Hopeful England heading to Junior Touch Championships
England’s four teams begin their Junior Touch Championships campaigns on Friday morning with hopes of medals in all categories.
England Touch is sending teams in all available categories – Mixed 15, Mixed 18, Boys 18 and Girls 18 – and despite the anticipation of some strong competition the coaches are all looking to bring medals home from Paris.
Wales and Scotland are the other two nations to be entering teams in all categories, with hosts France and Ireland entering three. Switzerland, Czech Republic, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates will also be represented in the three-day event at the home of the French international rugby team on the southern outskirts of Paris.
Following a selection process over the winter and spring which all the Head Coaches – Jon Weston-Stanley (Boys 18s), Marnie Wills (Girls 18s), Leah Cuthbertson (Mixed 18s) and Andy Penniceard (Mixed 15s) – says was harder than ever, the teams of 16, along with the non-travelling reserves, have had a number of training camps in Nottingham and Maidenhead to prepare for the challenges they will face in Paris.
The Junior groups have become an increasingly important part of the England Touch High Performance (HP) system, with similar medical and logistics support received by the adult teams at the World Cup earlier in the year.
“JTC is really important for England Touch as we develop our youth,” says Sammie Phillips, Head of Elite Performance.
“It’s a big focus as we go into the next World Cup cycle and we want to upskill the children and start them on the right foot.
“We really want to get them playing the standard of Touch that we want to see in England and progressing through our pathways.”
Boys 18 – England, Wales, Scotland
Girls 18 – England, France, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Wales, Scotland
Mixed 18 – England, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Wales, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Scotland
Mixed 15 – England, France, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Switzerland. Thanks to Autotech Recruit for their sponsorship of England’s Mixed 15 team.
All of the Field 1 action will be live streamed on the Federation of International Touch YouTube channelfrom 8:30am UK time on Friday.