The 2022 British & Irish Cup takes place this coming weekend (3rd/4th September) at West Park Leeds RUFC as Great Britain and Ireland once again go head to head in the annual tournament.
Seven teams will take the field from each country with the Men’s 40s teams playing an exhibition series in their inaugural year. The country that wins the most categories out of the eligible six (Mixed Open, Mixed Seniors, Women’s Open, Women’s Seniors, Men’s Open, Men’s 30s) will be declared the 2022 British & Irish Cup champions.
Each category is contested over five test matches, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. With this year’s tournament almost too close to call there is the distinct possibility of the winner ultimately declared on total matches won as part of the tiebreaker rules.
As hosts, Great Britain Tag Rugby will for the first time play the tournament in Leeds as the mission to grow the game of Tag Rugby around the UK gathers momentum. The Great Britain sides have traditionally been made up predominantly of London based players but the recent development of Try Tag Rugby regions around the country has opened pathways for regional players to earn their chance to wear the national jersey.
Great Britain Programme Director Will Shepherd said “Playing this wonderful tournament in Yorkshire for the first time allows us to open the sport we love to an ever wider audience. There can be no better showcase for the game than Great Britain regaining the Cup through breathtaking performances across all our sides.”
The main pitch for the 2022 tournament will be live streamed across Try Tag Rugby’s YouTube channel and Facebook page on Saturday, with the Rugby Football League’s OurLeague App hosting Sunday’s matches when this year’s winners will be crowned!
A full schedule of the fixtures, including which games will be live streamed, can be found here.
Great Britain Tag Rugby will be sporting the logo of Oaklin, their new Associate Partners on their jerseys this weekend. Two of Oaklin’s representatives will be joining Saturday’s live stream to discuss the shared values of their organisation and Great Britain Tag Rugby as they look forward to an exciting year of international Tag Rugby together.
History of the Cup
The British & Irish Cup is the oldest international tag tournament to take place in the northern hemisphere. Hosted alternately by the two countries since 2013, Ireland has won six times with Great Britain achieving their sole victory the last time they played on home soil in 2019. (The tournament wasn’t played in 2015 or 2020).
Initially involving just three categories – Mixed, Women’s & Men’s – the tournament has grown to be contested across six categories since 2017, as Senior (30+) age groups were introduced in addition to each of the original three categories.
Over the last two tournaments Ireland has reigned supreme in the Mixed Open and Men’s 30s while Great Britain has secured the Women’s Open and Men’s Open series on both occasions. Mixed Seniors has gone one way and then the other with Women’s Seniors won by Great Britain in 2019 and drawn in 2021.