England Touch represent and make history at 2016 NTLs
History was been made today, on the opening day of the 2016 NTL.
Dom Tripp, current England Men's Open Vice Captain and Bath university student, became the first Englishman to play and in the Elite8 competition in what was a huge moment for the 22 year old.
Tripp debuted for the NSW Scorpions, bagging a Touch down himself, helping his team to a 7-4 win over the NSW rebels.
Tripp, in Australia on a work placement, says he didn't expect to be selected.
“It's quite special for me, this experience is a challenge I've been looking forward to for a long time and something I hope to enjoy for the whole week. I got drafted late, in the last round of the draft by the Scorpions and I'm very thankful for that. I've been training hard and I'm just so happy to be a part of it. I hoped a team would take me but I had no expectation and I really wasn't expecting to be picked.”
Touch in England is still some way behind Australia in participation numbers, standard and commercialisation.
Not unexpected considering that Touch Football started in Australia in around 30 years earlier. Therefore making Tripp's achievement even more remarkable given the higher standard he has had to adjust to since arriving to Australia in 2015.
“England and Europe in general is a fair bit behind Australia but it's still growing at a very fast rate," he says. A few years back there really wasn't much competition to represent at the elite level but now it's definitely become a lot harder to get into the elite squads – the training and everything has become a lot more professional”