Our Family

The Rugby against cancer Team

Click our team members to find out more about them

AARON

Founder

JEFF

Trustee

GRAHAM

Trustee

BEN

Trustee

JIM

Trustee

RUTH

Media & Content

Click our champions to find out more about them

JOE BATLEY

Worcester Warriors

ROBYN LOCK

Gloucester Hartpury & Wales

SIMON MASON

Former Ireland, Ulster & Benetton

CLARA NIELSON

Bristol Bears, England & Barbarians

Click our ambassadors to find out more about them

TOM VARNDELL

Former England & Premiership

CAI GRIFFITHS

London Welsh RFC

IOAN LLOYD

Bristol Bears & Wales

DONNA ROSE

Saracens Women & Wales

WILL SPENCER

Bath

VICKII CORNBOROUGH

Harlequins & England

KIM OLIVER

Former England & Bristol Bears

OLLIE HASSELL-COLLINS

London Irish

MATT WILLIAMS

London Irish

OFFICIAL CLUB PARTNERS

LOCAL Ambassadors

Interested in joining the Rugby Against Cancer Family?

JOE BATLEY

WORCESTER WARRIORS

CURRENT TEAM: Worcester Warriors

SENIOR CAREER: Gloucester, Leicester Tigers & Bristol Bears

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England U20s, England U18s

“My rugby journey began in Gosport and Fareham RFC when I was 6, the club is still a massive part of me and my family’s life. As I have made friends for life that still play for the team I love, as does my brother.

From here I moved to Hartpury College and Gloucester Rugby where I studied for two years before signing full time with Gloucester where I spent 3 seasons. Until I moved to Bristol and now Worcester.

Rugby Against Cancer is something I am massively behind. I have been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is a type of cancer that developed in my lymphatic system. I went through Chemotherapy as part of my treatment.

Once I was diagnosed it was naturally a huge shock to myself and my family. However, the sheer support I received after the news was overwhelming from the rugby family that fortunately surrounds me. Bristol was unbelievable with the news and supported me massively and I can never thank them enough. 

This is my story and I think it summaries what this charity represents, rugby is a powerful thing and together can help the fight on cancer”

ROBYN LOCK

GLOUCESTER HARTPURY & WALES

CURRENT TEAM: Gloucester-Hartpury

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: Wales

Robyn was diagnosed in 2014 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, just 5 years after her cancer battle she was called up for her first Welsh international caps during the Autumn Internationals in 2019.

“I was diagnosed with Lymphoma when I was 21 years old and on the rise in my rugby career. Cancer stopped me in my tracks, left me with nothing to look forward to but playing rugby for Wales was always my dream. I didn’t let cancer stop me, it moulded me, it drove me and changed me, but it didn’t stop me

My journey has taught me how important a support system is and how your tribe can really help you thrive in times of darkness.

I owe my life to rugby because without it I wouldn’t be here today.”

Read more of her story here: https://www.wru.wales/article/robyn-remains-lock-solid-after-battling-cancer/

SIMON MASON

FORMER IRELAND, ULSTER & BENETTON

SENIOR CAREER: Ulster, Stade Francais, Benetton Treviso

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: Ireland

“When you have been part of a sport for over 40 years it tends to run through your veins!  

I have been blessed to be part of this great game at every level. Initially playing minis (as a six-year-old) and grassroots rugby, to representing Ireland and winning a European Cup with Ulster. I have been fortunate to play for top clubs in Ireland, England, France, and Italy. 

The one consistent that has been in every corner of my journey, our biggest opponent, has been cancer. 

Every teammate, supporter, friend, and member of the support staff have been directly or indirectly affected by this wretched disease. My biggest fans throughout my rugby career were my parents and losing both to cancer brought home the cruelty of this disease.

Playing rugby teaches you many things, the joy of winning and at times the despair of losing but more than anything rugby’s virtue is that through unity comes great strength.

So, to be asked to be a Champion for Rugby Against Cancer is a great honour and privilege.  It is also fitting to apply the anthem of the great rugby family that is Munster, “STAND UP AND FIGHT”.”

Clara Nielson

England & Barbarians

SENIOR CAREER: Bristol Bears

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England & Barbarians

“I lost my dad to cancer and he was my biggest supporter, always cheering me on from the sideline. The rugby family is truly special and the support I had from both Bristol and the wider rugby community really helped me.

Rugby Against Cancer is a unique charity, making a genuine difference to people going through the toughest of times and I am really looking forward to being on board.“

Tom Varndell

Former England & Premiership Rugby Player

SENIOR CAREER: Leicester Tigers, Bedford Blues, Wasps, Bristol Bears, South China Tigers, Yorkshire Carnegie, Bury St Edmunds

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England & England 7s

“During my rugby career I have been involved with a lot of charities at one time or another, but I have to say that Rugby Against Cancer is something special.

Not only is it raising money for a fantastic cause, it does so by bringing the whole rugby family togetherness. This for me is so special. Rugby is a game that has given me so much happiness and for the game and its amazing qualities, togetherness, teamwork, strength and enjoy enjoyment to name a few, to be used to raise awareness for something that does have such a huge effect on people everywhere is brilliant.

When I came to an event down in Portsmouth and walked into the rugby club I was blown away by the hundreds of friendly faces who were there, to not only enjoy the day and have fun, but to show their support and for all the people who are affected by cancer daily.

Rugby Against Cancer for me is essential to not only for the rugby community who are affected by the disease but anyone who has been affected. To have a community and network who you can rely on for support is essential, and that is something this fantastic charity can provide.”

Cai Griffiths

London Welsh RFC

CURRENT TEAM: London Welsh RFC

SENIOR CAREER: Ospreys, London Irish, Neath

“I’m excited to be an Ambassador for Rugby Against Cancer. I have been monitoring this great charity for a while now, once I knew exactly what they did and how they support people affected by cancer in the rugby family I had to get involved and volunteer.” 

Cancer does not discriminate and can affect anybody, so we want to be there for those that need it. Be that rugby players who have been diagnosed with cancer, the family of rugby players or those that don’t play anymore but are still involved in the rugby community. 

I really hope I can add value and highlight that there is support for people who are dealing with cancer. Please get behind Rugby Against Cancer and support where you can.”

IOAN LLOYD

BRISTOL BEARS & WALES

CURRENT TEAM: Bristol Bears

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: Wales & Wales U18

“Cancer is something that has an impact on so many families and the people around us every day. It is a disease which has affected my family, and is very close to my heart. 

The opportunity to be an ambassador for a great charity in Rugby Against Cancer is a massive honour, allowing me to hopefully help some families in our rugby community affected by this disease in any way I can!”

Donna Rose

Saracens Women

CURRENT TEAM: Saracens

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: Wales

Donna has played rugby since she was 16, starting on the wing for Ellingham and Ringwood Rugby Club. She then Captained Trojans Rugby Club for 100 caps, playing 150 games in total for the side. 

Donna plays for the Rugby Against Cancer Women’s team, plus actively fundraisers for the Charity taking part in Trek 2 Twickers 2020 where she was part of the team of walkers that raised over £19,000

“I’ve loved and lost because of this horrific disease. I’ve played rugby for 13 years and my proudest moment was playing for Rugby Against Cancer.”

Will Spencer

Bath Rugby

CURRENT TEAM: Bath Rugby

SENIOR CAREER: Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors & London Welsh

Growing up in Hampshire, Will played rugby at Swanmore College and Petersfield RFC before being drafted into the London Irish Academy. 

Following Will Spencer’s guest appearance at the Rugby Against Cancer match on Boxing Day 2018, he agreed to become an ambassador for the charity.

Will expressed his delight in being able to support such a charity. He has family members and friends that have been affected by the disease and he hopes that his involvement will help further raise the profile of the charity.

Vickii Cornborough

Harlequins & England

SENIOR CAREER: Harlequins

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England

“Cancer stinks. We live in a world where we and our loved ones are likely to be affected in some way.

But I’ve also seen the incredible difference Rugby Against Cancer can have to fight back. How the charity has grown spectacularly and our rugby family unites together against this disease to raise funds and awareness, so no one has to go through it alone.

Rugby has given me so much, and I am humbled to be given the opportunity to help give back with RAC.”

Kim oliver

Bristol Bears & England

SENIOR CAREER: Bristol Bears

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England

“I want to be involved with Rugby Against Cancer because cancer has not only impacted myself and my family but also so many people that I care about.

Cancer is a horrible illness and can be so progressive in such a short amount of time. What Rugby Against Cancer is doing to help support immediate families that have been affected by cancer is truly something that inspired me and I knew as soon as I learnt more that I would want to be involved and help out in any way I can.

Rugby Against Cancer are giving us an opportunity to come together and support people that are going through dreadful times because of this heartless illness.

I can’t wait to get started.” 

Ollie Hassell-Collins

London irish

SENIOR CAREER: London Irish

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England U18s & U20s

“I’m delighted to be part of the RAC team, it’s such an amazing cause. Cancer affects people in many different and awful ways. I hope that I can use my platform to help those who have been affected and spread awareness. I’m really looking forward to working with everyone at RAC and supporting fundraising opportunities.”

Matt Williams

London Irish

SENIOR CAREER: London Irish

INTERNATIONAL CAREER: England U20s

“The impacts of cancer are felt throughout all communities in the world and the effects on individuals and their families can be devastating. Rugby against cancer is a great charity that aims to support rugby players and their families who have been affected by cancer. I’m incredibly proud to be an ambassador and can’t wait to be a part of this awesome charity whilst it continues to grow and aid members of the rugby community through their battles with cancer.”

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