted by Norwich Rebels at Lakenham Hewett RFC, was aimed at promoting Touch in the region and gave clubs the chance to play in mixed competitive matches.

On the day six teams – Norwich Rebels, Wymondham O2, Norfolk Nomads, Norwich RFC, Wixams Warriors and a mixed Cambridge/Ipswich team – played a series of hotly contested matches throughout the afternoon. The results were very close, with only touchdown difference separating second, third and fourth places. The final, between Wymondham O2 and Norwich RFC, went to the wire before ending in the latter’s favour following a drop-off.

“I would like to congratulate Norwich Rebels on hosting a thoroughly enjoyable event, and Norfolk’s first regional Touch tournament,” said Soul Phoenix, ETA Development Officer (Eastern). “I’m sure everyone in attendance would agree with this sentiment and that it would be great if this could become a regular fixture in our regional Touch calendar. I’m sure the teams who entered, and others who hear about its success, will be back again next year. So much was gained by all from a standard that was certainly comparable to the DTS.”

Junior players allocated into training squads

The England junior players have now been allocated into one of four training squads as preparations take a step forward towards the 2017 Junior Touch Championships.

The players are midway through their training sessions, with another two chances to impress before the final selections are made for this year’s competition in Dublin.

BOY’S 18s

Coaches: Ben Meakin, Dom Tripp, Will Serocold

Team manager: Lucy Snape

Matthew Bate, Kolia Bermann, Benjamin Dobson, Daniel Eaglestone, Daniel Emburey, Harry Evans, Sam Halsall, Jack Hawken, Oliver Holmes, Thanh Ha Kistler-Bui, Bartek Krzyzanski, Logan MacDonald, Oliver Maynard, Samuel Missin, Louis Peters, Sam Ridout, Morga Rolfe, Joe Thompson, Jez Traynor, Patrick Tyrrell

GIRL’S 18s

Coaches: Marnie Wills, Sadi Meakin

Team manager: Zoe Aubert

Freya Aucken, Isabelle Book, Ellie Costello, Kate Davis-Bavin, Megan Fox, Abbey Gould, May Harvey, Isobel Hobson, Amy Jones, Brooklyn Leota, Orla McCallion, Hannah McLaughlin, Lucy Norburn, Emma Oliver, Erin Payten, Rachael Porter, Caitlin Simpson, Alice Smith, Lydia Ticehurst, Catherine Walker

MIXED 18s

Coaches: Leah Cuthbertson, Ryan Miemczyk

Team manager: Danni Payten

Richard Barningham, Adam Bimson, Emily Brightling ,May Burke, Jackson Chan, Josh Henderson, Sophie Hill, Eloise James, Millie Jones, Sam Lawton-Davies, William Lupton, Evan Michaels, Bradley Murphy, Ayla Payten, Aaron Povall, Jack Ratcliffe, Lucie Skuse, Salesi Tuiono, George Worboys

MIXED 15s

Coaches: Lee Thompson, Zan Hudson

Team manager: Andy Penniceard

Cai Andrew, Keir Clark, Angus Dickens, Alana Gauntlett, Megan Green, Harry Hardman, Tom Harkins, William Heath, Zac Hill, Ed Howell, Connor Hughes, Macy Kang, Tom Lawton-Davies, Matthew Maynard, Joshua McBride, Daniel McLaughlin, Harry Missin, Iszak Moy, Flori Nasir, Eliot Nye, Sophie Padgett, Eve Pickup, Eddie Pizzey, Thomas Pollard, Niall Povall, Anna Louise Reeves, Emily Simon, Izzy Thesiger, Olivia Walker, Hannah Wheeler, Isaac Wilding

England Scholars training squads announced

The initial training groups have been chosen for the England Scholars Men’s and Women’s Open squads that will head to France for the 2017 EFT Championship Permit tournament.

Players have been chosen from a number of English universities, including Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Loughborough and Southampton. The Scholars will be taking on teams from across Europe at Fontenay-le-Compte, near La Rochelle, including France, the Netherlands, Germany and Jersey, to name just four.

England Touch is the only association to be sending a universities team to this competition, and it is a superb opportunity to both develop the pathway from the University Touch Series into senior Open competition and showcase the work that is being done to increase the player pool at university level in England.

The teams will be run by Harry Grocott and Mark Aldous.

Men’s Open Squad
Ewan Armstrong, Ryan Atwood, Declan Berry, Bailey Carvalho, Matthew Clark, Nye Davis, Joshua Doran, Max Eddington Rooley, Prentice Everett, Tomos Hardiman, Nick Hodson, Tasman Hook, Ollie Lee, Luke Milsom, Miles Partridge, Daniel Pease-Watkin, Bill Primarolo, Tom Slater, Matt Venner, James Waldron
Women’s Open Squad
Sophie Arbuthnott, Jess Averbeck, Anna Bools, Emily Cameron, Abi Caple, Victoria Chiu, Eden Coates, Eleana Panayotou Ennes, Caitlin Evison, Olivia Gardner, Emily Haeger, Rianne Hopkins, Ella Major, Emily Moore, Kai Xuan Ong, Meghan Pemberton, Charlotte Robinson, Anikka Rosales, Jade Traynor, Jessica Whitehead

Squads finalised for 2017 EFT Premiership Permit tournament

The squads that will represent England at the first ever EFT Premiership Permit tournament have been announced.

Three squads of men and three squads of women will head to Edinburgh for the inaugural outing of this new international competition between July 6th and 9th, with the finalised groups having been selected following the recent weekend of training at Welbeck.

Congratulations to all those who have been chosen!

ENGLAND CRUSADERS

MEN Dom Tripp, Will Serocold, Matt Davis, Daniel Rowling, Clint Rowling, Max Howard, Simon Whitnall, Rory Howard, Daniel Wines, Dan Mayall, Angus Gough, James Botten, Henry Stratford, Tom Hall, Vaughan Meredith, Matt Watt

WOMEN Claire Traynor, Bronte Sykes, Emily Clews, Karen Matthews, Kylie Hutchinson, Danni Payten, Catherine Walker, Lois Lau, Nicolette Bird, Catriona Weir, Benita Lee, Caroline Pillman, Adeline Drut, Julia Unsworth, Leah Cuthbertson, Georgia Twyford

ENGLAND KNIGHTS

MEN Adam Bimson, Adam Brimelow, Oliver Francis, Clark Hobson, Josh Ingram, Glenn Jones, Oliver Maynard, Ben Meakin, Ryan Miemczyk, Toby Phillips, Ben Powell, George Price, Alex Scott, Robert Taylor, Kolia Bermann

WOMEN Rosannah Cormack, Ellie Costello, Emily Crowe, Kate Davis-Bavin, Emilie Eve, Anna Goddard, Jade Grantham, Katherine Jones, Jen Lee, Sadi Meakin, Emma Oliver, Zoe Parish, Olivia Rae, Tamara Slater, Lucy Snape, Hannah Thornhill

ENGLAND ROYALS

MEN Mark Aldous, Chris Blanford, Dominic Brook, Sam Cutler, Chris Finn, Daniel Harrison, Joe Hartley, James Hodges, Charlie Newton, Mike Roa, Kamil Shabdeen, Chris Tonkiss, Jon Weston-Stanley, Jacob Whitehead, Martin Wright, Byron Tibbitts

WOMEN Kathryn Brown-Williams, Louise Carr, Alissa Grant-Walker, Susannah Hudson, Rosie Kells, Sofia Luxton, Charlotte McFarland, Keisha McLean, Lucy Neal-Hooke, Jen Palmer, Samantha Phillips, Charlotte Phillipson, Lucy Richardson, Claire Rylance, Libby Turner, Kaitlyn Wells