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UK Try Tag Rugby Nationals Preview

by | Sep 13, 2018 | News | 0 comments

The inaugural UK Try Tag Rugby Nationals will take place this Saturday 15th September at Rotherhithe St. Paul’s.

The Nationals will bring all the Try Tag Rugby regions together to battle it out to see who is crowned the UK Try Tag Rugby National Champions.

The event features mixed teams from the following regions: London (North), London (East), London (South), London (West), Thames Valley, Bristol, Coventry & Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Manchester.

Spectators are welcome to attend to cheer on the teams, games will commence at 1:30pm and finish at approximately 6.30pm.

For updated squad lists, click here.

North London

“Our squad has shaped up nicely,” said Regional Manager Verity Bright.

“We’ve got a good combination of really good Great Britain players and others who I feel could be Great Britain representative level. The girls are very strong, and all six lads have pace. We had a good practice the past two Mondays and everyone wants to enjoy it and play to the best of their abilities. Our main aim is to have fun. As most of the team didn’t really know each other well, keeping pressure off ourselves is important as we have nothing to lose but everything to gain when we start to raise a few eyebrows.”

Players to watch:
James Austin
Great communicator on the pitch and very dangerous in the middle, a real hard worker. All round good quality egg.

Kate O’ Reilly
Rapid pace, excellent ball player and the lines she cuts are ridiculous. Can play anywhere on a pitch.


South London

“The South London team have been excited about the inaugural Nationals tournament as soon as the squads were announced,” said Regional Manager David Shipley.

“We’ve had a couple of training sessions to try and get to know each other and we’re all chomping at the bit to get involved and see what the rest of the country has to offer.”

Players to watch:

Tom Entwistle
Tom who despite his tender years has vast experience in the game and will be pulling the creative strings for South London from the middle of the park.

Anita Snowdon
​Anita has only been playing Tag for a year but is already making life hard for defences across London!


West London

“West London Wolves are gearing up for a howling appearance at the inaugural UK Tag Nationals,” said Regional Manager Steph McCabe.

“An exciting training session saw a mix of experienced and raw animalistic talent, leaving them very much in contention to take the silverware. While the win would be the dream for this team, their priority is for everyone to have a positive experience and play some good Tag Rugby together.”

Players to watch:

Naomi “Sticks” Hampton
Don’t underestimate her rugby brain and ability to bamboozle the opposition by executing some seriously slap-stick moves.

Grant “Dangerboy” Bezuidenhout
He’s not afraid to take risks, the flair oozes out of him and, more often than not, he really lives up to his name.


East London

“The squad has a great mix of players from all the different East London leagues, ranging from experienced GB players to those new to the representative level,” said Regional Manager Alistair Davis.

“The banter has been flying in the WhatsApp and we’re good to go after a great hit out against the GB Mixed open team on Wednesday.”

Players to watch:
Howe Lai
Former Chinese representative at the 2015 Tag World Cup

Phoebe Robbins
A mad Roosters fan so will literally bleed for the kit!


Coventry & Warwickshire

“Rich Stephenson who captained the inaugural Coventry & Warwickshire season champions “No Woman No Try” will also captain the Coventry & Warwickshire representative side this Saturday,” said Team Manager Alan Robinson.

“The squad is bursting with enthusiasm and has a mix of both newcomers and experienced players in its ranks. The team has had two weeks of training under their belt and have had time to work on some attacking structures as well as defence and are all looking forward to representing the region for the first time.”

Players to watch:

Dan Johnson
Dan from Solihull is an experienced player having played before in London, he has both pace and skill and is a proven try scorer but where he really shines is in his defence and communication.

Kiri Bennett
Kiri has been one of the finds of Coventry & Warwickshire and was a tower of strength out wide for her team “No Woman No Try” all summer. She is a powerful and athletic centre and is always on hand to finish off breaks and score the two-pointer.


Yorkshire

“Our squad has been shaping up nicely,” said Team Manager Joe Barker.

“The squad is definitely looking strong and we are hoping to challenge with this being our first competition as a Yorkshire squad. The competition is a great concept and it gives our players an exciting opportunity to play against the best Tag Players from around the UK. Whatever the results, we are going to enjoy the day and learn from the experience so that we can continue to develop and challenge over the coming years.”

Ben Hughes 
An unpredictable player with lightning speed and great hip movement. At full speed he has the ability to glide past defenders with ease.

Olivia Moss
With a strong Rugby League background she has pace, footwork and great evasive techniques, she is sure to cause teams problems.


Manchester

“For a new team we are shaping up nicely,” said Regional Manager Dylan Barlow.

“Defensively we look strong, add into the mix some fast and elusive attacking players and we should fare well against many teams. Our players have been practicing hard and are looking forward to the challenge that awaits them. The Tag Nationals is great for our region because it’s given players the ambition and enthusiasm to take their game to the next level and to encourage others who haven’t quite made the team this year to continue playing and improve.”

Players to watch:

Max White
Good handling skills to set up tries and the pace to score plenty too.

Chelsea Starbuck 
Strong defence and a great attacking sidestep


Thames Valley

Regional Manager Adam Lawson said: “The Thames Valley team are excited about making the trip east to the big smoke to showcase our budding young talent.

“The Nationals is a great opportunity to give the Thames Valley team a platform in which they can exhibit our talents on a big stage. We are a young and ambitious team hoping to upset the big boys in the city.”

Players to watch:

Todd Lindley
A recent addition to the Thames Valley set up, Todd is a good athlete with a very good sporting pedigree, a wicked right foot step and is a fierce competitor.

Liv Lampkin
Liv is a Gazelle of a player. She will occupy the right wing and hopefully run rings around the opposition.


Bristol

“This is very much a development year for us, as Tag Rugby was only introduced in Bristol earlier this year and the majority of our representative players are new to the game,” said Team Manager Jodie Bijorac

“Whilst it has been a steep learning curve over the past few weeks to bring it all together, the team have gone beyond expectations and there will be some incredible raw talent on display this Saturday. As our excitement builds, this national competition is going to be a great opportunity for us to play at elite level and to transfer that skill and knowledge of the game back into the Bristol leagues.”

Players to watch:

Samuel Palmer
An ex Londoner and GB representative will lead his team by example. Be sure to watch Mr Swivel hips.

Lucy Preston
Lucy is a great support runner and really backs herself. She is one of Bristol’s top try scorers and definitely is one to watch.