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Guernsey heads to Home Nations

GUERNSEY heads to Dublin next week to take part in the 2013 Home Nations Touch Championships.

This is the first time Guernsey has officially taken part in the tournament having been an invitational team back in 2007.

‘As touch across Europe becomes more and more popular, the demand for international tournaments increases. The European Federation of Touch, which sits underneath the Federation of International Touch, has been formalising the tournaments diary and so the European Championships will continue to be held every two years and then in the intervening years there will be the Home Nations and the Mainland Cup,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Katrina Bray.

‘The Home Nations was traditionally a tournament for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and the Mainland Cup was for France and Germany but under the new approach, the Channel Islands will be included in the Home Nations and the rest of Europe will compete in the Mainland Cup.’

Player-coach Ollie Ward admits that competing against some of the best teams in Europe is a challenge for Guernsey as the smallest nation within the European Federation of Touch.

‘England, Scotland and Wales are incredibly strong teams and dominate the European tournaments and are up there with the best globally. They have thousands of players to choose from compared to 400 in Guernsey but it gives our players unparalleled experience of competing against the best and learning from them.’

Guernsey will compete in the Mixed Open where they will face all five other nations. On Friday 21st they play England and Scotland and then on Saturday 22nd they play Jersey, Wales and Ireland before the play-off, semi-finals and finals.

‘It’s going to be a great tournament and the team, which is sponsored by FNB, is looking in good shape. We have some experienced players involved and that will prove invaluable,’ said Katrina.

The team is as follows Ollie Ward, Richard Duchemin, Chris Goddard, Matt Brehaut, Sam Stables, Iain Thomson, Daniel Hainsworth, Carly Parrott, Justeen Baker, Kay Davidson and Lucy Cochrane.