England Rugby League’s Men and Women return to international action on Saturday 29 April for the first time since last year’s Rugby League World Cup – a double-header with France at Warrington which is the launchpad for a game-wide fundraising effort in aid of the MND Association.
The MND Association and Rugby League share a common bond through the former England half-back Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2019. Rob has inspired several outstanding fundraising efforts for MND research since then, most notably those involving his long-time friend and Leeds Rhinos colleague Kevin Sinfield.
England’s Men and Women will wear specially-designed kits for the internationals, inspired by an England shirt closely associated with Rob himself – the 2012 Autumn Internationals shirt featuring an artistic representation of the St George’s cross across the length and breadth of the shirt. The new design incorporates the MND Association’s colours and logo, and on the back includes Rob’s own immortal words: ‘In a world full of adversity, we must dare to dream’.
5,000 people in the UK are living with MND, a progressive disease affecting the brain and the spinal cord for which there is currently no cure. England Rugby League kit partner Oxen, in associated with RL Commercial, will donate £10 from the sale of each England replica shirt to the MND Association, while £2.50 from every match ticket sold for the England v France internationals will also go to the charity.
RL Commercial Managing Director, Rhodri Jones, says:
“For the third year running our partners at Oxen, together with RL Commercial, are supporting a cause close to the hearts of so many in Rugby League. Our relationship with the MND Association follows our work with the Mose Masoe Foundation in 2021 and fundraising for Tongan tsunami relief in 2022 when both England and the Combined Nations All Stars wore Tonga-inspired shirts.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could sell 5,000 replica shirts – one for every person currently living with MND in the UK? I’m delighted to say that both matches will be broadcast live by Sky Sports and to see legions of England fans at the game wearing this iconic shirt would make very special television.”
Kevin Sinfield OBE adds:
“The shirt represents three things I love dearly: England Rugby League; the MND community and, of course, Rob. Throughout Rob’s diagnosis the Rugby League world has got completely behind him. It shows the impact he had and continues to have on the sport. And the players who get to wear it will feel incredibly proud to represent Rob and their country – they’ll feel 10 feet tall.
“What we’ve seen over the last couple of years, and with Doddie before, is that awareness is vital. It’s important that we keep banging the drum and raising funds. We need to find a cure.”
Replica MND-themed shirts can be pre-ordered now at eliteprosports.co.uk for delivery by the first week of April in advance of the England v France matches on Saturday 29th April. Shirts are available in the following sizes to suit all ages.
• Adults (Small- 6XL) – £54.99
• Juniors (Ages 6-14) – £39.99
• Ladies (L8-L18) – £54.99
• Toddlers (Ages 0-4) – £34.99
England’s opponents France made a memorable gesture during RLWC2021 when they wore warm-up shirts with a message for Rob Burrow ahead of the Group A match at Bolton – and are again lending their support.
Tickets for the Men’s and Women’s international double-header at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium are available to buy online now from only £20 Adults and £10 Under 16s. For every ticket sold, £2.50 will be donated to the MND Association.
The Women’s match kicks off first at 2pm, followed by the Men’s at 4.30, with live and exclusive coverage of both games on Sky Sports Arena from 1.30pm.