Woodham Warriors play in NFL World Championships
By Jon Tait
Sep 12, 2023 - 5:37:22 PM

After winning the NFL UK Schools Championships in May, the Woodham Warriors went to Germany for the third consecutive year to represent the UK at the European Schools finals.

This year however was extra special, as the Warriors earned third place and a once in a life time opportunity to play at the NFL World Championships in the USA. This would be the first time ever that a British team had qualified for the NFL World Championships in the history of the event.

Their stateside adventure began with a trip to help out with the Hurricane Katrina project. They were asked to decorate part of the memorial garden with their national flower, and something that would leave a lasting mark of the United Kingdom.
The groups were drawn that evening. The UK team were matched against USA, Thailand, Austria and Spain. A tough group but no group at a World Championships is easy!

Thursday was the first day of competition with games against the heavily supported USA and then Austria. After a fairly even start against the Miami based team, they eventually pulled away to a comfortable lead which saw the USA win at a cantor by 32 points. After a near disastrous start the Warriors had to pick themselves up and try and get back on track. Austria, the reigning European Champions from this summer stood in their way. The game was closely fought and saw Kiaran Dixon score the first ever touchdown by a British player, but it was not enough to see the Warriors to victory. After slugging it out all game the Austrian team were the victors with a 35-32 win.

Friday was a day that saw the UK representative return to the New Orleans Saints practice facility with a steely glare and a hunger to win. They were ready for their next opponent. The next game was Spain, a team that beat the UK at the European Championship semi stage 6 weeks before. With a determination to avenge their loss and a passion of champions they gained sweet revenge with a comfortable 27-12 victory. The last group game was against the defending World Champions, Thailand. Another high scoring game produced some very fine individual performances, especially Kiaran Dixon, who was later named the UK’s MVP. The two teams traded blows for most of the game but the team from the Far East were a little to strong for our battling heroes, the final score was 57-36.

The team later sat pitch side in the Louisiana Superdome to watch New Orleans Saints against the Buffalo Bills. They had 1 final game, on the Superdome pitch at halftime in the Saints v Bills preseason game against Japan in a friendly. The team produced one last magical performance to entertain the 70,000+ fans in attendance, and cruised to an 18-6 win.

Jon Tait, head coach of the Woodham Warriors said “To say that you’ve coached in a world championship is just unbelievable... and then for the NFL to tell you that you are going to play a game on the pitch in the Superdome in front of about 70,000 people is just something else”. Chris Barber, Warriors quarterback stated, “It was without doubt, the best week of his life!”

More info and photos can be found at

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