Chester Gladiators are bringing an ‘extraordinary’ new format of rugby league to the city tonight.
The game offers all the thrill, excitement and camaraderie of the traditional game but without the high impact tackling.
New players are being recruited now and anybody interested in giving it a try can go along to Upton-by-Chester High School at 7pm on Monday, September 29.
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.
Paul Foster, club development officer for Chester Gladiators, 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.
Foster adds: “Almost anybody can get involved in Play Touch Rugby League.
“We're really hoping to attract more women into the sport and also to tempt ex-full contact rugby 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 Monday, September 29, at 7pm at Upton-by-Chester High School.