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VIDEO – Johnson backs O2 Touch campaign

29 June 2011

  • Martin Johnson backs O2 Touch campaign to get everyone playing rugby
  • It’s a great way of playing the game and enjoying yourself – Johnson

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England Team Manager Martin Johnson has backed a new campaign to get people playing touch rugby across the country in the coming months.

The RFU has launched the O2 Touch initiative to introduce new or existing players to touch rugby via their local clubs.

Johnson, who captained England to Rugby World Cup glory in 2003, said he used touch to learn the game when he was a child.

"Yeah, of course I played touch as kid," he said.

"You can’t always tackle and you can play against different sizes and ages and all those things.

"Running around with the ball and throwing it all around is part of it, so I absolutely played touch and continued throughout my career.

"It’s a great way of playing the game and enjoying yourself and obviously you’re learning the skills of the game: running, catching, passing, timing of the passes, agility, side-steps and all those things people call decision-making, which is just playing the game."

Because touch rugby concentrates on the game’s core skills, Johnson said that touch is a regular feature of England training sessions, especially in warm-ups.

He added: "All the skills I talked about are the same skills they’ll use out there in a Test match.

"You can play without risking injury in preparation so our guys often use touch to warm-up and get themselves going."

You can find information on how play touch rugby, run a touch rugby event and find a game in your area at the dedicated O2 Touch section on

Also you can win the chance to play touch rugby on the pitch at Twickenham by filming you and a few mates playing touch and uploading in to the Choose Rugby facebook page.