Bareback Riders the team of 2017

Bareback Riders completed a superb season by being crowned the 2017 Belief NTS overall winners in Nottingham.

The season ended where it had begun, at the Riverside Sports Complex, but unlike opening day the finals were swathed in sunshine as the forecast rain stayed away for the vast majority of the competition.

Bareback Riders came into finals day having won three of the four tournaments played in the season and having come second in the fourth, and they took this form all the way through to a final in which they saw off a spirited Wigan Touch Warriors outfit that pushed them right to the wire.

Bareback Riders also dominated the MVP voting, with Clarke Hobson and Hannah Chrisp winning the male and female awards respectively.

This was the first time that the top 36 club teams in the country had taken part in the one finals day, with 10 teams in the Belief NTS Elite 10s and Belief NTS Super 10s respectively, and the remaining 16 competing in the SPORTTAPE CTS competition.

It meant for a packed day for the hundreds of players, as well as the referees, medics and organisers, with the eight pitches seeing plenty of outstanding Touch action and superb sportsmanship.

In the Belief NTS CSSC Phantoms took home the Elite 10s Plate, Hot Custard the Super 10s Cup and Manchester Chargers the Super 10s Plate.

In the SPORTTAPE CTS it was Green and Gold who finished top of the pile with the Cup, with G:Force winning the Plate, CSSC Spirits the Bowl and Orrell St James the Plate.

CLICK HERE to see some of the pictures from the day, including all the winners.

England Junior and Masters coaches announced

The coaches who will lead England’s Juniors and Masters teams until the 2019 World Cup and Junior Touch Championships have been announced.

The coaches were all selected after a rigorous selection process and deserve congratulations for their achievement.

X15 Andrew Penniceard
X18 Leah Cuthbertson
G18 Marnie Wills
B18 Ben Powell
21s/Scholars Mark Aldous, Harry Grocott

M30 Tom Devereux (head coach) and Matthew Watt (assistant coach)

M35 Jason Logan
W35 Ed Budge
M40 Travis Kenny
M45 Ian Moody

All of the coaches will be using the upcoming Ryvita Touch Nationals Junior and Masters championships on October 7th as a great opportunity to see the best players in the country show what they can do in a competitive situation.

ETA looking to expand schools programme in 2017/18

The England Touch Association is seeking to expand its schools programme over the coming academic year, culminating in a national tournament to coincide with England hosting the 2018 European Touch Championships.

Over the past few months the ETA has organised, or help organise, successful pilot programmes and tournaments in Canterbury and Reading, and a number of affiliated clubs have also been working with schools in their local area.

In 2017/18 the ETA will be working with these clubs, providing a framework and support for their programmes and then giving schools competitive experience at tournaments at the end of the academic year.

The format, based on the successful national club Touch Series and University Touch Series, will be:

– Three regional tournaments in spring/early summer 2018

– Potential finals day to be held as part of the European Touch Championships in Nottingham in July 2018

– Age groups: U12 mixed; U13 boys, girls and mixed; U15 boys, girls and mixed; U18 boys, girls and mixed

To be a part of this exciting programme complete a form by CLICKING HERE or emailing Schools Officer Tom Humphreys via

Age group Touch has been growing at an exponential rate over the past few years, and the talent pool for clubs and country alike has been getting stronger and stronger.

England’s age group teams are among the best in Europe, and they are in turn providing a pathway into the country’s senior teams, too. The ETA is also keen to understand what Touch is taking place in schools already, so please share this link with teachers and parents within your clubs.

New format for Finals Day

On Saturday, September 16th, the best club sides in the country will be gathering together in Nottingham for a newly expanded Finals Day.

For the first time the Belief NTS, SPORTTAPE CTS and STEEDEN DTS teams will be competing in four competitions to decide the overall winners for 2017.

Here’s how the all-new Finals Day will look:

– The top 10 teams from the Belief NTS will take part in the Elite 10s

– The remaining six teams from the Belief NTS will be joined by the top four SPORTTAPE CTS teams in the Super 10s

– The other 12 SPORTTAPE CTS teams will be joined by the top four finishers from the STEEDEN DTS in a 16-team tournament

London Scorpions and Bareback Riders will be looking to take their Belief NTS regional stages form into Finals Day, the two clubs having shared all four cup titles played so far this year. Meanwhile Cambridge Hornets were just behind the pair in the standings and just two league points off the Scorpions in the table and will no doubt be looking to break the duopoly.

Meanwhile the SPORTTAPE CTS is up for grabs. Four different teams – CSSC Shadows, Crewe and Nantwich Blaze, Bournemouth Titans and Wigan Touch Warriors – took home the cup titles in 2017, and with all bar the Blaze involved in the Super 10s the field will be wide open when the games tap off.

With 36 teams and eight pitches this will be a true festival of English Touch!

The action at the Riverside Sports Complex gets underway at 10am, with the final presentations just after 5:30pm.


Pool A Bareback Riders, London Galaxy, Wigan Touch Warriors, CSSC Phantoms, Bristol Fijians

Pool B London Scorpions, Cambridge Hornets, Thames Valley Vikings, Canterbury Cougars, Nottingham Hoods


Pool C Manchester Chargers, CSSC Shadows, Cambridge Bees, Bournemouth Titans, Nottingham Mavericks

Pool D Hot Custard, Oxford, London Galaxy Knights, Wigan Touch Warriors CTS, Crewe and Nantwich Blaze


Pool E Green and Gold, Northampton COYS, Chester Cheetahs, TBC

Pool F Percy Park Pirates, Lincoln, Manchester Turbo Chargers, Canterbury Cubs

Pool G Halton Storm, Orrell St James, CSSC Spirits, Hit n Run

Pool H Thames Valley Vikings, Bristol Fijians, G:Force, Nottingham Sheriffs

England Touch | High Performance Training Squad (HPTS)

The England Touch High Performance Training Squad (HPTS) have been announced for the Opens and Senior Categories.

Direct selection into Men’s, Mixed, and Women’s training squads based on the player pool available from Nationals, JTC and exemption process in 2017 has be replaced by a single unified elite training squad – the High Performance Training Squad (HPTS).

The HPTS consists of male and female athlete lists.  All players within the HPTS lists must attend training sessions led by head coaches (for the age-division level, i.e. Youth, Opens, Seniors).

For clarity, male players are therefore answerable to both Men’s and Mixed coaches, and female players answerable to both Mixed and Women’s coaches.

The HPTS players will be assessed in training camps in the months up and until February 2018 at which time the squad will be reduced around April. The selected 16 players will be a part of an England team that will travel to Nottingham to play in the 2018 European Touch Championships.

Additional players may be added to the below lists, following the Junior/Masters Nationals event on 7th October.

The ETA congratulations all of the players on their selection and best of luck in their respective squad.

High Performance Training Squads

Open Division

Arbuthnott, Sophie
Bengtson, Shaun
Bevin-Davis, Katie
Bird, Nicolette
Blandford, Chris
Brimelow, Adam
Clayton, Meghan
Clews, Emily
Cormack, Rosannah
Costello, Ellie
Crowe, Emily
Cuthbertson, Leah
Davis, Matthew
Dorey, Elizabeth
Drut, Adeline
Eccles, Richard
Ennes, Eleana
Goddard, Anna
Gough, Angus
Grant-Walker, Alissa
Granthem, Jade
Halsall, Sam
Hobson, Clarke
Hoffman, Charlie
Hogg, Alison
Howard, Max
Hudson, Susannah
Hutchison, Kylie
Ingram, Josh
Jones, Hamish
Jones, Sam
Kells, Rosie
Knoop, James
Lawrence, Will
Lawton-Davies, Sam
Lee, Jen
Lee, Ollie
Mayall, Daniel
McCallion, Orla
McFarland, Charlotte
McManus, Louis
Meakin, Ben
Meakin, Sadi
Melling, Jake
Melling, Jordan
Meredith, Vaughn
Miemzyck, Ryan
Missin, Sam
Norburn, Lucy
Oliver, Emma
Partridge, Miles
Payten, Ayla
Payten, Erin
Payton, Danni
Pennington, Gabe
Perris Redding, Georgie
Phillips, Toby
Phillipson, Charlotte
Pillman, Caroline
Powell, Ben
Price, George
Rae, Olivia
Rawe, Ed
Robinson, Charlotte
Rowling, Daniel
Scott, Alex
Scott, Shane
Serocold, Will
Shahabdeen, Kamil
Stratford, Henry
Sykes, Bronte
Taylor, Bobby
Traynor, Claire
Tripp, Dom
Tyrrell, Will
Unsworth, Julia
Walker, Catherine
Wells, Kaitlin
Weston-Stanley, Jon
Wills, Marnie


Senior Division

Aubert, Zoe
Balfour, Laura
Barry, Steve
Benzie, Doug
Bourke, Nathan
Buckley, Kara
Budge, Ed
Bussell, Stuart
Carr, Louise
Chadwick, Alastair
Clerey, Fae
Collins, Stacey
Costello, Ceire
Cropper, Gregg
Davies, Natalie
Edgerton, Johanna
Eve, Emilie
Farrer, Cathi
Fielding, Katy
Franks, Victoria
Geracitano, Gino
Godde, Sue-Ellen
Habgood, Ben
Hall, Tom
Hancock, Dean
Harper, Matt
Harrison, Dan
Hartley, Joe
Herd, James
Holland, Steve
Humphries, Tom
Hyde, Kate
Jones, Glenn
Jones, Katherine
Kang, Julia
King, Richard
Knight, Mark
Lau, Lois
Lawton, Liam
Lee, Benita
Lim, Eli
Limerick, Jason
Marsh, Nicky
Maskell, Alexandra
McLean, Keisha
Mendis, Dan
Morrison, Lindsay
Neale-Hook, Lucy
Parish, Zoe
Perry, Garreth
Philips, Samantha
Powles, Samantha
Quinn, Nollaig
Richardson, Lucy
Rickard, Louise
Roa, Mike
Rylance, Claire
Scott, Colin
Sills, Ollie
Simpson, Will
Slater, Tamara
Snape, Lucy
Stewart, James
Temple, Jane
Tibbitts, Byron
Waddell, Jason
Wantenaar, Liam
Weir, Catriona
Whyman, Jemma
Wilson, Suzanne
Wines, Dan
Wright, Martin
Young, Jenny

English and European officials team up at Ryvita Touch Nationals

This year’s Ryvita England Touch Nationals was the biggest ever event and not just for the players; #TeamRef also had a memorable weekend!

The highlight of the ETA calendar for players competing for their national squads, Nationals is also a key event for referees who work hard throughout the season to prepare for this unique challenge.

As well as being physically demanding (running multiple games each day – but without being able to sub off for a break!) it also requires refs to adapt their skills to suit each of the different divisions. Referees are also working towards their own personal achievements, being developed and coached throughout the season to prepare the assessment opportunities only possible at major tournaments.

Thanks to our full-time referee coaches, all of the referees benefitted from individual feedback and coaching to develop their skills. And congratulations to the following referees who received upgrades!

L1: Max Raymond
L2: Adrian Fear, Ben Powell, Charlie Meredith, Dominic Shaw, Julia Kang and Robin Budd
L4: Alice Watchorn, Mike Green and Francois Marboeuf.

Although not everyone was shooting for an upgrade, there were plenty of ‘fines’ to go around. These were collected each morning by the Sheriffs (Melissa Day and Niklas Grupe) for such offences as falling over on the pitch and forgetting your whistle! Between them the refs did enough silly things to raise over £150, which will be split between charity and a donation to the Junior Referee Academy. This is a fantastic training programme for developing referees under the age of 20 across Europe.

This year the referee team consisted of over 40 referees and referee coaches – the biggest team of all! Recruiting enough referees to cover three days of competition (on a sunny bank holiday no less) was always going to be challenging, but with 28 teams competing across four divisions, we had our work cut out for us. Thank you to all the England referees who chose to spend their weekend with us supporting the Touch community:

Adrian Fear, Alice “Scooby” Watchorn, Bronwyn Wake, Chantel de Senna, Charlie Meredith, Chris Wearmouth, Gareth Hinds, Genevieve Mitchell, Gregg Cropper, Ian Syder, Jack Hawken, Jonathan Grossman, Julia Kang, Kathy Van de Rijt, Kevin Hill, Layo Aromire, Matthew Walker, Melissa Day, Mike Green, Nicolas Van de Rijt, Robin Wylie, Stephen Dubreuil, Uma Ramaswami.

Unfortunately this was not nearly enough referees to staff such a rapidly expanding event, but thankfully we had a great response from our European friends, who joined us in force despite not having a bank holiday to rely on! We are very grateful for their support in making England Nationals such a success:

Austria – Derek Fisher
Belgium – Phil Holliday
France – Marine Douaud, Sylvain Charras
Germany – Renat “Randy” Iskahov, Francois Marboeuf, Barbara Garcia, Niklas Grupe, Robert MacGregor
Guernsey – David Strawbridge
Ireland – Molly Whelan
Scotland – Lani Baird, Peter Faassen de Heer
Spain – Jorge Aranda Diaz
Switzerland – Irene Waelti, Matthew “Shanghai” Boesen, Nick “Disco” Richardson
Wales – Jon Francis, Matt Reid

Thanks to everyone in our European Touch family for the support, and we look forward to working with you more in the run-up to next year’s EFT European Championships in Nottingham next year!

High Performance Selection Policy

England Touch High Performance Selection Policy

31 August 2017


England Touch today have released the England High Performance Selection Policy. The aim for the release of this policy is to provide clarity and transparency to the selection process undertaken for all representative teams from England.

In a targeted bid to improve results and gain a competitive edge at international events, the High Performance Selection Policy outlines the purpose, requirements and achievements in being a part of the England High Performance Program and representing England.

The policy also relates to the work that has been undertaken in stages throughout the 2017 European Federation of Touch Permit tournaments, in building a better high performance culture and implementing the clear outcomes for England Touch to engage the most talented and well-rounded individuals to represent England’s qualities, ethos and performance standards at International events.

Over the next few months and in the lead up to the 2018 European Championships, more information will be released around the targeted strategies to improve our high performance programs.

This policy is now in effect and was piloted throughout the 2017 England Touch Nationals. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to make contact.

Kind regards,
Gregg Cropper
CEO | England Touch

Belief Sport online store open now!!

The England Touch Belief Sports online store is now open for orders!

We’ve got a wide range of leisure wear, including polo shirts, t-shirts, baselayer, singlets, warm weather gear, shorts and singlets for both men and women.

Accessories include bags and snapbacks, and referees can order a special jacket.

CLICK HERE to see the full range and go shopping!

The England Touch Association (ETA) recently announced a new three-year partnership with Belief that will play a crucial role in helping the association achieve its growth ambitions and provide the country’s leading Touch players with state-of-the-art on and off-field apparel.

This new deal also sees Belief continue as the title sponsor of the ETA’s National Touch Series for elite club teams.

Belief has been providing the England national teams with their on-field kit since 2014. In addition, the ETA and Belief recently designed and launched a new England #TeamRef kit for ETA-organised events.

Over the past few years Belief has become the world’s leading manufacturer of apparel specifically designed to meet the athletic demands of elite and casual Touch players.

All kit will be ordered by a microsite on the Belief website to ensure rapid and smooth fulfilment of orders, with the ETA receiving a percentage of the associated sales revenues.

Double success for Blades at Ryvita Touch Nationals

Two trophies headed up the M6 after the 2017 Ryvita Touch Nationals after the North-West Blades enjoyed a superb weekend.

In the Men’s Open the Blades had set their stall out over days one and two, finishing second in the seven-team group. So it was no surprise that they made the final, where they turned on the style in the second half to overcome the South-East Taipan.

Plenty of credit to Taipan, though, as they pushed the Blades all the way through the 40-minute showpiece that was the 113th match of the weekend.

The Blades’ other trophy came in the Mixed Open, where their team shrugged off a fourth-place finish in the group stages to win both their semi-final and then the final against Midlands Tigers, who themselves had finished third in the group.

Meanwhile the Women’s Open stayed local, with Midlands Tigers seeing off South-East Sharks in another closely-fought final.

The Men’s 30s category also stayed in the bottom half of the country, South-East Samurai finishing both top of their group and then holding off both the Northern Monkeys and Southern Suns in a three-team play-off that decided the overall champions.

Twenty-eight teams competed across the four categories, and the standard of play and stamina shown by all the players in the Cambridgeshire sun and heat was superb, as was the positive attitude.

Special thanks to the players and coaches, along with the 41 referees – some of whom travelled from various European countries to officiate, and congratulations to those who achieved the upgrades they were working towards – and the outstanding and medical team. Thanks, too, to One Leisure St Ives for providing an outstanding venue and perfect pitches.

CLICK HERE to see pictures from Day 1

CLICK HERE to see pictures from Day 2

CLICK HERE to see pictures from Day 3


North-West Blades
CAM BIRKET                               Wigan Warriors
ADAM BRIMELOW                    Manchester Chargers
OLLIE HOLMES                          Crewe and Nantwich
JOSH INGRAM                            Wigan Warriors
LIAM LAWTON                           Crewe and Nantwich
JAKE MELLING                            Wigan Warriors
JORDAN MELLING                     Wigan Warriors
RYAN MIEMCZYK                       Bareback Riders
ED MORRIS                                 Chester Cheetahs
GABE PENNINGTON                  Wigan Warriors
TOBY PHILLIPS                            Manchester Chargers
GEORGE PRICE                           Wigan Warriors
BOBBY TAYLOR                           Wigan Warriors
JAKE THREADGOLD                   Crewe and Nantwich


Midlands Tigers
ROSANNAH CORMACK            Cambridge
KATE DAVIS-BAVIN                    Nottingham
EMILE EVE                                    Cambridge
VICTORIA FRANKS                      Cambridge
ANNA GODDARD                      Cambridge
JADE GRANTHAM                      Nottingham
MEGAN GREEN                          Cambridge
KATE HYDE                                  Nottingham
KATHERINE JONES                     Cambridge
JENNY LEE                                    London Galaxy
ALEXANDRA MASKELL              Cambridge
SAID MEAKIN                              Nottingham
LUCY NORBURN                        Cambridge
EMMA OLIVER                            Lincoln
TAMARA SLATER                        Cambridge
LUCY SNAPE                                Nottingham


North-West Blades
DARREN BROADHEAD              Crewe and Nantwich
SHELLEY CORCORAN                 Orrell St James
REBECCA DUNN                         Crewe and Nantwich
DYLYN FLETCHER                       Crewe and Nantwich
SIAN GILDING                             Crewe and Nantwich
JOSH GLOVER                             Orrell St James
LYNN HAMPSON                       Orrell St James
COURTNEY HORROCKS            Orrell St James
CHRIS JOHNSON                        Orrell St James
DAVID JOHNSON                       Orrell St James
JOSEPH ONG                              Manchester Chargers
RACAEL PORTER                         Halton Storm
HARRY RATCLIFFE                      Halton Storm
JACK RATCLIFFE                          Halton Storm
RYHS SPENCER PRICE                Crewe and Nantwich
SALESI TUIONO                           Halton Storm


South-East Samurai
NEIL APPLETON                          CSSC
JAMES BARKLEY                         London Galaxy
AARON CHAN                             CSSC
KEITH DUNLEAVY                       Green and Gold
DANIEL DYER                              Canterbury
CHRIS GARLAND                        Other
NEIL IRVING                                CSSC
THEO OLBERHOLZER                 Other
ADRIAN RIGGS                           Canterbury
COLIN SCOTT                              CSSC
WILL SIMPSON                           CSSC
JASON WADDELL                       CSSC
CHRIS WALL                                CSSC
LIAM WANTENAAR                    CSSC
ERIK WILLIAMS                           London Galaxy


England national head coaches announced

The national team head coaches have been announced for the next 12 months.

Ben Smith (MO), Simon Clare (WO), Justin Conway (XO), Gary Lambert (W27) and Martin Wright (XS) will be taking charge of their respective teams in the build-up to the 2018 European Championships.

They are all at this weekend’s Ryvita Touch Nationals in Cambridgeshire to assess the talent on show in their categories with a view to choosing squads in the not-too-distant future.

All of the coaches were appointed following a thorough selection process, and the ETA’s high performance department would like to thank all of the other strong applicants who put their names forward for consideration. It was certainly very encouraging to see a number of new names wishing to be involved at the top level of the sport.

The head coaches for the Masters and Juniors teams will be announced in due course.