Play Touch Rugby League at Castleford

Play Touch Rugby League, a new initiative from the RFL which will be taken up at Castleford Tigers' ground.

Play Touch Rugby League, a new initiative from the RFL which will be taken up at Castleford Tigers' ground.

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The RFL showcased their new initiative Play Touch Rugby League before the Castleford Tigers home game on Sunday and are hoping that it will help to encourage new people to take up the sport.

Inspired by the pros, fans of all ages and abilities had the opportunity to try out the new format of their favourite sport before the match.

After sampling Play Touch Rugby League, fans can now sign up for local sessions at The Mend-a-Hose Jungle, which are set to take place every Tuesday for 10 weeks starting on April 1.

The new format of the game is a great alternative to the gym - participants can have fun getting fit while enjoying the excitement and camaraderie of the traditional game - but without high impact tackling.

Played in a fun and sociable environment, men and women can also play side by side.

Play Touch Rugby League manager Dan Parkinson says: “The roadshows are a fantastic way for us to connect with Rugby League fans and raise awareness of Play Touch Rugby League in the local area.

“We recently signed up 30 fans at another Super League match and all of them are now regularly playing touch rugby league and most of them had never even thought about playing before!

“We hope that plenty of Castleford fans will get involved, we find that people have so much fun playing that they don’t even realise they are burning calories and keeping fit.”

Play Touch Rugby League has been designed by the RFL to make playing the sport much more accessible to a wider audience.

Just like in the traditional format of the game, team’s score by grounding the ball over the opposition’s try line. Teams must also pass the ball backwards and have six opportunities to score. To stop the opposition from scoring, a player must touch, rather than tackle, the player on the ball. After six touches, the attacking team must pass the ball to the defending team who then has six new scoring opportunities.

Keith Bullimore, Tigers Trust community development officer who will be leading the project, said: “The game is every bit as thrilling to play as the traditional format.

“In fact, in some cases it can be faster and more engaging because a touch results in less down time than a full contact tackle. Players are much less likely to suffer an injury than they are in the full contact game but have the same opportunity to improve their fitness and enjoy all the social benefits of being a part of a team.”

Play Touch Rugby League games take place across two, 20 minute halves. Each team has five or six players on the field at any one time and are permitted to make as many substitutions as they like.

Bullimore added: “Almost anybody can get involved in Play Touch Rugby League. Locally, I am really hoping to attract more women into the sport and also to tempt ex-full contact rugby league players back into playing.

“People should not be put off if they do not feel physically fit. Everybody has to start somewhere and we can all work on fitness together.”

Sessions start on Tuesday, April 1 at 6pm. Entrance fee is £200 per team (for the 10 weeks) and £2.50 per individual per week. Every team who pays up front will receive complimentary playing t-shirts.

Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Keith Bullimore on 07952170426, email keith@castigers.com or visit http://www.playtouchrugbyleague.co.uk for more information.