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O2 Touch tour rolls in to Portsmouth

20 March 2013

  • O2 Touch tour brings the game to Portsmouth
  • England internationals Corbisiero and Hall turn out for touch
The Untouchables with England internationals Alex Corbisiero and Fancesca Hall at the O2 Touch tour

Photo: RFU Archive

The Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) O2 Touch tour today arrived in Portsmouth as part of the RFU’s biggest ever campaign to get England playing touch rugby.

The O2 Touch tour, hosted by TV sports broadcaster Sarah Jane Mee, spent the day at Portsmouth Guildhall showcasing the game on a specially laid pitch. England international Alex Corbisiero and England Women’s U20 international Francesca Hall hope this initiative will bring the fun, fitness and social elements of the non-contact sport to many more people across England.

Broadening the reach and appeal of rugby through touch is one of the key focus areas for the RFU to create a lasting legacy for the sport in the build-up to and beyond the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in 2015. The RFU, working with O2, is committed to establishing 75 new O2 Touch Centres by June 2013 and a further 100 during 2013/14. Anyone interested in playing touch in Portsmouth can visit one of the local O2 Touch Centres, such as Portsmouth University.

For more information, visit

Over the final week of the Tour, O2 Touch is visiting four locations across the nation including Portsmouth to encourage sign-up to touch activity and raise awareness of the initiative. 

Hall said: “O2 Touch is a great way to keep fit and to have some fun. The best thing about it is that anyone can play and not worry about the physical side of rugby!  It’s a really positive initiative from the RFU and O2 to enable people of any age to get back into playing the game or try it for the first time. I’d definitely encourage people to pitch up to play.”

Sally Cowdry, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2, said: “We’re really proud of our long-standing relationship with England Rugby and through the O2 Touch programme, are committed to bringing rugby to everyone. Touch is such an inclusive and accessible sport and we really hope that the tour will inspire a whole new generation to pick up a rugby ball and start playing this exciting game.”

Touch is one of the most inclusive sports, available to men and women. It is a non-contact form of rugby, which means there is no tackling and no scrums or line-outs. It’s just pure fun that’ll leave you feeling like you’ve had a great workout. 

The rules are simple allowing players to self-referee matches and play anywhere, anytime with teammates, colleagues, family or friends.

For more information about the O2 Touch tour, or to find out about opportunities to pitch up and play near you, visit You can also follow the tour and get involved on Twitter using #O2Touch.