RUGBY: Newbold trio showing a touch of class

Newbold's Beth Blood, Joshual James Powell and Poppy Ashwell
Newbold's Beth Blood, Joshual James Powell and Poppy Ashwell

Find out more about touch rugby at Rugby World Cup Fanzone

In the Rugby World Cup year, the rugby derivative of touch rugby is becoming more and more accessible and popular throughout the country, writes Damian Gray.

It’s a simple, fun, fast moving, non-contact rugby game similar to 7s and rugby league, but without the contact.

You have to be motivated and interested, but anyone can play, any age, any experience, any fitness, and any gender.

Three clubs in Rugby have competitive ladies touch teams and Newbold RFC currently hosts the O2 Touch Centre for the area, bringing touch rugby to the community in a fun and relaxed way.

Newbold on Avon is also the home of the Rugby Barbarians, a new stand-alone mixed gender touch rugby team made up of players from all six of the local clubs playing together to represent the town of Rugby, the birthplace of the game at a national level.

Three young Newbold on Avon RFC players travelled down a sunny A46 last Sunday to represent their club at the annual national championships in St Ives, braving the 26-degree heat and a 13-hour day to take part in the major tournament with teams from all over the country and a few international visitors.

There were age categories of U18, over 18s and over 35s and gender categories of men, ladies and mixed teams.

Rugby Barbarian Joshua James Powell and Newbold Falcon Beth Blood played with the Midland Panthers to fight out a win, a draw and two narrow losses against other regional teams and an International UAE Team fresh back from the World Cup in Australia.

Newbold Falcon Poppy Ashwell helped the U18 Midlands Cubs to three wins and a draw seeing them crowned 2015 National Champions on their first ever attempt.

Touch rugby is a relatively new game to England, but with England standing as third in the world behind founders Australia and powerhouses New Zealand, it is fast growing into a key part of the rugby world’s future.

It improves fitness, spacial awareness, handling skills and technique while remaining a social, relaxed and fun afternoon in the sun.

The season runs from May to October, so it will not interfere with the rugby union calendar.

It can be social meet for fun or a competitive game at a club, county, regional or national level bringing more people into the world of rugby and more support to the clubs. For more information visit the Newbold Falcons and TouchRugby InRugby on Facebook or come along to the Rugby World Cup Fanzone on Saturday, October 3 or Sunday, October 18 to find out more or give it a try.