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Who's Who

Here are all your contacts at England Touch!
Chief Operating Officer

Gregg Cropper

Gregg was appointed as England Touch’s first full-time paid executive in January 2018. As Chief Operating Officer he will be building on the work done as president and then CEO, with overall responsibility for the Association’s administration and development.

Gregg is an enthusiastic, focussed, passionate advocate for the sport of Touch as a whole and specifically for the growth and development of England Touch.  He has a clear vision of the future direction and development of the ETA and has worked tirelessly over the last 6 years to further this, generating many positive outcomes thus far.

By creating teams that work positively to support this vision and getting others to believe in, share and work hard to develop this, England Touch has had its most successful years on record, winning the Home Nations championships, three European Touch championships and becoming joint 3rd in the world.

Working within tight budget constraints whilst identifying and generating additional funding and income through a range of innovative means, Gregg has hugely increased revenue in the last 3 years, with numerous new income streams and has plans to further this too, with national England Touch League partners too.

Following his national manager role in another NGB, where he was responsible for the strategic development and implementation of all minimal contact and recreational offers, planning for the future is high on Gregg’s priority list, he is currently overseeing the formulation of the ETA’s strategic plan, which will outline the foundation of our efforts, programs and focus over the next few years. The plan will provide a clear direction for the sport, provide an outline of the activities we will undertake and set some ambitious but achievable targets for our sport to obtain.




Mark Croston

Mark is a senior executive with significant commercial and leadership experience years in and around sport, having held senior roles in rugby and dodgeball amongst other sports and leisure organisations. Mark established and now also Chairs the World Dodgeball Association.

Mark is also Director of Rugby at Championship 1 outfit London Skolars and played rugby professionally throughout his 20s in the UK, Australia and France. Mark also gained full international honours with Canada and captained England and GB Students whilst studying.

An experienced Non-Executive Director, Mark hopes to use his international experience to help improve the strategic and commercial footing from which the organisation can embed itself into the sporting landscape in England whilst ensuring it flexes its significant reach locally, nationally and internationally.


Non-Executive Director

Geraint Thomason

Geraint has for many years combined a business career with active participation in sport and in sports clubs. He has played rugby union for several decades, mainly in the back-row, and has enjoyed touch as a way to develop fitness and teamwork. Having played all over the world he now turns out for Esher RFC. Geraint is also a keen rower with Molesey Boat Club.
In business Geraint has held several senior positions in the technology industry. As a leader in the commercial area of organisations he has engaged collaboratively with a number of partners in the pursuit of challenging goals and objectives. His motivational, people-oriented leadership style has allowed him to inspire his teams to deliver excellent results, whilst maintaining an environment based on openness, trust and professional integrity.
Geraint is looking forward to being a part of England Touch and contributing to the strategic plan as the sport continues to grow rapidly and benefit more and more people across the country.

Non-Executive Director

David Christophi

David has over 15 years’ experience within the Active Leisure Sector, currently holding the roles of Operations Director for a vocational strength and conditioning training provider and an international health and wellness studio business. He previously combined a 14-year career in the Royal Air Force with playing representative sport across a number of codes, including rugby and semi-professional football.

With a strong commercial background in helping companies through significant growth phases, strategic development and budget planning, David has a keen eye for detail and is well versed in supporting a diverse and expansive vision, while embracing a positive, professional culture and engaging in global collaboration.

Excited to be joining England Touch, David is looking forward to applying his skills and experience to help the organisation successfully achieve its strategic goals.


Non-Executive Director

Dan Parkinson

Dan has significant experience within the sport, leisure and recreation sector having spent time working within education, local authorities and two sporting National Governing Bodies.
Dan is currently Head of Participation Programmes at England Athletics (EA) and is responsible for the development and management of EA participation programmes, products and services. He has previously worked at the Rugby Football League and spent time with Touch Football Australia and the National Rugby League.
As an expert in product development and developing participation strategies, Dan is keen to share his experiences and to help attract even more people into our exciting and growing sport.


Non-Executive Director

Andrew Wilding

With over 25 years’ experience in senior leadership, marketing and business development roles, for major sporting and corporate organisations, Andrew brings a wealth of commercial experience to the role.

Highly knowledgeable of the UK sporting landscape he possesses a dedication and passion for sports, born out of a lifetime of professional and personal involvement. He founded one of the first ever client side only agencies in sport, which he developed and sold to Dentsu Aegis Media; as Head of Commercial, he helped launch the inaugural 2018 European Championships, a major multi-sport event, that brought together seven Olympic sports under one roof; and as a successful entrepreneur, he developed a tech platform that helped raise over £4m for grassroots sports clubs in the UK.

Andrew has exciting and strong views on the steps and direction rights holders need to be taking to align themselves with major brands. A successful partnership strategy will be critical to the growth and development of England Touch and he is looking forward to helping create a strong vision and commercial structure for England Touch that will excite, engage and inspire both players and companies alike.


Non-Executive Director

Jason Harborow

Jason has extensive experience in developing and operating multi-sports facilities across the UK and world-wide. Jason has also been involved in many major events, bidding, winning and delivering within various sports, including World Cups, Commonwealth Games, music events, cultural events and many more, he even created and launched a netball Super league team, Surrey Storm!
Jason has hands-on experience of working with elite and professional athletes and creating participation and performance pathway programs, he developed and launched one of Europes largest multi sports parks that hosted 22 teams for the 2012 Olympics as well many international sports events.
Jason now works on a global stage on projects of international significance in both sport and other sectors including projects in the Middle East, USA and Europe, this brings a different perspective and an appreciation for the power of combining different sectors for a much larger impact.  Jason has recently developed the sports strategy for a GIGA project in the Middle East, currently the largest sports project of its type in the world.


High Performance

High Performance Director

Ben Powell

Ben has been one of the leading figures in both English and European Touch for a number of years. He has also played a key part in England Touch’s overall growth at the international level, firstly as Technical Director (2012-15) and latterly as England’s Lead Coach in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup, working closely with the High Performance team to implement a programme to provide players with the framework and opportunity to realise their potential in Malaysia.
He will be combining the role of High Performance Director with that of England’s Women’s Open Head Coach for the 2019-2023 cycle.

Head of Elite Performance

Sammie Phillips

Sammie has been involved with England Touch since 2004 and has represented England for both the Women’s Open and Women’s 27s teams at multiple international tournaments, including three World Cups and three European Championships.

She coached the W27s to a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup, and after this experience she become involved in England Touch’s High Performance team, advising on different areas of the game based on my playing and coaching experience. Sammie believes in the holistic approach to creating winning teams and is looking forward to working on these different aspects of the game with our squads in order for them to achieve their potential in forthcoming tournaments.

She is a coach, player and development officer in the England West Region and is Director of Touch at Thames Valley Vikings.


Head of Elite Logistics

Pippa Bourke

Pippa is an avid sports enthusiast and supporter of England Touch. As a Managing Consultant for an international boutique search consultancy within the regulated pharmaceutical industry, Pippa has extensive project and account management experience and is used to dealing with numerous assignments and senior stakeholders at one time. 

She has been officially involved with England Touch since 2016, supporting and acting as Team Operations Manager at multiple international tournaments. She recently managed the England Men's 30s team at the European Championships, where they achieved Gold.

Pippa is looking forward to being part of England Touch at this exciting time of growth and development. She is excited to be able to bring her strong organisational, communication and administrative skills to the team and take on the Head of Elite Logistics role at such a crucial period in England Touch’s journey.


Development Director

Ian Boyd

Ian has a good track record in developing new opportunities for people and teams, and is currently Area Development Manager at the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust for the Central regions. He has a strong background in in business development, youth and community work, and bringing in new finding support and opportunities. His background of counselling and life coaching, as well as working closely alongside elite athletes, has given him the foundation to develop a national volunteering programme, ‘Operation Giveback’, and a business engagement campaign called ‘Go The Extra Mile’.


Head of Volunteers

Nikola Halse

Nikola has been a volunteer in various guises over the last 20 years gaining insight, experience and connections along the way. In this new role Nikola will be providing strategic analysis and gathering and interpreting data and presenting information on our volunteers in various reports, using our new software system.

Development Manager

Julius Hunt

Alongside studying for his degree in Sports Studies and Development, Julius coaches the Mini and Junior boys and girls at his local rugby club and has done for the past four years.
Julius first got involved with Touch in 2016 when he introduced an off-season programme within his club, this helped to boost social numbers within the club as well as integrate the Junior and Senior players, as well as their friends and family members to get active and involved.
With professional experience working for the Wasps Community over the last two seasons, he has run and assisted on many inclusion and development programmes across Birmingham and Coventry to promote the benefits of rugby from getting BAME players involved in the sport to creating inclusive sessions for disabled schools and clubs. As a fanatical rugby fan, you will always find Julius either playing, watching or supporting a rugby match!

University Touch Liaison Manager

Alex Scott

Alex - otherwise known as ‘Scotty’ - initially started playing touch at school before going on to captain the first ever England U18 team at the 2014 European Championships in Swansea. Following this he started training as part of the England Men’s Open side and came away with a gold medal from the 2016 European Championships. Over the last year he has played in the EFT Premiership Permit in 2017 and travelled to Australia to play as part of the touring MO team at the New South Wales State Cup. 

In line with his development as a player, he has progressed his coaching and leadership through taking the lead as head coach for the West Wildcats men’s regional team, as well as the co-chair for Loughborough University Touch team and committee member of London Scorpions. 

Scotty now works with England Touch and will be overseeing the continued development of the official University Touch Series under the ETA banner, with the aim of BUCS recognition by 2020 in partnership with key stakeholders.



Senior Schools Co-Ordinators

Rachel Payne (East) and Patrick Jessel (West)

Rachel has over ten years experience working with Schools and Colleges across the UK, and is currently the Customer Engagement Manager for SWGfL. An experienced business development and customer engagement manager, Rachel brings with her a wealth of experience in working with schools, as well as running projects across the country.

Patrick has always been an avid sports and rugby fan and has run two marathons, each in under four hours. He has over 12 years of experience as a PE teacher and has worked across the UK with professional athletes on promoting healthy lifestyle and sport in schools. He now currently owns a business in the sport and fitness industry which helps people get active. Patrick has substantial experience in schools and coordinated multiple events across the country  and has broad range of skills and knowledge on getting people to try sport and the benefits of it. He is keen to bring his passion for the sport and professional experience to England Touch and help the organisation to grow into schools and get more children playing.



Schools Liaison Officers

Soul Phoenix Norwich

Kirk Hullis Bath

Meghan Pemberton Bedford

Allan Reed Bournemouth

Jason Cunningham Bournemouth

Tom Humphreys Canterbury

Jack Walklett Dorset

Ashley Phillips Maidstone

India Perris-Redding Manchester

Joy Carter York

Shaun Caldwell Liverpool

Aran Hodgkinson Lancaster

Oli Barker Durham

Christopher Wade Bristol

CLICK HERE for contacts details

Coaching Courses and Training Manager

Erica Robertson

Erica joined the Newcastle based Touch team, Percy Park Pirates, in 2014 after one of the members persuaded the bar staff at the rugby club to try touch and has continued to play for the Pirates, North East Raiders and various women's teams since. She initially helped the Pirates run social Touch events then was made Club Secretary in 2017.
In 2015, Erica was one of the two main organisers of the Touch Northern Cup mixed tournament that has since been held every year aiming to provide a competitive environment for developing teams in the North East. 
Erica played a significant part of the events team at the 2018 European Championships and will be part of the Touch World Cup events team heading to Malaysia in a weeks’ time. Erica is extremely passionate about helping Touch grow around the country and is looking forward to facilitating an increase in the development of new and existing coaches and referees.

Email and


National Referees Manager

Nathan Thompson

Nathan is from New Zealand and has been a National Referee since 2007 with a Level 2 badge. He has performed as a Referee at National Secondary Level, Juniors, through to Open Men and Women Touch events throughout New Zealand.
In 2015 Nathan completed his double degree in Sports Management and Marketing at AUT, Auckland, New Zealand with a focus on providing opportunities for young athletes to develop their skills through sport. His passion now is to develop and deliver projects which will make a difference to the Referee Community throughout England Touch.
Asst National Referees Manager

Andrew Martin

Andrew is from Australia and has been a Level 4 Australian (Senior) Touch referee since December 2017. He has performed as a referee at the 2018 European Championships, New South Wales (NSW) Junior and Senior State Cups, NSW Country Championships, NSW Vawdon Cup, School tournaments and local park competitions.
He has played Touch since a young age with his highlights being Western Australian (WA) Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Interservice Captain, playing in Australian Defence Force (ADF) National tournaments, being selected for the ADF National team and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) team for the National Touch League (NTL).
Andrew is passionate about Touch, and is very excited to have joined England Touch. He is positive he can pass on his skills, knowledge and experience through definitive communication both on and off the field.


Head of Medical, Sport Science and Performance

Cari Thorpe

Cari was appointed in 2011 and brings a wealth of experience to this role. Having created a strong multi-professional medical team, Cari’s main role is injury management, rehabilitation and prehabilitation programmes for all players involved in England Touch.

With strong links with the sports physiology department at Chester University a collaboration has begun to improve the strength & conditioning programmes, research the demands of Touch and aim to inform training programmes. Child Protection officer for the Association.


Head Physiotherapist

Emma Cropper

Emma has over 12 years of experience as a Chartered Physiotherapist and has worked with the ETA since she accompanied the squad to the Touch World Cup in 2011. Emma was appointed as Head Physiotherapist for the ETA under the management of Cari Thorpe in 2012 and has supported the ETA squads in both national and international competitions over the past four years. More recently Emma worked as a physiotherapist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Emma currently works as a senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield and in private practice. As part of her academic role, she is carrying out research into Touch-related injuries and injury prevention developing her PhD ideas in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield, Chester University and Manchester Metropolitan University. It is hoped that this knowledge will be able to inform the practice of the medical team and ultimately benefit the players.



Governance Director

David Bagshawe-Cope

David is a strategy and transformation leader, having held executive and non-executive positions in the education and environment sectors. David has been a keen amateur sportsperson and sports organiser all his adult life, from being the treasurer of his waterpolo club at university to president of his grass roots touch club, as well as being a keen runner, cyclist and Touch player. David aims to bring his professional experience to help the sport he loves continue to develop through good governance


Disclosure and Barring Manager

Julia Kang

As part of her role as a teacher, moving into her 19th year in the profession, Julia has undergone child protection and disclosure training throughout. As disclosure manager for the ETA, she has the responsibility of helping to safeguard the welfare of young children and vulnerable adults within the Touch community.It is the disclosure manager’s role to ensure that all coaches and course deliverers affiliated to the ETA, working with young children and vulnerable adults, have up-to-date checks in place. Julia administers the DBS checks on all eligible coaches and is responsible for verifying applicant IDs.



Events Manager

Zoe Malarkey

Zoe is a big rugby union fan and supporter of the Leicester Tigers. Whilst studying law at university she joined the Women’s Rugby Union team. Zoe was introduced to Touch four years ago and has enjoyed playing in both mixed and women’s tournaments since. She has been involved in organising tournaments and managing teams at Club level and is excited to get involved with England Touch. Outside of Touch Zoe works in Supply Chain for one of the world’s biggest rail manufacturers. Zoe is involved in contract negotiation and supplier performance management and hopes to use these skills in her new role as England Touch Events Manager to deliver first class tournaments for players of all ages and standards to compete in across England.


Events Assistants

Alice Hobson and Aisling Musgrove

Aisling has been playing Touch competitively since 2017. Having initially played with Norwich Rebels in the DNTS, she has joined up with a variety of teams, across a range of tournaments, including St Albans, CSSC, Manchester Chargers and Midlands Tigers.

In 2017 she was the events organiser for her local club and volunteered at the European Championships in 2018. She also has her level one refereeing qualification and community coaching qualification. Aisling has worked in the Recruitment Events team at the University of East Anglia for over four years, organising a wide range of events. She hopes to bring her skills and experience to the new role of National Events Assistant, as well as her passion for the sport.

Alice started playing Touch three years ago for Nottingham Hoods with the rest of the Hobson family, last year moved allegiances and played for London Scorpions in the MWNTS. She is currently in her last year of studying events management at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Marketing, Membership and Commercial

PR and Marketing Manager

Chris Wearmouth

Chris ran the communications at Northampton Saints for over 10 years, having been a part of the communications team on a part-time basis for two-and-a-half years before that.

In his time at the club he took the lead in developing the Saints’ brand across the entire organisation, from media and marketing to community and retail, work which has helped underpin the club’s place as the most commercially successful organisation within Premiership Rugby.

Chris is experienced at working with sponsors on PR and communications strategies which deliver return on their investment, including some significant national and international brands. He will work collaboratively with key members of the ETA to upscale our sponsorship side of the business.Operationally Chris was also part of the team that delivers the match day customer experience, which will stand us in good stead regarding the upscaling of our Touch Nationals, our national club series, and building into the 2018 Euros.

If you want to talk about promoting Touch in your area, email

Membership, Insurance and Affiliation Manager

Rich King

Rich joined the team in 2016, having previously led Oxford Touch club as its chair from 2009 until 2015. He is responsible for all membership, affiliation, and insurance matters, including administering the membership process for individuals, clubs, leagues, and events affiliated to England Touch.

Rich’s experience of leading a club that hosted multiple ETA-accredited competitions, was an early O2 Touch club, and with members of all levels of ability and experience, means he is well versed in the multiple needs and interests of a wide range of Touch participants. He is keen to support England Touch’s diverse and growing base of members as effectively as possible.

This role is responsible for membership within England Touch, specifically ensuring that England Touch provides as much support and assistance to members as is possible and also administering the whole membership process for leagues, clubs and events affiliated to England Touch.

For a quickly expanding sport such as Touch, it is important that we are involved in all Touch operations throughout the country and engage as much as possible with each member. Anyone looking to affiliate their Touch operation should contact us, our website also has some information about affiliation, including FAQs:


Funding Manager

Adam Irvine

Adam has been a professional fundraiser for many years with experience in raising crucial funds for a wide variety of charities, schools and organisations on a localised and National level. A keen rugby player, Adam has played and volunteered for Aston Old Edwardians RFC for many years and continues to support the club at committee and captaincy levels.

With specialist experience in trusts and foundations, Adam has worked on developing capital ventures, raised money for core costs and community and organisation development projects. Examples include community asset transfers, development of an outdoor learning facility, developing a new rugby team amongst others. On a voluntary basis, Adam also represents the Wooden Spoon Charity within his local region.



Jon McNaught

Jon discovered Touch when he was working in Malaysia. His interest was fired by supporting his daughter playing at Tanglin Rugby Club in Singapore, which led him to play in a league team himself. In addition, he helped the development of Touch at his school, coaching junior teams, taking them to tournaments and organising friendlies with local clubs. The Touch scene is well established in Singapore and Jon views his new role with England Touch as an opportunity to help support the sport continue to grow from the grass roots in schools and clubs all the way to National Representation.



Finance Director

Geoff Howes

Geoff is a result orientated finance professional who brings a wealth of operational and strategical experience across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

As an experienced accountant with a strong record of building excellent working relationships, Geoff will lead England Touch's budget and report to the executive committee on all financial matters.

Geoff brings a real passion for all rugby disciplines and has represented the 'front row' in social touch games for over 10 years. Geoff is particularly looking forward to promoting and growing recreational and 'grass roots' touch, an ambassador for "our sport is a sport for all".

Geoff holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Otago, is a Chartered Accountant and is currently completing his Diploma in Treasury through the Association of Corporate Treasurers.


Accounts Manager

Mark Aldous

Responsible for the day to day running of the accounts, Mark joined the ETA in 2016 with experience in running the Exeter University Touch Rugby Club.

Mark started playing touch at the University of Exeter in 2014, where he was the the Treasurer and then the Vice-Club Captain, from the University Touch Series he moved onto playing regionally with the South West Saxons, where his playing ranges from London Galaxy to representing the England Royals at the EFT Premiership Permit Competition. Mark is a level 1 qualified Referee and coaches the England Scholars.

General enquiries can be made via our Get in Touch form by CLICKING HERE

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch