As the launch of the new Ospreys summer touch rugby competition draws nearer, the concept has received the full backing of Jason Lewis, WRU National Rugby Development Manager.
The competition, which will be hosted by South Gower RFC, gets underway with a special ‘Try Touch’ evening on Tuesday 10th May, where there will be an Ospreys team competing, made up from management and staff at the region, with names already confirmed including Andrew Hore, Damian Karauna, Filo Tiatia and Andrew Millward.
Played on 10 consecutive Tuesday evenings, the competition will be played under Federation of International Touch (FIT) rules. The Welsh Touch Association, who are responsible for the development of touch rugby in Wales, are also supporting the initiative.
The Welsh Rugby Union has given its full support to the initiative to establish a Touch Rugby League in Ospreylia, and Jason Lewis said:
“The Welsh Rugby Union is very keen to develop alternative forms of the game of rugby football. We are working with the Welsh Touch Association to encourage more adults to play the game and to become more active. This format is not only excellent for physical fitness it is hugely enjoyable. It is also accessible both to rugby players and to those who would enjoy many aspects of the full form of the game without the physical contact element. The WRU is keen to promote Touch Rugby as a summer sport and to increase participation over the next few years.”
The ‘Try Touch’ evening will be held on 10th May gets underway at 6 p.m, with all teams who successfully apply to join the league invited for a series of friendly matches, to ‘have a go’ and familiarise themselves with the rules, and to get to know the organisers and each other.
The league proper will then commence the following Tuesday, 17th May, and will continue for the next 10 weeks. Each evening will commence at 6 p.m. and will be scheduled to finish at 9 p.m. League matches and friendlies will be played on the same evening.
Applications to join are invited from any organisations, be they rugby clubs, businesses or any interested group of friends. The league is part of the Ospreys Community programme and is designed to provide an opportunity to try a new variation of the game, to keep fit in an enjoyable environment and to make new friends. The league will be restricted to 16 teams who will be accepted on a ‘first come (and pay) first served’ basis. 12 teams will be all male and 4 teams will be mixed. Any female only teams interested in joining should contact Tony Thomas (details below), to discuss. Squads of a maximum of 15 players will be permitted to register.
Touch is a 6 a side game with unlimited substitutions and it is recommended that a core of 10 players be available each week. In the case of mixed teams, a minimum of three female players will be on the field at all times . Each team must nominate a Team Manager who will act as a point of contact. Teams will also be asked to nominate a referee/s to assist with the evenings. Full training will be given to referees prior to the start of the league by the WTAs Director of Refereeing.
Teams will also be required to supply their own kit which will be of a standard design, including numbers on the back of shirts. Please note that metal studded boots will not be permitted. Moulded studs, blades and trainers will be allowed.
Entries will cost £150 per team which equates to £1 per player per week for a full squad.
Entry forms should be downloaded, completed and returned, together with a cheque made payable to Ospreys Community Fund to :-
Tony Thomas, Ospreys Coach Development Officer , Llandarcy Academy of Sport, Llandarcy SA10 6JD
Further details are available from Tony Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org