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We know finding opportunities to play at the highest level as a Seniors/Masters player can be tricky, so when we were asked to facilitate a senior women’s training day for Wales and Scotland, we jumped at the chance.

Working with Simon Ebbett, the Scottish Touch Womens 27s Head Coach, we hosted three international training squads, along with pulling together a local OT7 All Stars team, to make a simple round robin and give additional games to the visiting teams.

Following a welcome and goal setting session to start the day, that was pre-agreed and listed as:

> Match practice and talent ID for High Performance Squads

> Intra-team joint learning and development

> Team bonding and wider connections in Touch

> Promote Touch in Manchester

We got underway as Wales Women’s 35s took on Scotland Women’s 27s in a high octane first game, which went down to the wire, with Scotland just pipping the Welsh 6-5.

Over on field two, the All Stars mixed team took on Wales 27s. In a low scoring first half, the team talks must have rallied the troops, as they both were much more composed and driven in the second. The All Stars stepped up a gear and took the W by the time the final whistle blew.

As players warmed down, both coaches fed back to the group, and helped highlight strengths and opportunities for improvement for their opposition. So refreshing to see and a major highlight and theme running through the day.

Our referees took a Q&A session with players and coaches alike, to help them understand the nuances of certain situations and how things are currently being interpreted. A welcomed session to help both sides of the whistle to appreciate the other.

Held at Manchester Village Spartans home ground, Sale Sports Club in manchester, the sun was shining as we broke for lunch and some team time.

Following some refuelling, team warmups, walk throughs and training started again as each squad begun discussing their next games and opponents traits, 14:00 quickly came around as we tapped off again.

It was a Wales V Wales shoot out on field one, whilst the All Stars took on Scotland in the second round of the day.

Scotland were too strong for the locals, whilst the experience of the Welsh masters team saw them take the spoils against their younger counterparts.

More development and learnings dished out across the squads, by both coaches and senior players, as we rested in the shade before gearing up for the final round of games.

The local all-stars team met the Welsh 35s, while it was a women’s 27 showdown on field one. With some late additions, the all-stars team managed to secure their second win of the day as they beat the Welsh 9-7 in their final game.

Scotland finished the day as they started, ending with a clean sweep across all three games. They were a huge credit to the coaches, management and senior players, the culture in the women’s Scottish team was excellent throughout and it showed through.

A huge thanks to the venue for their excellent facilities. All the teams for playing in a competitive yet friendly and welcoming way, and finally the referees Bruce Bailey, Ewen MacDonald and Gregg Cropper, who put in a big shift to ensure games flowed and emulated international standards.

Look forward to seeing you On The Seven again soon!


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