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Caroline Nokes MP in touch with rugby at Trojans

10 June 2013

  • Local MP watches O2 Summer Touch League in action
  • Two sessions a week cater for wide range of players

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey & Southampton North, visited Trojans Rugby Club this month and praised the O2 Touch activity at the club.

Trojans was one of the first clubs in the country to run weekly sessions of Touch Rugby under the RFU’s O2 Touch banner. There are now more than 90 players taking part in a six-week Summer Touch League on Thursdays in addition to the Monday night ‘pitch up and play’ sessions that are aimed more at the social and fitness aspects of the game.

Caroline Nokes spent a full evening at the club’s Stoneham Lane ground in Eastleigh, and was introduced to the thriving adult and junior rugby sections, as well as watching the Touch League in action.

“It was great to visit Trojans Rugby Club,” Caroline said, “and I was pleased to see so many men and women of all ages and abilities enjoying the O2 Touch evening sessions. 

“Trojans is clearly a thriving club, and I was impressed by their eagerness to get more local people active and playing rugby. 

“With further facility improvements and continuing support from the RFU and O2, I’m sure that the club will go from strength to strength.”

Neil Andrews, Trojans’ O2 Touch operator, said: “It was wonderful to host Caroline Nokes at the club, and we are appreciative that she spent the whole evening with us, meeting a lot of Trojans members and watching Touch being played.

“The weather was kind to us and showed off our pitches and facilities at their best.”

Touch is the fun, non-contact version of rugby played by people of all ages and every level of ability and experience.

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.

Working with O2, the RFU is committed to establishing 75 new O2 Touch Centres by June 2013 and a further 100 during 2013-14.

The range of interest at Trojans is demonstrated by some players who have transferred from the Monday ‘Touch Base’ sessions into the Thursday league, where they play alongside members of the Trojans first-team squad.

From teenagers to those in their 50s, the Thursday league comprises 10 teams including one from Southampton University and various combinations of Trojans players and friends of the club, plus a ‘Barbarians’ side for anyone who turns up on the night.