- England U20 international David Sisi and England Women’s international Rowena Burnfield help encourage public to pitch up and play at Guildhall Square
- Last leg of the O2 Touch tour – the RFU’s biggest ever campaign to get England playing touch rugby
Photo: RFU Archive
The Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) O2 Touch tour arrived in Southampton on Friday (March 22) 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 Southampton’s Guildhall Square showcasing the game on a specially laid pitch. England U20 international David Sisi and England women’s international Rowena Burnfield 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 Southampton can visit one of the local O2 Touch Centres, such as The Trojans Rugby Club.
For more information, visit www.rfu.com/O2touch.
Over the final week of the Tour, O2 Touch will visit four locations across the nation including Southampton to encourage sign-up to touch activity and raise awareness of the initiative.
Speaking about the appeal of touch, Burnfield 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! 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.”
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 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. 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, to find out about opportunities to play near you, visit www.rfu.com/o2touch. You can also follow the tour and get involved on Twitter using #O2Touch.