Touch Rugby joins BUCS calendar for 2022/23 | England Touch

Touch Rugby joins BUCS calendar for 2022/23

Following extensive work with the BUCS office, the Sport Review Implementation Group and National Competitions Group, England Touch can today confirm that Touch Rugby will be in the BUCS calendar for 2022/23.

England Touch will be managing and facilitating Touch Rugby’s inclusion in the calendar, and for the new era comes a new name, the University Touch Championships.

Initially running for five rounds for Mixed teams across the autumn and winter terms, the University Touch Championship has plenty of scope for expansion over future years. Given how rapidly England Touch’s University offering has grown over the last eight years, trebling in size despite the lockdowns, it is no surprise that the Association has made Touch Rugby in Universities one of its key focuses.

England Touch Association CEO Chris Simon commented: “we are hugely excited by the inclusion of Touch Rugby within the BUCS programme for 2022-23. 

“It is recognition of the speed in which Touch Rugby has grown within Universities across the country, and the benefits that a sport like ours can bring to the BUCS programme, such as full gender parity, a proactive diversity and inclusivity agenda, and low barriers to entry. 

“The University and higher education sector is a real focus for us over the next few years. We have more and more juniors playing than ever before, who will then want to be able to play wherever they go for their post-18 education, whether it is a university, college or any further education institution.

“So we can only see Touch Rugby going from strength to strength in this age group.”

Simon also paid tribute to the hard work which has gone on behind the scenes over the last few years to make this happen.

“On behalf of everyone at England Touch I would like to thank Jack Harris, our University Liaison Manager, who has volunteered many hours over the last couple of years, both to run our University competition and to put the BUCS proposal together,” Simon added. “Thanks as well to Alex Scott, and to Harry Grocott and Mark Aldous, who were also key figures in expanding Touch Rugby into more Universities.

“This would not have been possible without them, and all of the students who have made Touch Rugby a thriving sport within their individual Universities, and because of this we can look forward to making the most of this fantastic opportunity.”

Federation of International Touch Chair Mark Croston says that this news is a massive boost for the sport.

“I’m delighted that BUCS has confirmed Touch Rugby will be in the calendar from 2022/23, and that England Touch’s expertise and experience will create the new University Touch Championships,” he commented.

“At the recent European Touch Championships in Nottingham and European Junior Touch Championships in Vichy I saw first-hand the exciting young talent there is across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. To have Touch Rugby in the BUCS calendar will mean that they can go on and play competitively at Universities up and down the country.

“It is a major and exciting step forwards for Touch and I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us.  I have fond memories of rugby during my university days – representing your college in a national tournament is a wonderful experience – and for some in time this will lead to regional and international student honours.”

The 2022/23 BUCS Touch Rugby Regional Qualifying Series – North, BUCS Touch Rugby Regional Qualifying Series – South and BUCS Touch Rugby National Championships are provisionally booked to take place from October – November 2022 (Regional Qualifying Series) and February – March 2023 (National Championships) with all dates, timings and venues to be confirmed with the BUCS events team.

More information will be published in due course, and any specific questions can be emailed to Jack Harris via university@englandtouch.org.uk

This content was originally published here.

Share this story