Chance to play for Jack with rugby legends

The 2012 Joining Jack Dubai sevens squad
The 2012 Joining Jack Dubai sevens squad

EVER fancied playing rugby alongside some of the greatest players in rugby league? Well Joining Jack is offering up that unique chance.

For the second year running, a team of legends will represent the charity in the annual Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament, taking place at the end of November – and they want one more player.

The Joining Jack sevens squad’s first attempt at victory ended in the semi-finals last year, but they have higher hopes this time out.

The charity was set up by former Warriors star Andy Johnson to raise funds to research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable illness from which his five-year-old son Jack was diagnosed with two years ago.

Andy will once again captain the side and will be joined by Kris Radlinski, Gary Connolly, Martin Offiah, Steve Blakeley, Jason Robinson, Sean Long, Mick Cassidy, Chris Joynt, Denis Betts, Steve Hampson and Paul Sculthorpe who are all returning as well.

There will be two new additions too with former Wigan forward Simon Haughton as well as ex-captain and rugby legend Andy Farrell.

The charity is also hoping to confirm a few other names before they jet out ahead of the tournament, which gets under way on November 28.

Andy said: “The whole point of us taking part in the tournament is to raise funds and awareness for Joining Jack, but the best way for us to do this while we’re in Dubai will be to play great rugby.

“We’ve got a strong team this year and I think we can make it to the final.”

Farrell has always been a big supporter of Joining Jack and has been seen sporting his wristband during England and British Lions RU matches, where he has been a part of the coaching team.

He said: “I’m delighted to be supporting Joining Jack again, and I’m looking forward to joining some of my ex-Wigan teammates on the pitch.

“I’m hoping that we can raise as much money as we possibly can for this great charity as well as raise strong awareness for the cause. I’m sure that the event will be a great success.”

As well as the string of rugby legends, the team is also welcoming the return of last year’s high profile water boy – Olympic gold medal cyclist, 2012 Tour de France winner and long-time rugby supporter Sir Bradley Wiggins who will once again help the players out on the side of the pitch.

With one space left, the charity is opening it up to the public.

The person selected will be a real part of the team, taking part in training sessions and high-profile social events to help raise funds.

Last year, being a part of the tournament raised thousands of pounds for the charity, and Joining Jack is hoping that this year’s involvement raises even more.

Those wanting to enter should be free to leave the UK on November 24 to return on December 1 and have a valid UK passport. All flights and accommodation (including breakfast at the hotel) will be paid for by the charity sponsors, although the winner will have to pay for additional expenses that occur whilst in Dubai.

The charity asks that entrants are over 35 years old and have a strong enough fitness level to take part as well as having experience in either rugby league or union.

All Joining Jack asks for is a proposed donation to the charity in the email, which will not be disclosed to the public and will not be the deciding factor when it comes to selecting the winner.

The final decision resides with team captain and charity founder Andy Johnson and Kris Radlinski. The deadlines for entry is Friday, November 1 when a number of entrants will be whittled down to a shortlist, who will all be interviewed.

Anybody interested in helping the team’s bid for victory in Dubai and Joining Jack’s fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy should email info@joiningjack.org stating why you should be picked.