A host of former international rugby stars including England’s Matt Stevens, David Strettle, Iain Balshaw, Danny Grewcock, Mark Cueto and Ugo Monye will take part in an all-star game at Allianz Park on Friday 30th June (8.15pm) in support of Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).
Organised by Matt Stevens and David Strettle, the Worldwide Currencies Cup game will raise vital funds for Restart Rugby and awareness for the #LiftTheWeight mental health campaign. A side captained by Saracens’ scrum half Neil de Kock will take on a #LiftTheWeight XV with players from England, Australia, South Africa and Wales joining the ranks, including Justin Harrison, Michael Owen, and John Smit. The full list of players confirmed so far is below.
Launched in February, #LiftTheWeight aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues and provide support for rugby players suffering from conditions like depression and anxiety. Players across the Aviva Premiership will get that message across this month at the Restart Rugby Weekend (28th-30th April).
“One in four people in the UK will be affected by mental health issues this year and sportsmen and women are no different,” said Stevens, the former Bath, Saracens, England and British & Irish Lions player.
“Many will suffer with these problems during and after their careers and Restart Rugby’s #LiftTheWeight campaign gives invaluable support and encouragement to players to access expertise and share the burden.
“We’ve been delighted by how many players want to take part and that’s a reflection of how important this cause and campaign is to them.
“There are some superstar players on show with the likes of Iain Balshaw, Mark Cueto and Ugo Monye all tearing it up. It’ll be a great evening’s entertainment.”
RPA Group CEO, Damian Hopley, said: “As clubs throughout the Premiership are busy preparing to support the Restart Rugby Weekend (28-30 April), it’s fantastic to see so many of our rugby legends supporting Restart Rugby and the #LiftTheWeight campaign.
“We’re grateful to Matt Stevens and David Strettle for promoting the all-star game that will raise vital funds to ensure our charity can be there for professional players in their time of need. It promises to be a tremendous spectacle for the fans.”
Worldwide Currencies CEO, David Tucker, said: “We’re proud to be sponsoring the Worldwide Currencies Cup at Allianz Park in support of the RPA’s Restart Rugby charity and #LiftTheWeight. It is inspiring that so many great players will be involved to benefit such a worthy cause.”
Both teams will wear exclusive #LiftTheWeight playing kit designed and created by Oddballs.
The all-star Worldwide Currencies Cup match launches the Sevens and the City weekend festival at Allianz Park which includes six sevens tournaments as well as netball, football, cricket, dodgeball, a Summer Slam fitness competition and kids’ rugby coaching events run by School Of Hard Knocks.
Admission starts at £17.50 for adults (£10 under 16s) with hospitality packages and VIP pitchside cabanas available. For details go to sevensandthecity.com
Confirmed players: Gerald Arasa, Iain Balshaw, Craig Burrow, Noah Cato, Mark Cueto, Gareth Davies, Mel Deane, Philip Friel, Danny Grewcock, Dan Harris, Justin Harrison, Neil de Kock, Olly Kohn, Lee Mears, Ugo Monye, Nils Mordt, Shaun Perry, Ollie Phillips, Tony Rea, Dan Scarbrough, Dean Schofield, Ben Skirving, John Smit, Matt Stevens, David Strettle, Jordan Turner-Hall, Tom Williams.