Why Union and League players should play Touch Rugby?
A good question. Most Rugby clubs, League or Union generally turn their nose up at Touch Rugby as a sport in its own entity and fail to see what this sport can do to develop their players. The amazing development in players is fact. Running into space and not people, creating space, reading and manipulating defence. It is a truly great sport in its infancy in the UK and the opportunities are huge.
The skill levels involved in this game is high and is considered in many countries a High-performance Sport. Touch Rugby is an internationally recognised sport that has a worldwide governing body and is enjoyed by adults and children all over the world. It is a minimum contact game that can be played by all ages. International fully capped competitions and World Cup events at junior, senior and masters exist, and it is a particularly good time to get involved in this fast-growing sport.
Currently England is ranked 3rd in the World under New Zealand (2nd) and Australia (1st). Our Ambition as an academy is to upskill younger players and develop them so that we can be the largest feeder of players into the England Junior Elite program, which will enable us to compete and win as the players develop into adults with the knowledge and experience you can only develop from playing at a young age.
At Wolves, players that started with us that played third team club rugby, are now being selected for Surrey County 15's squads, 7's academy positions and Quins academy. Some have gone on to represent England.
At the Junior Touch Championships 2018, Wolves had 4 representations and in 2019 will have 6 children representing their country all coming home with a gold medal. WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT for the kids......and something to put on CV's
In Australia, they have 750,000+ registered players and a huge Junior program running through schools and rugby clubs. New Zealand has 60,000 Juniors playing Touch and a program that is developing in schools using Turbo Touch (a modified game)
As a relative newcomer to the sport, the MOST frustrating thing for me when I started, this is echoed by a lot of Rugby converts, was the frustration in running through gaps and the frustration of having to go back to where you were touched. Normally you break the line and you're through. No, not in touch. As I played more and more I started to realise that the tactics behind the game were so relative to other disciplines of the egg-shaped game but included a steep learning curve of positional awareness exploiting and creating overlaps and reading defence. Defensively you need to adjust to what the attack is doing and try not to let them exploit you.
Discipline Sticking to a game plan
Reading plays Understanding positional awareness
Passing/Catching reading and exploiting space
Setting Set piece taking the contact for positional gain