Six rugby legends throw weight behind Rowcroft’s Big Tackle

Rugby stars rally support for Rowcroft Hospice’s ‘The Big Tackle’

Six rugby stars including England international’s Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Marcus Smith, Henry Slade and Ellis Genge and Scotland international player Jonny Gray are championing Rowcroft Hospice’s fundraising event ‘The Big Tackle’, encouraging the people of South Devon to join the eight-mile walking challenge to score big in support of vital hospice care. The six rugby legends appear in videos on our social media channels asking people to get a team together and take part in the charity’s event on Saturday 9 March.

The Big Tackle (formerly known as ‘The Male Trail’) kicks off at Torquay Rugby Club from 10.30am, with participants welcomed back to the club afterwards for a free pint, pasty and the screening of the Six Nations rugby match between England and Ireland. You can book your place at The Big Tackle by signing up at before 4 March.

“Make sure you grab your team and sign up for The Big Tackle today,” said former England Captain Owen Farrell who plays as a fly-half for premier rugby club Saracens.

“I’m thrilled to support Rowcroft Hospice,” said Maro Itoje who has been a mainstay in the England squad over the past few years, and who captained England’s U20 team to victory at the Junior World Championship final in 2014. “Wishing you guys the best of luck!”

“Sign up now and get behind them. Come on!” said England’s international Ellis Genge who plays for premier rugby club Bristol Bears and is one of the most dynamic props in England.

“Take part in The Big Tackle walk and get your pint, pasty, and a fix of international rugby,” exclaimed Jonny Gray, Scotland international and Exeter Chiefs player. “It’s a chance to come together to talk about men’s grief, to get comfortable talking about uncomfortable things, with all the proceeds going to Rowcroft Hospice. Please sign up.”

“I’m a massive supporter of Rowcroft Hospice and The Big Tackle 2024,” added England International Marcus Smith who also plays as a fly-half for premiership rugby club Harlequins. “So make sure you grab your team and sign up!”

Plymouth-born local star Henry Slade who plays for England International and Exeter Chiefs said: “I’m thrilled to throw my support behind Rowcroft Hospice and The Big Tackle 2024.”

A chance to walk, talk and remember

The Big Tackle not only serves as an important fundraising initiative for the hospice, but also provides an opportunity for people to ‘walk and talk,’ and to honour and remember loved ones lost. Aiming to shed light on the importance of addressing issues related to grief and bereavement that touch the lives of everyone in the community, the event reinforces that it is good to talk, and highlights the importance of seeking support if you need it. This is especially relevant to 33% of men who according to research carried out by StrongMen, cite grief as something that they most struggle to talk about.

Making a difference

Rowcroft Event Manager, Alexia Croft said: “We’re incredibly excited to have the support of these rugby legends for Rowcroft Hospice’s ‘The Big Tackle’ event. With their backing, we’re aiming to make this year’s event the biggest and best yet. So please do support us for this eight-mile walking challenge and help us to raise vital funds to care for patients and their loved ones across South Devon. Together, we can make such a difference so grab your squad and sign up today!”

Open to all over the age of eight, The Big Tackle will channel the funds raised toward Rowcroft’s specialist care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and those closest to them, including bereavement support for families and carers following the death of a loved one who was cared for by the hospice.

Sign up to the big tackle

Sponsored by WBW SolicitorsTorbay Clearance Services and Bays Brewery, and with the support of Torquay Rugby Club, The Big Tackle is one of Rowcroft’s flagship fundraising events. It costs just £28 to sign up (£20 for under 18s) and Rowcroft asks participants to either raise or donate a minimum of £20 to support the hospice. To sign up and for further information, please go to:

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