Warriors utilise Touch Rugby League training
Wigan Warriors incorporated Touch Rugby League into a special training session last week with England star Sam Tomkins praising the benefits to footwork, fitness and speed which come from playing this exciting version of the sport.
The Warriors regularly play Touch Rugby League in training and Head Coach Shaun Wane wanted to test his squad against a strong Touch Rugby League team in games played under official rules and this was arranged by RFL development staff.
Speaking about the experience Sam Tomkins said: “They were pretty good at it, I think we were trying to play it too much like our own game, it didn’t pay off and they ran round us a few times. I think it was good, pretty tough going for fitness.
“As soon as you get touched you have to get back on-side, I was on a team with four forwards so we struggled a little bit. It’s just that quick and these guys are playing it very often so they were much better at that than us.”
The Wigan and England full-back was full of praise for Touch Rugby League after the session and believes that there are skill benefits for 13-a-side players.
Sam Tomkins continued: “I’d say the footwork because a lot of the time you have to beat someone one-on-one without being touched and for someone to not lay a finger on you and get past is pretty hard so that’s something we’ll certainly take out of it.
“It’s a great sport that everyone can get involved in, some of the girls we weren’t sure what they would be like but they showed a few of us up and gave us a bit of a lesson on the wings.
“I’d say anyone who gets the opportunity to have to go certainly should. It’s good fun and it keeps you fit as well with a rugby ball in your hand.”
Shaun Wane agreed to play a Touch Rugby League team to test his squad and this test came from the Wigan Touch Warriors who have been the winners of the Wigan Warriors ‘Play Touch Rugby League’ programme for two out of the last three leagues.
Dan Parkinson, North West Regional Manager and National Lead for Touch Rugby League said: “It’s fantastic to gain access into an elite environment with Super League professional players.
“I would like to thank Shaun Wane for allowing the session to take place and for his team to want to learn more about Touch Rugby League and its development. I am sure we will see some Touch Rugby League skills transfer into their coming fixtures in Super League.
“Play Touch Rugby League is an exciting programme being delivered across England, it’s a minimal contact Rugby League offer for participants that may have played Rugby League previously or require a less physical version of Rugby League.
“It’s great for beginners to learn and can be accessed on your doorstep in a number of excellent venues, it’s a fantastic customer focused programme!”
The Wigan Touch Warriors supplied two teams and Wigan Warriors had three teams, the session worked on a carousel, with two games of Touch Rugby League happening with the spare Wigan Warriors team doing a fitness session.
Each Wigan Warriors team player played four games lasting eight minutes with the Wigan Touch Warriors winning most of the games.
Play Touch Rugby League has two different versions, Competitive and Social. Both versions are played across the North West and throughout England
There are currently 55 Touch Rugby League programmes active in England and 13 successful programmes have been completed in the North West.
For more information about Touch Rugby League including details on where you can play visit www.playtouchrugbyleague.co.uk
To watch the Touch Rugby League video click here