A CHARITY rugby team is hoping to make great strides to net more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK with a game in Kidderminster later this month.
Players from clubs across the region are coming together to face a Kidderminster RFC Select XV at the town’s Marlpool Lane ground on Saturday April 26.
Fifty players – past and present - from 18 clubs around the Midlands, Gloucestershire and Wales volunteered to play after it was promoted on Facebook.
The man behind the event, Neil Evans, from Bewdley, said: “After receiving support off Kidderminster Rugby Club I launched the idea on Facebook expecting about 20 players in all but was shocked when I had 24 players in just the first four days.
“When we hit 45 players the decision was made to close the doors and play 3x30min thirds with a different team in each third.
“But players still kept coming with five more volunteering to go on the bench and raise money even though there was a slim chance of them getting on.”
Each player has to raise a minimum of £50 to play although some have already raised into the hundreds.
Most have also paid for their own match top and polo shirt and the Welsh players are paying to stay at a hotel.
Mr Evans said shirt manufacturer, Belief Sports, has also promised a percentage donation to CRUK from any business received from the clubs connected to the team.
He came up with the charity game idea after pulling a narrowboat 30 miles from Birmingham to Worcester in October 2012 to raise almost £5,000 for CRUK.
The boat pullers were called The Nags – the name also given to the rugby team, which he hopes will turn out bi-annually to play matches for the charity in the future.
He said CRUK was close to his heart following the death of his grandmother to breast cancer many years ago.
There will also be a raffle at the match, which kicks off at 2.30pm.
Four home tickets donated by Worcester Warriors have already been auctioned to raise £96.
Mr Evans, of Northwood Lane, is hoping for a big gate to cheer the teams. There is no entry charge but there will be buckets for spectators to give donations.
People can also donate at www.justgiving.com/nagsrugby.