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New North-East lead looking to build

There is a new North-East Lead for England Touch, and Joy Carter is looking to help the region fully utilise the momentum that has rapidly built as the sport has come out of Covid lockdowns.

While the North-East had the one club in the National Touch Series – Yorkshire Thorns entering the Development NTS, Emerging Men’s NTS and Emerging Women’s NTS – and enter two teams into the Nationals (Men’s 45s and Women’s 35s, together with the North-West), below the national level the sport is thriving. 

Both Leeds and Durham Universities entered two teams into the opening round of the University NTS, the North-East’s Regional Roadshow was the first to fill all its places in partnership with Newcastle Falcons, five new teams entered the two North-East development tournaments, and the region is represented within the current Mixed 30, Men’s 45 and Men’s 50 England High Performance squads.

There is more focus on the future with Yorkshire Thorns establishing a formal partnership with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and players from several clubs turned out in the Rugby League Foundations Touch tournaments at the end of the summer.

“Touch in the region has grown in recent years due to successful club partnerships and developments, led by Lesley McCallion,” Joy says. “And while we’ve not had as much club representation as we might have liked in the National Touch Series we’ve welcomed a number of new teams into the sport and to our development tournaments.

“The appetite for Touch was shown in the Regional Roadshows, and as more of our clubs experience structured competition we’re confident that we’ll see more of them enter national events as well. It’s also been brilliant to have the Thorns partner with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which is a massive statement of intent, and for North-East players to be in several England squads.

“So we’re heading in the right direction.

“In 2022 we’ll be looking to build on the success of 2021 offering regular tournaments within the region, player development opportunities and entering Men’s, Women’s and Mixed regional teams at the Nationals next summer.

“Our planning is well underway and I’m really looking forward to it!”

If you or your team is in the North-East region and wants to be involved then email Joy Carter via northeastraiderstouch@gmail.com

Check out the North-East Raiders' Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

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