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

Click our ambassadors to find out more about them

Ioan Lloyd

Bristol Bears & Wales

CAI GRIFFITHS

London Welsh RFC

TOM VARNDELL

Former England & Premiership

DONNA ROSE

Saracens Women

WILL SPENCER

Bath
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JOE BATLEY

WORCESTER WARRIORS

Joe is a successful rugby player, with England U20s, England U18s caps to his CV. He has played for Gloucester, Bristol Bears and has recently moved to Worcester Warriors for the 20-21 season of Premiership Rugby.

“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

Robyn was diagnosed in 2014 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, currently playing for Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s in the Premier 15s she was called up in 2019 for her first Welsh international caps during the Autumn Internationals. Just 5 years after her cancer battle.

“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 molded 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

We are delighted that former Irish International, Simon Mason is part of the Rugby Against Cancer family. He won two Italian titles with team Benetton Treviso and was part of the Ulster side that won the Heineken European Cup in 1999 following a memorable win over Stade Francais.

“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 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”.”

IOAN LLOYD

BRISTOL BEARS & WALES

The one to watch since he burst onto the Premiership scene last season for Bristol Bears Rugby. He became the youngest Bear to play for his club on his try-scoring debut against Bath! During the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup, Lloyd got his first senior Wales cap against Georgia.

“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!”

Cai Griffiths

London Welsh RFC

Cai has a wealth of playing experience with over 10 years playing at Ospreys, a year at London Irish and two years for London Welsh. He is also a coach at London Welsh, with four years previous coaching at Bury St Edmunds.

“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.”

Tom Varndell

Former England & Premiership Rugby Player

Tom is an England and England 7s capped player, with premiership appearances for Leicester Tigers, Bristol Bears and Wasps. He still remains the Premiership’s all-time top try scorer.

“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 last year’s event down in Portsmouth and walked into the rugby club I was blown away by the 100’s 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.”

Donna Rose

Saracens Women

Donna has played rugby since she was 16 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. Part of the England Academy she now plays Prop for Saracens

“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.”

Not only does she play for the Rugby Against Cancer Women’s side, we were honoured to have Donna take part in Trek 2 Twickers 2020 where she was part of the team of walkers that raised over £19,000

Will Spencer

Bath Rugby

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

Having grown up in Hampshire, playing his rugby at Swanmore College and Petersfield RFC, Will’s talents were soon recognised and he was drafted into the London Irish Academy, as well as playing age group rugby for England. Since those early days, Will went on to play in the Premiership for Bath Rugby and Worcester Warriors before moving to Leicester Tigers. He is now back playing at The Rec for Bath Rugby.

Will has been a member of the Elite Player Squad for England and has had one uncapped appearance against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Upon accepting the offer to become an ambassador for Rugby Against Cancer, 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.

The Rugby Against Cancer family are pleased to welcome Will and thank him for accepting our offer.