With the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, more and more people will be interested in getting involved in this most exciting sport. As a player or spectator, Trinity College Dublin offers a host of opportunities to get involved in rugby, from the men’s and women’s well-regarded teams to the promising Touch Rugby team. In this article, I will explain what Touch Rugby is, how it is played, and what skill set is required and developed in play.
“If a person has never played a game of Touch Rugby, the training and inclusive atmosphere means that they can enjoy the game without fear of complicated rules or of very physical play”
Key to the success of Trinity Touch Rugby is the fact that there are men’s, women’s, and mixed teams. This range of teams offers a great platform for players to showcase their abilities or to play the game from scratch – no experience is required. The inclusive nature of Touch Rugby means that in training and in competition, and irrespective of skill level, everyone can fit in and have fun. If a person has never played a game of Touch Rugby, the training and inclusive atmosphere means that they can enjoy the game without fear of complicated rules or of very physical play. Similarly, a very experienced Touch Rugby player will enjoy the same game at a more challenging level. So basically, if you’ve never played a game of Touch Rugby or are an expert in this field, you’ll fit right in.
Touch Rugby came to Ireland in 2006 and has taken off since then, with many Irish players having competed in various competitions ranging from the Euros, Touch Rugby World Cups and Mixed Opens. Our Trinity team currently competes in various competitions, ranging from the Men’s Division One Touch Rugby to the Liam Carroll Cup and other leagues. There is also our weekly training and the many friendlies we play. As our team develops, we plan on entering more competitions so our players learn and develop their skills. A few of our notable matches included playing INSTEAD Rugby Club from Fontainebleau – a blitz that Trinity won! In recent events, our Division One team utilised their learnt skillset to put up fierce competition against the rest of the division.
When people think of rugby, they often think of the game’s complicated rules. Luckily for anyone looking to play Touch Rugby, it is a far simpler game to understand and play. Firstly, there are no mauls, rooks, lineouts or tackling, and there are not as many rules to comprehend. As there are far fewer positions in Touch Rugby than in Rugby Union, learning how to play is easy for everyone. The most noteworthy difference between Rugby Union and Touch Rugby is the number of players on the pitch. In Touch, there are six starting players with a minimum of six more substitutes. During matches, there are unlimited substitutions for players to ensure players’ energy and safety, and involvement.
In Touch Rugby, there are three positions on either side of the pitch. There are two centres, two links and two wingers to play from. Typically the centres are the more experienced players who will set the tempo for the game and start the set moves. In defence, these centres will, during play, rely on their links and wingers to tell them what direction the plays are going. The links will often help join up the set plays while looking to break through the defence. Whenever the wingers see a gap in play, they will get the ball and run through it.
“Touch rugby may be better for new players as it’s easier to pick up, you are guaranteed play time in matches, and there’s less risk of serious injury”
Many people will be torn between playing Rugby Union and Touch rugby, and for good reason. The two sports are fast, involve clever strategy and are both social sports. Touch rugby may be better for new players as it’s easier to pick up, you are guaranteed play time in matches, and there’s less risk of serious injury. As a sport played globally, the skills you can learn in Trinity Touch Rugby can be applied wherever you find yourself on Erasmus or beyond your college experience.
When people think of Touch Rugby, it’s often confused with the similar tag rugby, but as similar as they are, there are key differences that set them apart. The main difference in the sports is how contact is instigated. In TAG rugby, the player wears two tags on their hips, which are pulled off, indicating a stop in play, whereas, in Touch Rugby, any contact from the defending player on any part of the attacker will cause a stop in play. Touch Rugby is a skill-based game, so in our training sessions, we focus on coaching everything from learning set plays to tactical positioning.
If you think that Touch Rugby is a sport that you are interested in trying, or if you have played before, there is a very friendly and welcoming environment keen for you to join us. Our Instagram page will give you more information regarding dates and other events. Our Instagram can be found at @trinitytouch.