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Dates for your diary | 2020 National Touch Series format announced

The 2020 National Touch Series dates and venues have been announced, with a few tweaks in the format of the Elite National Touch Series and Elite Men’s and Women’s National Touch Series.

The NTS has grown and developed rapidly over the last two years along with the sport as a whole within England. In 2019 more than 40 different clubs took part in one of the NTS events, with many entering more than one team.

The NTS is also a nationwide group of tournaments and is giving clubs, players and referees alike the opportunity to test themselves and develop throughout the course of the year.

To help with planning for the season, England Touch is gathering expressions of interest for the coming season. All clubs are invited to fill out this form to state which of the various series’ they are likely to enter and with how many teams. Your answers now will not be taken as confirmation that you will definitely enter but will be used to inform planning moving forwards.

England Touch has listened to feedback from clubs and individuals throughout the course of the year, and has made the following changes to the various Series:

Elite NTS This will now be comprised of four one-day tournaments and is open to all clubs to enter. The team who has the most league points at the end of the Series will be crowned the champion.

R1 May 23, One Leisure, St Ives, Cambridgeshire | R2 June 13, Broughton Park RFC, Manchester | R3 June 27, Moorways Stadium, Derby | R4 July 11, Oxford RFC

All Rounds will be live streamed on YouTube.

Development NTS This will have six one-day tournaments, four of which will be on the same weekend as the Elite NTS at the same venue, with the Elite NTS on the Saturday and the Development NTS on the Sunday. This is aimed to give players in one tournament the opportunity to referee in the other, and for Elite level players the chance to be involved in coaching teams in the Development NTS. Players may be able to play in both, but there will be a quota system for the number of Elite level players who can play in a Development level team.

R1 May 24, One Leisure, St Ives, Cambridgeshire | R2 June 14, Broughton Park RFC, Manchester | R3 June 28, Moorways Stadium, Derby | R4 July 12, Oxford RFC| R5 August 8, One Leisure, St Ives, Cambridgeshire | R6 September 5, Wasps FC, Acton, London

Elite Men’s and Women’s NTS This will be an invitation-only Series for eight teams in each gender. While clubs will be given priority for entry England Touch will work proactively with regional leads where necessary to encourage clubs to combine forces to enter a joint team.

There will be three events, with each team playing three 40-minute games at each event. Over the course of the three events each team will play every other once, with semi-finals and finals in the third event (ie R1 Team 1 plays Teams 2, 3 and 4. R2 Team 1 plays Teams 5, 6, 7. R3 Team 1 plays Team 8 then two knockout games which will decide the overall champion).

R1 March 28, Oxford RFC | R2 April 25, Maidenhead RFC | Finals May 9, Oxford RFC

All Rounds will be live streamed on YouTube.

Emerging Men’s and Women’s NTS This will have four one-day tournaments, three of which will be on the same day as the Elite MW NTS. There will be open entry to all clubs.

R1 March 14, Wasps FC, Acton, London | R2 March 28, Oxford RFC | R3 April 25, Maidenhead RFC | Finals May 9, Oxford RFC

Dates and locations have also been confirmed for the three representative tournaments in 2020.

The Nationals Opens, Seniors, Masters and Juniors will all be under one roof in 2020 playing across the August Bank Holiday weekend at One Leisure in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

Opens – August 29-31

Seniors and Masters – August 29-30

U18 – August 30-31

U15 – August 31

European Touch Championships and International Series In 2020 around 70 teams from over 20 nations will be heading back to the University of Nottingham’s Highfields Sports Centre for five days of excellent international competition between July 28 and August 1. Teams are already in training, but England Touch will be recruiting a team of volunteers to help deliver another outstanding major event, with information to be announced in due course.

Junior Touch Championships England’s youth teams will be looking to build on their outstanding record from 2019 when the tournament heads to Cardiff between August 14 and 16.

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch