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Mini-Touch Nationals and Open Trials Info

Mini-Touch Nationals and Open Trials Info

What’s happening: Why another Nationals AND Open Trial for 2013?

England Touch (ETA) is changing the time of year that Touch Nationals are held.

This will:

  • Enable our national squads and coaches more time to prepare for annual international competitions and facilitate better timeframes for elite player development;
  • Better serve the annual progression of representative competition – i.e. linear progression from NTS/CTS to Touch Nationals within the same season (although the two might be separated by an international tournament); and
  • Avoid the need for regional squads to be selected, train and compete in the first quarter of each year (which for the past two years has clashed with periods of adverse weather).

The decision to initiate this change in 2013 is has primarily been driven by the dates for the European Touch Championships 2014 (ETC14) and World Cup 2015 (TWC15). The ETA has therefore decided to hold a 'Mini-Touch Nationals' and an ‘Open Trial’ (run side-by-side) in September 2013 to facilitate elite squad selection.

Added benefits in the lead-up and the ‘Mini-Touch Nationals and Open Trial’ day will see an increase to elite players’ exposure to high-performance (HP) competition and the opportunity to further develop HP coaching.  It is hoped that the net result will lift the standard of England Touch and form the basis for elite player development and elite pathways leading to national squad selection for World Cup 2015.

.Mini Touch-Nationals

The 'Mini Touch-Nationals' will be a one-day event (on 21 September 2013) at which four/five (TBC), select regional sides will compete. Selectors and national coaches will watch these games to assess players (already identified by regional coaches) for inclusion in the England squads. Regional coaches are required to select a minimum of 12 players in their final team of up to 16 (TBC) who are eligible to play for England, 2 of whom must be 21 or under at the date of the tournament.

.Open Trial

The trial will be coordinated by the national coaches and selectors. This is for all players (with aspirations to be selected in the ETC14 and WC15 squads) who do not compete in the ‘Mini Touch-Nationals’ tournament as a regional representative, but especially including:

  1. Young players, (including those under the age of 18);
  2. Masters grade players (see below);
  3. New players who have recently been exposed to Touch through O2 Touch/In2Touch/RFU links, who want to develop (this will give you a chance to see the high level on offer and also be directed to clubs/leagues, etc.).
Costs for the Mini Nationals and Open Trials

Overall costs are currently being finalised, with the focus on keeping them to a minimum. Unfortunately we need to cover costs associated with venue hire, trophies, referees etc. However, it is estimated to be around £5 per player (Nationals or Trials), this is to be paid on the day. Teams will pay collectively, trialist will pay individually.


Each region must providing 2 referees from their region, to assist in the officiating of the games. The ETA will aim to source others from elsewhere, however this is aimed at ensuring that the regions and clubs are engaging with their refereeing community.


Mini-Touch Nationals – regional leads will organise kit.

Open Trial – please bring a white and also a black top with you.


When? Where? Who?

When: 21st September 2013 (Timings below)

Where: Droitwich Rugby Club, Hanbury Road, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 7DU.

Who: This is not open to club sides, only sanctioned regional franchises are allowed to participate.

The regional sides for the 2013 Mini Nationals are:

The exact borderlines are as shown here - Regional Map


Coaches and Contacts

North West Blades

Regional Lead – Ben Powell

Men’s Coach – Simon Whitnall, Clark Hobson

Women’s Coach – Ben Powell

Email: Tigers

Regional Lead – Jon Lovell

Men’s Coach – Dan Mendis

Women’s Coach – Kellie James

Email: Wildcats

Regional Lead – Samantha Phillips

Men’s Coach – Will Ten Broeke, Jason Grace

Women’s Coach – Samantha Phillips



South East

Sharks - Women

Regional Lead – Kylie Hutchison

Sharks Women’s Coach – Kylie Hutchison

Taipans Women’s Coach – Benita Lee

United Men’s Coach – Adam Reid




Masters Grade for 2013

All Masters’ grades (35+) players should take in the Open Trial.

If you would like to get in contact with the relevant coaches of the Masters grades, to let them know you are attending, please use the below details.

Masters – Southern Contact/M35s Coach – Mike Roa

Email -

Masters – Northern Contact/M40s Coach – Jeff Bimson

Email -



In order for a player to be eligible to play for a regional team/attend open trials, players will need to have participated in an affiliated league (see list here) in their region in the last 12 months; or be registered (and regularly play) with an affiliated club; and live within the regional boundaries outlined (for the Mini-Touch Nationals tournament).

Any exemption (e.g. injury, holiday) needs to be authorised by completing the Exemption Application Form and sending to


Registering (Individuals trialists)

Please fill in the following on-line form, which will be sent to your regional lead coach: Registration Form


Timings and plan


9:00 - Arrival

9:00 to  9:45 - Trials Registration (numbers on shirts, photos etc)

10:00 - Intro and splitting into groups (ages, gender, etc), group warm up.

10:30 - Drills/Skills/Games

12:30 – 13:00 Lunch (n.b. Some individuals will not be asked back for the afternoon session)

13:00 – Games

16:20 – Watch the Women’s Mini Touch Nationals finals

17:00 – Watch the Men’s Mini Touch Nationals finals

Mini Nationals

As per playing schedule. Games will be 30 minutes long, with a 5 minutes half time.

Nationals Schedule - Sept 2013 V2


European Touch Championships 2014

The Next Steps

When: 7th – 10th August 2014*

Where: Swansea University Sports Village, Swansea, Wales.

Host: Wales Touch Association

Divisions: Competitions are expected in the following grades. If a division is not viable due to lack of entries, teams will enter merged divisions.

  • U18s Mixed
  • Men’s Open
  • Women’s Open
  • Mixed Open
  • Men’s 30s
  • Women’s 27s
  • Mixed 30s
  • Men’s 35s
  • Men’s 40s

*Note: Dependent on team numbers, the tournament may start on 6th August.


Contact and Questions

If you have any questions about the above, then please use the following contact.

Ben Powell

ETA Technical Director

07580 334 307



Please see here, for all the information you need, for the day ahead: Selection day information pack v2013.2


And Finally…

Most importantly of all – go hard, have fun, enjoy the day and play our game in the right spirit!

Good luck!


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