Touch a family affair for Rogers siblings

Touch-playing siblings Samantha (23) and Arran Rogers (19) are fighting to go to the Touch World Cup together.

Samantha has been named in the women’s open squad for the tournament in April, while Arran remains hopeful of a spot on the men’s open team, due to be named by the end of the month.

Both sides finished a week-long training camp yesterday at the N.U.S Fields.

The Rogers siblings have extra motivation for the upcoming tournament, with the recent passing of their father and touch supporter Dr Tuifaasisina Stephen Rogers.

Samantha said the trialling and training camp process has been hard but really good.

“For me coming into the camp was really hard, I didn’t want to do it.”

She said brother Arran kept saying she had too, that’s what he would’ve wanted.

“We’re trying to push each other and go together for him, because he always pushed us,” she said.

Samantha said their father was everyone’s number one supporter at their touch club, Marist.

“He was there every game, pushing everyone, always wanting to buy things for the team.”

Marist were also full of support for the Rogers family, and Samantha said they were instrumental in her trialling and making the squad.

“I wouldn’t just call them a club they’re my family.”

Arran said touch is really a family sport.

“I think it’s because the girls can do the same things guys can do in the sport.

“Other sports don’t have mixed teams either.”

Samantha agreed that there is a different vibe around the sport of touch.

“Every time I played other sports, people were in their own sort of groups.”

She has a five-year-old daughter that she brings along to trainings and games, where she is embraced by the touch community.

Samantha encourages any mothers to give the sport a go.

“They think they can’t get to that level anymore, or are too old to start again, but it’s really good.

“I just started last year because Arran was pushing me to.”

She first started playing with him in their social club Team Sparkle.

“It’s a family team with our aunties and everyone,” Arran said.

Arran himself only started playing competitive touch two years ago.

He said coming back into intensive training after the festive season has been tough.

“With all the family parties, but it’s good to get back into running.

“It’s closer to the competition day now so it’s better training towards something.”

He said playing with a family member at a World Cup would be one to tick off the bucket list.

“I’d be stoked to have a chance to go and hopefully put our little country on the map.

“It would be a humbling experience.”

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