The fifth annual UK Tag Nationals took place on Saturday 20th May as a record number of Try Tag Rugby regions sent teams to battle it out to be crowned national champions.

The sun was also out in full force, showcasing the talent and ability of players from across the country. Thousands tuned in to watch the livestream and post tournament replays while the finals were played out in front of a raucous crowd at Richmond Athletic Ground.

The event saw a record 44 teams from 12 of the Try Tag Rugby regions compete across Mixed Open, Women’s Open, Men’s Open and Men’s 40s categories with Tag SA UK also entering invitational teams into two of the categories. 

Two regional sides reached the finals in the same tournament for the first time with Yorkshire White Roses coming agonisingly close to victory, only losing the Men’s Open match-up on the third round of drop-off in a rematch of their 2021 final. Instead East London Eels had their most successful tournament to date while it was a familiar name that ended up on the Mixed Open shield.

The first of the Grand Finals was a replay of last year’s Men’s 40s category with East London Eels beating South London Seals, repeating their victory at West Park a year ago. Both teams played cautious gameplans in a tight encounter that ended with a 1-0 final score. North London Nighthawks and Yorkshire White Roses also put in very strong performances in the first phase that saw them reach the third place play-off with Yorkshire triumphing on this occasion.

In the Women’s Open category the East London Eels reached their third successive Grand Final, eager to finally get their hands on the shield after losing to West London Wolves the last two years. This time they faced North London Nighthawks, their appearance in the final marking the first time a team from the region had got to that stage since their Men’s Open side triumphed in 2019. Both sides were stacked with players from the Great Britain Women’s sides and a highly skilled contest was decided with assured performances from the Eels with tries coming from Nadine Mason-Bertrand, Kirsty Clarke and Charlotte Towerton, to ensure East London ultimately took the victory 3-0.

Last year’s Women’s Open champions, West London Wolves finished in fourth with the surprise package of the day being the Edinburgh North Highlanders who finished in eighth despite the team only having been officially entered following the Northern & Scottish Regional Tournament in March. Yorkshire White Roses finished top of the minor semi-finalists, finishing 5th overall while Thames Valley Titans won the 9-11th place round robin.

The Men’s Open Grand Final was the pick of the bunch for tension, drama and a storyline that swung one way and then the other. East London Eels and Yorkshire White Roses have developed one of the most exciting rivalries in the category and met in a crucial match-up for the third year in a row. The Eels took a narrow lead that they held until the final minutes of the match when Alex Ryan’s kick took a ricochet off an Eels player, ending up in the hands of Yorkshire’s Dan Waters who sprinted for the line, scoring an athletic diving try that is one of the RFL’s Tries of the Week! This was the first of a flurry with Dave Wilkinson putting Yorkshire in the lead moments later before some magic from Myles Turner sent Tom Higgs over on the far side to take the game to extra time.

The Eels had first use of the ball in the 5v5 sudden death decider and scored confidently to take the early advantage. Yorkshire were able to match them with a score from Andy Harkins with both teams repeating their scores on their second attempt. Jake Jones then went over for a second time to score East London’s third in the tiebreaker which Yorkshire were unable to replicate, ultimately coming just short in a famous encounter that ended 5-4. 

The victory had a special significance for the East London Winter Eels who were specially named for this tournament in tribute to their former player Sam Winter who died last summer. The win also meant that the Eels had a record breaking year, becoming the first region to win three categories at a single tournament.

Last year’s Men’s Open champions, West London Wolves finished in fourth, being beaten by North London Nighthawks while Thames Valley Titans won the 9-13th place round robin.

The Mixed Open Grand Final has been won by South London Seals at the last three attempts and once again they confidently made their way to the big game. This time they would face less familiar opposition as Bristol Brabazons reached their first final in any category. Bristol weren’t phased on the big stage, keeping South London out for large periods of the match but the experience of the serial winners always looked like it would pay dividends in the end. Tries came through Poppy Barker and Michael Shennan with Bristol only managing a solitary score through Ollie Greenhill with time ticking away. South London eventually won out 4-1, achieving a historic fourth success in a row.

Thames Valley Titans had their strongest result in this category, finishing in fifth with the 9-13th place round robin won by North London. Edinburgh North had a strong result of 7th in their first ever Nationals. Steven Pahal’s finishing of a wonderful try for Coventry & Warwickshire Hurricanes against the Titans in the pool phase has also been shortlisted as one of the RFL’s Tries of the Week!

Thank you to all the players for putting on a fantastic show of Tag Rugby at this year’s UK Tag Nationals, we hoped you enjoyed seeing all your efforts come together on the pitch. A big thank you also goes to all the Regional Managers and Coaches who have helped their teams prepare for and take part in the event over the last six months.

As always, we would like to thank the referees, staff and partners for their involvement in making the event so enjoyable and successful.

Thanks to PSS International Removals, our official referee partner.

RE-WATCH THE LIVE STREAMS (Pool games) (Phase 2 & Finals)

Our League App and browser viewing (Quarters, Semis and Grand Finals)

Be sure to vote for Dan Water’s and Steven Pahal’s tries on the OurLeague app (download the app from your usual app store, register and vote).


View photos from the day: Teams; Action 1; Action 2; Finals; Awards


Mixed Open – South London Seals
Women’s Open – East London Eels
Men’s Open – East London Eels
Men’s 40s – East London Eels


Mixed Open – Amanda Scarfo (South London Seals) and Rob Murch (East London Winter Eels)
Women’s Open – Laura Riches (Manchester Worker Bees)
Men’s Open – Kirby Rona-Roper (East London Winter Eels)
Men’s 40s – Carl Smith (Yorkshire White Roses)

Ref of the day – Matt Rossleigh


Mixed Open Final Positions
1st (Winners) South London Seals
2nd Bristol Brabazons
3rd East London Eels
4th Yorkshire Roses
5th Thames Valley Titans
6th West London Wolves
7th Edinburgh North Highlanders
8th Manchester Worker Bees
9th North London Nighthawks
10th Wigan Wizards
11th Sheffield Storm
12th Tag SA UK
13th Coventry & Warwickshire Hurricanes

Women’s Open Final Positions
1st (Winners) East London Eels
2nd North London Nighthawks
3rd South London Seals
4th West London Wolves
5th Yorkshire Roses
6th Manchester Worker Bees
7th Bristol Brabazons
8th Edinburgh North Highlanders
9th Thames Valley Titans
10th Sheffield Storm
11th Coventry & Warwickshire Hurricanes

Men’s Open Final Positions
1st (Winners) East London Eels
2nd Yorkshire Roses
3rd North London Nighthawks
4th West London Wolves
5th South London Seals
6th Bristol Brabazons
7th Manchester Worker Bees
8th Tag SA UK
9th Thames Valley Titans
10th Coventry & Warwickshire Hurricanes
11th Edinburgh North Highlanders
12th Sheffield Storm
13th Wigan Wizards

Men’s 40s Final Positions
1st (Winners) East London Eels
2nd South London Seals
3rd Yorkshire Roses
4th North London Nighthawks
5th Thames Valley Titans
6th Coventry & Warwickshire Hurricanes
7th Manchester & Wigan