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Warwick Players Make European Squad

Warwick Touch Rugby Club

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2014 04:11pm
Harvington, Wychavon
By Paul Farrington
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Warwick Touch Rugby Club are celebrating the selection of two of their players for the England Touch squad, to play at the forthcoming European Championships in Wales this summer.

Sam Powles and Claire Rylance will represent their country in the Women’s Open age division squad, both having only recently taken up the sport. Both Claire and Sam will pull on the England vest and play against Europe’s top Touch playing nations, looking to retain England’s title of European Champions, gained in Italy in 2012. The 3-day event is the pinnacle of the sport in Europe, and Sam and Claire will be hoping to cement their places in the squad ahead of the Touch World Cup in 2015.

Originating in Australia in the 1970s, where there are an estimated 700,000 players,  Touch is a little known, but growing sport, in the UK. Loosely based on Rugby League, teams of 6-a-side have 6 ‘touches’ in which to score a touchdown. The big difference is that there is no tackling, kicking, or scrums, meaning that men and women can play on the same teams at all levels, making it very social. The game is all about running, passing and catching, and no rugby experience is required- the sport attracts people from a variety of other sports and people who just want to try something new.

Claire and Sam’s selection is a great boost for Warwick Touch, based at Old Leamingtonians RFC and gives the sport extra profile in the area. Both players joined the club a few years ago and quickly progressed to Regional squads, and then on to gain national selection. Warwick Touch chairman Jonny Corrin commented on their selection, ‘We really pleased for both players to get the call-up. The Club is working really hard to grow and develop players, and Claire and Sam’s selection shows that the hard work is paying off. Touch is such a great game for men and women to play through the summer, and we are looking forward to more players getting selected to play at the highest level of the game.’

Warwick Touch play every Monday night at OLRFC, Bericote Road from 6pm onwards and are welcoming new players. An RFU O2 Touch League is planned for this summer and teams are being invited to enter. Teams will play a 40-minute game per evening. Men’s and Mixed teams are welcome to enter with the 8-week league starting on Monday 12th May, from 7pm.

If you are interested in playing Touch this summer, either as a team or as an individual please email: warwicktouch@hotmail.com

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