For the Players
For the game

Rugby Ambassadors

Andy Blyth

Andy Blyth

England A and Sale Sharks, retired 2000

“The support available through Restart Rugby is invaluable – it’s the best thing the RPA do. It made a massive difference to me after my injury and they helped me get back into education and make a new start. The effect that the accident had on my family was one of the hardest things for me to deal with. My Mum and Dad went through everything with me – all the pain and frustration after the accident, and the highs and lows of the recovery process. The support I got from Restart Rugby really helped them too. “

Lawrence Dallaglio, OBE

Lawrence Dallaglio, OBE

England and London Wasps, retired 2008

“We’ve had tragic incidents in rugby where players have been very seriously injured, and I think we have to accept that there is a responsibility and duty of care that goes with that. The RPA and Restart Rugby do accept that responsibility. They’ve been there for the likes of Matt Hampson and Alex Bennett, and they will continue to be there for every single player.

Having someone to look after you – physically, mentally, emotionally – is so important, not just for the players but their families too. People sacrifice an enormous amount to allow rugby players to do what they do. There’s often an emotional cost associated with that, so it’s great that the families have a support network as well.”

Matt Hampson

Matt Hampson

England U21 and Leicester Tigers, retired 2005

“After my injury, the financial support was vital, but the most helpful thing was the emotional support – just knowing that someone was there for me and my family. It affected them more than it affected me initially, because I didn’t really know the true implications of what had happened to me or what I was going to have to go through. From the months in Stoke Mandeville, to the dramatic life change from being a young, fit athlete (well, semi-fit athlete!) to not being able to feel anything from the neck down.

In 2009, I was proud to become the very first Ambassador for the charity. It’s an honour to be representing such a great cause for players in their hour of need. ”

Jason Leonard, OBE

Jason Leonard, OBE

England and Harlequins, retired 2004

“Restart Rugby is a great charity, supporting great people. It’s so important for our game to help players who have suffered in extreme circumstances, whether that’s through injury or illness. Rugby is a family and we do everything we can to look after our family.”

Josh Lewsey, MBE

Josh Lewsey, MBE

England and Wasps, retired 2009

“When you step away from the sport, you realise how much there is a sense of family and community associated with the game. You’ve got to look after your own, and providing support for players once they have come to the end of their professional career is vital.

Players end up pretty battered physically, but they also need help emotionally. These guys give years of service to the game – they’ve sweated and bled for that shirt, then suddenly they are out of contract and by themselves. They are leaving behind something they’re loved and been identified with since they were a kid, and losing that is tough. Having gone through the process of leaving rugby myself, I can speak from experience about how to deal with that transition, and I see how vital the role played by Restart is.”

Lewis Moody, MBE

Lewis Moody, MBE

England, Leicester Tigers and Bath, retired 2012

“I think we are going to see more and more players retiring early through injury. Some are lucky and will have relatively few injuries during their career, but many others will be paying the price long into their retirement. The reality is that you suddenly realise you’re not invincible – in fact the complete opposite in my case! But we love this game, and in spite of the injuries we would still go and do it all over again. So to have a charity like Restart Rugby there to support us is crucial.”

Chris Robshaw

Chris Robshaw

England and Harlequins

“As a player you have to focus on winning and nobody likes to think about what could potentially go wrong. But the reality is you never know what’s round the corner. We play a very physical game and unfortunately injuries do happen. It’s never a nice place for any sportsman to be, we just want to be out there playing, but injury goes with the territory. It’s good to know you have a safety net if something does happen. If you potentially can’t perform or play anymore, you know that Restart Rugby will help you retrain or re-educate yourself.”