Firstly, #rugbyunited would like to say thanks to all the individuals, professional players, companies and organisations that have contacted us about #rugbyaid in the last 48 hours, the response has been truly overwhelming!
#rugbyaid was first talked about in #rugbyunited circles over two years ago when the last socceraid was being held but as we were only six months old at the time, we didn't have the resources or contacts to get it off the ground. On Sunday afternoon, we started talking about revisiting the crazy idea of #rugbyaid and the rugby community, as always, have offered us tremendous encouragement, and just over 48 hours later, we all have a fantastic opportunity to show the world a true #rugbyunited spirit.
Many of you having joined the conversation, debating whether a game including ex-professional players and celebrities is even achievable on safety grounds with the sport of rugby being so dangerous. Some have done a great job highlighting the idea and asking players if they would like to play, some have asked celebrities and we've had generally great response from all! Various twitter accounts have sprung up talking about players and venues as the general excitement builds, but unless they are rugbyunited accounts, please be aware they are not affiliated to #rugbyaid!
We think we can work out a "safety first" format to make this happen, especially if celebrities have a rugby background, and would love to see teams that includes professional players, ex-pro players, celebrities and perhaps even a few lucky amateur players!
This is where we are up to and what we'll be doing next;
#rugbyunited are currently in talks with BT Cardiff Arms Park who have expressed an interest in holding the event, along with a number of other stadiums and we've had a couple of companies come forward who will supply kit.
We've had a number of well known rugby charities come forward who are interested in being part of the day, all who have a number of ambassadors and patrons that would potentially be involved too.
Players and celebrities who have expressed an interest so far include; (thanks to @eliotm79)
- Craig Doyle @craigadoyle
- David Flatman @davidflatman
- Iain Balshaw @iainbalshaw
- Mike Tindall @miketindall13
- James Simpson - Daniel @JSimpsonDaniel
- Jamie Noon @noony_13
- Leon Lloyd @LeonLloyd13
- Nigel Owens @Nigelrefowens
The one thing is missing is a date for the event which we are hoping to announce shortly.
Once the date, venue and format of the game to ensure safety for all, are confirmed, we will then get back to all the professional players and celebrities with a more formal invite as we look to organise teams for the event.
#rugbyunited will continue to share all news and developments on the #rugbyaid hashtag as and when details are confirmed including venue, date, teams, format, players, celebrities, charities, media partners and all the information!
Please do not badger your favourite players and celebrities too much, we really don't want to be turning them off before we've even sorted out the when and where details!
Thanks for all your interest and help in sharing the news, we could not got as far as we have without your support! To make this happen, we've got a lot of work to so whilst the enthusiasm is fantastic, please be patient whilst we get it organised and happening!
In the meantime, #rugbyunited have another major charity event which will be launched just before the start of the 14/15 domestic season which will require support from every single one of our 150,000 followers worldwide, we're really looking forward to that too, and it has the potential on making a real difference in the rugby world!
All the best