In just two months Nottingham will host 189 teams from 39 nations in the biggest ever Touch Rugby World Cup, and Nottingham Rugby has partnered with the England Touch Association (ETA) to deliver an outstanding event which will positively impact oval ball sport both in the city and broader area.

The ETA’s Chief Executive, Chris Simon, established Touch Rugby as a sport within Nottingham nearly 20 years ago. Since then Touch Rugby has grown rapidly, with a thriving social league, one of the largest clubs in the country, and both Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the University of Nottingham well established within the BUCS University Touch Championships. Indeed, NTU – one of Nottingham Rugby’s partners – won the overall title in 2024 for the first time.

Simon is also a Director of Nottingham Rugby, and knows first-hand the level of expertise which there is within the club, not just to help deliver an outstanding Touch Rugby World Cup, but also entrench a legacy which will develop pathways both within Touch Rugby and Rugby Union across the Notts, Lincs and Derby area. This will be achieved through the ETA and Nottingham Rugby working closely together on marketing the event to the region’s public, and in putting on community events which will run concurrently with the World Cup at the Highfields Sports Complex.

Touch Rugby is a well established part of the rugby pathway in many parts of the world, especially in New Zealand and Australia, where many international Union and League players hone their skills and game understanding, not least in how to create and exploit space.

Current Nottingham Rugby player Jamie Annand, who played Touch for the Middle East as a junior says:

“Competing for the Middle East in Touch from U15’s all the way to U18’s really accelerated my skill set development – something I have found invaluable as a fly half in Rugby Union!

“I have so many special memories competing at international Touch tournaments, especially being able to travel to, and compete against, different countries during my time playing touch. It’s such a fast-paced game that can be played at all levels and age groups. I’d encourage anyone interested in rugby to give it a go and certainly watch the best in the world go head-to-head at the upcoming Touch World Cup in Nottingham!”

Jack Dickinson, who played for the local Touch club, Nottingham Touch prior to joining the Archers added:

“Touch has been great for my personal development, playing in the off season has helped with my fitness and continue to develop my handling and decision making. 

Touch allows you to get your hands on the ball and test your skills under pressure as well as having fun too.”

Chris Simon added:

“England Touch is keen to make the most of hosting the World Cup and showcasing the sport of Touch to the people of Nottingham and the surrounding area. What better way than partnering with one of the oldest professional rugby clubs in England? 

“Having worked as part of the Nottingham Rugby board for many years and getting to know Ollie Brewill the marketing lead over the last year or so, I know this partnership will help us promote the event and the wider links between Touch and contact rugby.”

The Touch World Cup comes to Nottingham between 15 and 21 July 2024 with almost 1,000 matches being held at the University of Nottingham Highfields and Riverside Sports Complexes. You can find out more by visiting the event pages at the England Touch website –