Earlier this month student Matt Maynard travelled all the way to Malaysia to represent England in the Touch Rugby World Cup 2019. Now, back on home soil and recovered from his jet lag, Matt has told us all about his amazing experience!
“I first started playing “Touch Rugby” in 2016. I was selected for the Junior Touch U15 mixed squad and since then have played and represented “England,” in the European Junior Touch Championships.
2016 – Mixed U15 Arnhem, Holland, silver medalists.
2017 – Mixed U15 Dublin, Ireland, 3rd place.
2018 – Boys U18 Stirling, Scotland, silver medalists.
2019 – Boys U18 Paris, France, 16th – 18th August
During the touch season I play for Cambridge in the national leagues, for mixed and men’s competitions. Following the leagues, I represent the Midlands regional team, at a 2-day tournament held in August, where selections are made for the England Open Squads. At this stage last year I was invited to train with the Open Squads, preparing for the World Cup 2019. Being the youngest member at 16 years I was delighted to have the experience and the opportunity!
We trained at a high level and intensity and had to travel all over the country, to attend many 2 day camps. By January I knew that I had made selection onto the squad as a (NTR) non-travelling reserve. I was still expected to continue with the training schedule as there was always the possibility of injury to a player.
The unexpected happened and I was then asked (at the last minute!) to go to Malaysia and represent “England” on the Mixed Open Squad.
Malaysia was hot, hot, hot! Temperatures fluctuated between 35°C to 48 °C with high humidity. This was a new challenge. I played against many different countries; Australia, Hong Kong, Middle East, South Africa, 11 in total. It was a six-day event and we had to play 2 games each day: we won 7 and lost 4. Out of 22 countries, we came 6th overall. I played in all the games and now have 11 caps for “England”. It was a very exciting experience, to represent “England” at an international event with such an inspirational team of people.”