IT MIGHT not be the real thing, but touch rugby is becoming increasingly popular.
And today, the RFU’s O2 Touch tour stopped off in Portsmouth in a bid to inspire more people to take up the sport.
It aims to attract both men and women and allows them to play together.
There was a specially-laid pitch to showcase the game.
Phil Duffy, Touch Operations Manager for the RFU, said: ‘It’s just about showing people what touch rugby is all about. If they want to come and play then they can come and have a go.
‘We have got community rugby coaches who can teach them the basics.
‘It’s trying to inspire a new audience for people who perhaps have skills from a different walk of life.’
And Phil said it’s perfect for people who don’t want to play rugby.
‘There are a lot of people who just want to play touch rugby. Rugby is a very physical game. You need a lot of commitment to play it.
‘The time commitment and the fear of injury are the two biggest reasons why people don’t play rugby.
‘Touch rubgy is completely different. It’s completely non-contact so men and women can play together.’
England International Alex Corbisiero was there.
He said: ‘The O2 RFU have got a great relationship here trying to get as many people involved in touch rugby as possible.
‘Touch rugby is a great game. It’s so inclusive, anyone can get involved and it’s a really good opportunity for anybody to learn the game.
‘It’s a good opportunity to get many people involved leading into the 2015 world cup.’
Demonstrations were given by the Touch Rugby team The Untouchables.
The United Services Portsmouth Rugby team is part of the touch rugby programme.
Visit rfu.com/O2touch for more information.