Development National Touch Series Round 1 preview
The domestic Mixed Touch season continues on Sunday with the opening round of the 2022 Development National Touch Series in Banbury.
It is all change in the Development NTS this season, with a number of teams having stepped up to the Elite level, five clubs making their debut in the NTS and another returning to national competition after a few seasons.
The only teams from 2021’s top five to remain in the Development NTS for 2022 are Sale FC Chargers and Galaxy London, meaning that this year is likely to be wide open at every competition.
St Albans come into Pool A buoyed by their first Cup title at NTS level, won in the final round of the Development Men’s and Women’s NTS three weeks ago. But Peterborough marked themselves as a club to watch in 2021, and Warwick and Crewe and Nantwich are always keen to throw spanners into the works.
Norwich Rebels are putting their focus into the Development NTS in Round 1, but their Pool B opposition are three of the country’s leading clubs, namely London Eagles, Nottingham and Thames Valley Vikings.
Sale FC Chargers may have a new look for 2022 following their partnership with one of the north-west’s leading rugby clubs, but Chester will be after local pride, Horsham are always there or thereabouts and Cambridge is a club with strength in depth.
Pool D is wide open, with Galaxy London keenly pursued by Oxford and Banbury – who played some fantastic matches in 2021 – and Wigan Warriors, whose women were one of the leading teams in the Development Men’s and Women’s NTS.
The Bowl competition includes the five newcomers – Liverpool Otters, Nomads, Bedford, Bournemouth and Truro – along with Northampton, who are returning to the NTS after a three-year absence.
The live streaming will come online just before 10am, with the Cup final tapping off at 5pm.
Pool A St Albans, Peterborough, Warwick, Crewe and Nantwich
Pool B Norwich Rebels, London Eagles, Nottingham, Thames Valley Vikings
Pool C Sale FC Chargers, Chester, Horsham, Cambridge
Pool D Galaxy London, Oxford, Banbury, Wigan Warriors
Pool E Cheltenham, Liverpool Otters, Nomads, BYE
Pool F Bedford, Northampton, Bournemouth, Truro
CLICK HERE for the full schedule