International Touch is back for the first time since Malaysia
Sept. 6, 2021 @ 0:00 UTC
Opens International Touch returned on the first weekend in September with teams from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland competing in the Autumn International Series.
This Open series follows test matches played in July and August in the Men’s 40s, Men’s 45s and Men’s 50s between England and Wales.
Played at Broughton Park RFC in Manchester, 15 internationals were played with 9 live-streamed on the FIT YouTube and Facebook channels, with reigning European champs England’s Men’s Opens team proving too strong for its Irish and Welsh rivals in several of the blue-chip matchups.
The English Men beat Ireland 11-4 and followed this with an overwhelming 13-5 victory over the Welsh. Ireland was able to take something from the day with a hard-fought 9-6 win over the plucky Welsh.
Gary Reynolds, Director of Events, Federation of International Touch (FIT), said, “For England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, this was the first opportunity to test themselves since the 2019 World Cup in Malaysia.
“For the Home Nations teams, the weekend’s Autumn Series also provided the start of their campaigns towards the next European Touch Championships and beyond,” Gary said.
England is also the reigning European Champions in the Women’s Opens division, having beaten Wales in the finals. The champions again showcased their class with an 11-1 domination of the Irish. Scotland proved too strong for Ireland in other Women’s Opens matchups with a 12-6 victory. At the same time, Wales and Scotland also had strong wins over the Irish.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Mixed Open team has been a strong performer, winning the European title in 2018 and the Bronze medal in the 2019 World Cup. However, the new look Scots struggled against a powerful English unit going down by 11-2. The Welsh also added salt to the Scottish wounds with a hard-fought 9-6 win.
In the final game of the day, England’s Mixed team were far too strong for Wales with an 11-4 win.
“We are all excited that international Touch is back after a challenging 18 months. I want to congratulate the organising committee responsible for bringing the Home Nations together and providing us with some excellent test matches,” Gary Reynolds said.
“We’re now looking forward to 18 September when all the teams square off again for the final test matches of this series.”