English sides thrive at International Mixed Ability tournament

Mixed ability rugby teams from around the world gathered in Spain last week for the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament. 

The competition, designed to showcase and promote mixed ability rugby, saw 12 teams compete over the three day tournament including three sides from England. 

Bradford Bumbles, Letchworth Braveherts and Shropshire Stags all took part in the tournament with the Bumbles finishing on a high having been awarded the Spirit of Rugby prize, awarded to the side that best showcased World Rugby's values. 

Bumbles player Lee Hainsworth was also named Player of the Tournament 

Mixed ability rugby allows able-bodied and disabled athletes to participate together in full contact rugby, regardless of their disability. The game is played in line with all the rules of a regular match aside from scrums which are uncontested and able-bodied players act as facilitators or helpers to guide players on the pitch.

The format, first started in Wales 20 years ago, has grown significantly in England since life-long rugby fan Anthony Brooke founded the Bumble in 2009 – England’s first mixed ability rugby side.

The inaugural tournament was held in 2015 which saw over 400 players take part and this year's tournament was won by Argentina.