Largest Touch World Cup in history heads to Nottingham next month

Today marks just one month until the Touch World Cup kicks off in Nottingham – the largest ever international event for the growing sport of Touch Rugby and the first world championships to be hosted at the University of Nottingham.

Female touch rugby player holds the ball ready to pass The England team in action last year at the University of Nottingham

The tenth edition of the tournament will be hosted in England for the first time by the 2024 Sporting University of the Year*. Running from 15 – 21 July, over 1,000 fixtures will take place across Highfields and Riverside sports complexes with a dedicated athlete village at University Park. It is also set to be the greenest ever World Touch event with sustainability a key driver in the competition set up.

Over 190 teams will be taking part across 13 categories, with 39 different nations represented and more than 4,000 spectators expected to head to Nottingham to enjoy the atmosphere. Hot favourites to take the title in the Open categories (Men, Women and Mixed) are southern hemisphere sides New Zealand and defending champions Australia.

Buoyed by recent results, the England teams will also be looking to make the most of their home advantage. Representing them will be University of Nottingham student Tom Penniceard, who straight after finishing his first year of his BEng in Product Design and Manufacture joins the England camp for their pre-World cup preparations. Tom will be the youngest member of the 16-member English Men’s Open squad and makes the jump from the England U20s, after impressing at recent training camps.

A fast-paced, non-contact version of rugby, Touch is fast growing in popularity across the world. After a touch, the attacking player must roll the ball backward with their foot to initiate play. Each team is allowed six touches to try and score a try. After six touches, the referee will signal a turnover.

We’re delighted to be welcoming such an exciting world event onto campus here at the University of Nottingham. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to watch, and be inspired by, global top athletes. We look forward to welcoming all the competitors and ensuring they have an enjoyable and memorable stay here with us in Nottingham.

Dan Tilley
Director of Sport

The city of Nottingham has seen huge growth in this format. The new University of Nottingham Touch Rugby Club, led by students, offers an inclusive and welcoming environment with sessions for all abilities and experience levels. They have excelled competitively placing 4th in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings in their first season. Several of these club members will also be joining an army of over 250 volunteers supporting the World Touch championships, fulfilling roles in events, marketing and physiotherapy.

Local schools can also join the fun from 16 -19 July with free taster sessions organised by England Touch, followed by the opportunity to stay and enjoy the games.

For more information about the event, which is open free-of-charge to spectators, please click here.

* As awarded by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide and the Daily Mail.

As Touch players, it’s an incredible opportunity to have such a prestigious event at our home venue. Not just to be able to watch the top players in action, but also for our members to gain experience volunteering at a major international competition. We’re also so proud of Tom [Penniceard] and we can’t wait to cheer him and the England team on in July

Hannah McLaughlin
President, UoN Touch

Notes to editors:

The 2024 Touch World Cup will take place from 15 – 21 July. For more information, visit:

The University of Nottingham is a leading destination for major national and international sporting events. For more information on the facilities and services we can offer to event organisers, please contact Christine Bailey at or click here.