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Try Tag Rugby Bug Hits Bristol

by | Nov 28, 2019 | Bristol, Coventry & Warwickshire, Leagues, London, Manchester, National, News, Thames Valley, Wigan, Yorkshire

In 2018 Try Tag Rugby let Bristol as one of its first two franchise areas.

James Hawken and John Cameron, two doctors who had played Tag Rugby in London, relocated to Bristol. With no Try Tag Rugby Leagues running in the city, they decided to start a part-time franchise alongside their work as doctors to continue playing the game they love.

The Bristol franchise got off to a flying start in 2018 with 15 teams taking part in their first ever league on Clifton Downs. This year they added a second league on a Thursday night, a move which has enabled even more people to catch the Try Tag Rugby bug. This summer there were 32 teams playing weekly across the two leagues, an increase of 113% on the previous summer.

Try Tag Rugby Bristol Franchise co-owner James Hawken said: “The expertise and template of how to make it successful is all there already, making initial set up quite straight forward. We were able to draw on 10 years of Tag Rugby experience in London when setting up in our region. We felt there was a strong product and that there would be a good appetite for Try Tag Rugby in our region and were proved right.


“It’s been hard work with challenges along the way but a massively rewarding experience. So many people have come up to us thanking us for setting up tag in this city, saying it’s one of the best things they’ve done here. We’ve also made some great new friends and contacts along the way.”

In addition to more than doubling team numbers this summer, some of Bristol’s other highlights for 2019, only their second year, include:

  • The 1st ever Tagfest Bristol (one-day tournament) was held in June with 13 teams taking part.
  • Bristol had their first ever Great Britain Tag Rugby representatives, helping Great Britain beat the Irish for the first time in the annual British & Irish Cup.
  • The Bristol UK Tag Nationals mixed team put down a marker for future years by finishing third out of nine regions and only narrowly missing out on making the final.

Try Tag Rugby is looking to recruit more people to start Try Tag Rugby franchises around the country.  There are both full and part-time franchise models available. John and James are evidence of how it is possible to manage a successful Try Tag Rugby franchise alongside a demanding full-time career.

Running a Try Tag Rugby franchise doesn’t necessarily mean a career change. To run a franchise you need to be energetic, organised, motivated and have a “can do” attitude. If you would like to find out more, please visit the franchising section of our website at