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Saracens to host all-star charity match at Allianz Park

PUBLISHED: 08:30 05 May 2017

Allianz Park is hosting a special charity match this summer (pic Paul Harding/PA)

Allianz Park is hosting a special charity match this summer (pic Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Event to support Rugby Players Association and mental health campaign

Former Saracens winger David Strettle (pic wiredphotos.co.uk) Former Saracens winger David Strettle (pic wiredphotos.co.uk)

Rugby greats are taking part in an all-star charity match at Saracens’ Allianz Park home this summer.

Former England players Matt Stevens and David Strettle are organising the Worldwide Currencies Cup match to support the Rugby Players Association’s Restart Rugby charity and the Lift The Weight campaign that raises awareness of mental health issues.

Stevens and Strettle have signed up former Saracens team-mates Neil de Kock, John Smit, Danny Grewcock, Nils Mordt, Dan Scarbrough and Dean Schofield.

And other ex-England stars on duty include Iain Balshaw, Mark Cueto, Lee Mears, Ugo Monye and Shaun Perry, along with Australia’s Justin Harrison and Wales’s Michael Owen.

Former Saracens prop Matt Stevens (pic wiredphotos.co.uk) Former Saracens prop Matt Stevens (pic wiredphotos.co.uk)

The game kicks off at 8.15pm on Friday, June 30 and is part of the weekend Sevens and the City Festival curated by Stevens and Strettle.

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.

“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 super-star 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 added: “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.”

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 for 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.

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