- England stars back O2 Touch campaign
- "The Untouchables" set to tour across England
It’s not every day that you see England centre Brad Barritt attempting to do a dance lift with a star from Strictly Come Dancing but at the highly-anticipated launch of the O2 Touch Tour there was a first time for everything.
Barritt was joined by fellow players Alex Goode and Mike Brown at the iconic Truman Brewery in East London for the official launch of the campaign, which is being rolled out by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and aims to get people in England playing touch rugby. England Women’s scrum half LaToya Mason was also on hand to help promote the game and show curious onlookers the skills needed to play the non-contact sport.
On a day of firsts there was also the introduction of “The Untouchables”, a dynamic touch team which includes free runners, a world-class choreographer and a former Leicester Tiger. Over the next two months the troupe will help spearhead the campaign across England, visiting Birmingham, Nottingham and Bristol to help promote local touch activity and attract new people to the game. A wider tour, which runs until April this year, will also visit Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sheffield, Hull and Norwich.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Barritt, who helped England to a 12-6 win over Ireland recently in the RBS Six Nations, believes the campaign will help bring more people into the sport.
“It’s about getting as many people involved in rugby as we can,” said Barritt. ”It’s a great way to get males and females together, get a good exercise burner and enjoy all the skills of rugby without the soreness the day after. It’s a great way to involve everyone. You get all the added skill benefit, looking for space, seeing gaps, getting great running lines and you can learn the basics of rugby very quickly. It’s a key component of our warm ups, getting the body loose and feeling loose.”
Phil Duffy, RFU Touch Operations Manager was also at the event and said the simplicity of the sport will be attractive to people who have never tried rugby before.
“The aim is to get people to try touch, it’s a very simple sport and people of all shapes and sizes can play. We are just encouraging as many people as we can to play touch, give it a try and hopefully they will like it and join their local club. It’s a fantastic way of trying the sport and getting them more involved in our rugby clubs."
For more information about the O2 Touch tour, to find out about opportunities to pitch up and play near you and to watch videos of The Untouchables in action, visit www.rfu.com/o2touch.