Touch NZ announces teams ahead of next month’s World Cup

By Rahia Timutimu

Touch NZ have selected 10 teams that will compete at next month’s 2019 World Cup that will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The teams are in 10 different grades, ranging from the opens section with an open men’s, open women’s and open mixed team, to the masters grades in 50 men’s, 45 men’s, 40 men’s, 35 men’s, 30 mixed, 35 women’s in addition to a 27 women’s team.

Training camps for most of the teams started nearly a year ago for the master’s categories.

28 countries from around the world will compete in the competition, which is held every four years.  This year marks the 6th world cup for the sport.

The first world cup was held in 1999 in Sydney, Australia, where 18 countries competed including NZ.  Peter Walters, founder of the Galaxy Touch Club and known as “Mr Touch” has played in every world cup since its inception and is a member of the NZ 45 men’s side.

Australia will be the main nemesis for our NZ teams. 

In the Men’s Open section the Australian side are the top ranked team, with the NZ side ranked third behind England. 

That ranking matches our NZ Mixed Open team who follow Scotland at second with Australia again in the lead.  The NZ Women’s Open team have a better rating, ranked at number two behind Australia.

The NZ Men’s Over 35 and the NZ Mixed Over 30 squads are the only teams to lead in rankings that will compete at next month’s competition. 

However, all teams will of course be gunning for gold.

The World Cup will commence on the 26th of April and will conclude on the 5th of May.