About Try Tag Rugby
Tag Rugby began in Australia as a training aid for Rugby League teams. Former St George Dragons halfback Perry Haddock founded the sport while coaching the 1992 St George under 20 side. Since its beginnings in 1993, Oztag has grown in popularity across Australia in urban and rural areas. 28 teams participated in the first season in summer 1992-1993 playing in the Cronulla and St George areas of Sydney. Today, well over 160,000 players take part in Oztag competitions nationally.
The first game ever of Oztag was played on Monday 26th October 1992 in North Barton Park, West Botany Street, Rockdale, NSW, Australia. With the first ever try scorer being Johnathon Docking.
Whilst taking off in Australia Tag Rugby quickly spread across the Tasman to New Zealand. The popularity of Tag Rugby in NZ can be seen by the large number of Kiwis turning out in Try Tag Rugby competitions throughout London.
The Irish Tag Rugby Association (ITRA) introduced Adult Tag Rugby to Ireland in 2,000 in association with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) when the first ever league was run for 36 teams. The sport has become particularly popular in Ireland where upwards of 30,000 players regularly play the game. Festivals or blitzes are a big highlight in the Irish Tag Rugby season. Blitzes such as the Pig N Porter in Limerick which attracts over 100 teams are extremely popular.
Tag Rugby in England has developed slower than Ireland and Australia but there have been pockets of interest. The sport is played regularly in Devon and also throughout Northern England, where Bull Tag in Bradford has at times been a large scale competition. Tag Rugby also developed via Inter Message Board Rugby League (IMBRL) where message boards representing clubs took part in tournaments and friendly matches.
In London Tag Rugby has been played regularly since 2008. Competition kicked off when Alistair Davis and Ian Howe put a proposal to the London Skolars Rugby League club to run a weekly Tag Rugby competition. With the help from London Skolars General Manager Ben Araud, a four team Men’s Tag Rugby competition took place at Finsbury Park over the summer.
In 2009 Alistair Davis joined new London Skolars General Manager, Phillip Browne, in re-launching Skolars Tag Rugby as a mixed competition. With strong support from volunteers such as James Bambrick and Nimai Parmar, the competition expanded to eight teams, gaining sponsorship from the nearby Faltering Fullback pub.
The success of Skolars Tag showed the potential for Tag Rugby as an adult participation sport in London. In August 2009 Phillip Browne and Alistair Davis agreed to go full steam ahead with the development of Tag Rugby in the UK by launching Try Tag Rugby Ltd.