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Touch Rugby

Andrew Mehrtens reaches out to touch Nick Evans during an All Blacks training session

Photo: Getty Images

Touch rugby is the most popular and firmly established non-contact sport for adults, while also being enjoyed by children of all ages and skill levels.

Touch appeals to sports enthusiasts and those looking for an alternative way of keeping fit through a fun game, which needs only a ball and a few jumpers for corner flags.

Basic Rules

  • Non-contact, removing elements such as scrums, rucks, mauls, lineouts and kicks
  • Tackles are replaced by touches
  • Touch rugby is often played informally
  • One common variation is that a fair touch must be below the waist
  • Very little equipment is required to play

The southern hemisphere hugely supports touch, which is no surprise as its roots can be traced back to Australia in the 1960s where it was originally used as a warm-up for those playing full contact rugby.

In England, the popularity of touch has grown rapidly and it is now played by more than 15,000 adults across the country as a sport in its own right and also as a training/warm-up game for 15-a-side rugby.

The game is very simple: all you need is a rugby ball, a space to play and a group of friends. Teams are normally six-a-side and can be of all abilities and ages.

This fast, simple and exciting game promotes the fundamental skills of running, handling, evasion and support play, while developing basic principles of attack and defence, without the fear of getting hurt.

For more information visit the O2 Touch Rugby pages.