After five years and two postponements, the fourth iteration of the ITF Tag World Cup is finally here.
The 2023 tournament is the first to take place in the northern hemisphere with only Australia and New Zealand having preceded Ireland as hosts. The entire tournament will take place within the University of Limerick with all players, coaches and staff staying onsite to create the ultimate athlete experience at the tournament.
Following a historic success at the 2023 British & Irish Cup, where Great Britain won six categories to Ireland’s two and achieved only their second overall victory in the competition’s history, hopes are high for further success as GB heads over to Limerick.
The opening ceremony will kick things off on the evening of Tuesday 1st August and will include two curtain raiser match-ups, including Great Britain Mixed Open taking on South Africa. The World Cup will then run through to the weekend with the major finals taking place on the livestreamed pitches on the afternoon of Saturday 5th August.
The decision to stage a World Cup outside Oceania for the first time is seen as a key step forward in the development of the game worldwide and presents Ireland, Great Britain, France, South Africa and the United States with their best opportunity yet to challenge for medals.
The tournament will consist of four women’s categories, two mixed gender divisions and six men’s competitions with Great Britain entering eight of the 12, doubling the number of teams they sent to Australia in 2018. GB will be represented in Women’s Open, 30s and 35s; Mixed Open and Seniors; and Men’s Open, 30s and 40s, and are targeting the national programme’s best ever World Cup performance.
Great Britain Women’s Open Head Coach and Men’s 40s player David Shipley is looking forward to this World Cup, saying: “The team have worked really hard and are now raring to go and can’t wait to get started! They’re feeling good and hopeful for a successful World Cup. Whatever this Women’s Open squad achieves next week they’ll undoubtedly be leaving a legacy for the players who will follow in their footsteps in years to come!”
Friends, family and teammates can show their support for the Great Britain teams both in Ireland and at home. Supporters are welcome to travel to Limerick to watch the teams in action and should register for free tickets here in order for ITRA to have necessary information on numbers. The full schedule of matches can be found here.
You can follow along with social media updates and links to the official tournament live stream via the Great Britain Tag Rugby accounts on Instagram (www.instagram.com/greatbritaintag) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/greatbritaintag). A daily round-up video will be published on social media each evening, including interviews with Great Britain players and coaches and full run-down of the day’s results. Photos will also be uploaded each evening during the five-day tournament.
Will Shepherd, Great Britain Programme Director said: “The last Tag World Cup in 2018 was a watershed moment for the GB Programme as we returned home with two medals – a silver in Men’s 30s and a bronze in Women’s 27s. The energy generated from that and the subsequent British & Irish Cup win in 2019 has propelled our national teams to new heights and stunning achievements since then, as we saw at the weekend with our 5-2 B&I Cup victory.
“The 2023 Tag World Cup therefore presents us with an awesome and important opportunity. As we take our greatest ever number of teams to the first World Cup on our continent we are aiming to come home with four medals, at least one of which should be gold. Our players have before them the chance not only to become the first GB Tag World Champions but also to be part of a truly groundbreaking moment in the history of Tag in the UK. Greatness awaits… I wish the very best of luck to all our players, coaches and staff!”
Watch build-up videos filmed with our partners at the Rugby Football League, via Try Tag Rugby’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/trytagrugbyuk.