Yorkshire rugby hero Mike is set to fly high on The Jump

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He’s successfully tackled opponents galore on the rugby field and even took marrying into the royal family in his stride.

Now former England rugby captain Mike Tindall is gearing up for a whole new challenge – as a contestant on TV’s celebrity winter sports competition The Jump.

Otley-born Mike is one of 16 well-known names taking part in the second series of the Austria-based show, which gets under way on Channel 4 at 7pm on Sunday.

Two would-be participants – Westminster woman-about-town Sally Bercow and Strictly Come Dancing performer Ola Jordan – have already had to pull out after being injured in training for the programme.

But 36-year-old Mike, husband of the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, can’t wait to throw himself into the contest’s punishing range of events.

He said: “I think I’ll really like the things where you’re actually competing live against other people, on the course at the same time.

“Stuff like ski cross. I’ll really enjoy that. I’m quite looking forward to skeleton bobsleigh as well.

“I know [Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams] quite well, so I always wanted to do that.

“There’s nothing I’m really not looking forward to. I’ll pretty much try and enjoy everything.”

Mike, a former pupil at Wakefield’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, is certainly relishing the chance to get back out on the slopes after years in which his opportunities for trying other sports were limited by his rugby career.

He said: “I love skiing. I haven’t been able to ski for so long, with rugby getting in the way.

“Since I stopped playing internationally, I’ve been three times in the last two years and loved it.”

Mike also had a word of warning for any fellow contestants who fancy themselves as favourites for the show’s Jump Cowbell Trophy, saying: “I’m competitive with myself – a lot of the events are solo anyway, and you just do as well as you can do.

“But I know I’ll be eyeing up who’s good at what, and figure out what I need to do to beat them.”

The full list of men going for glory on the programme is: former rugby international Mike Tindall, Jackass star Steve-O, JLS singer JB Gill, Paralympian Jon-Allan Butterworth, dancer Louie Spence, Gogglebox viewer Dom Parker, TV presenter and former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and TOWIE favourite Joey Essex.

The women taking part are: Paul McCartney’s ex Heather Mills, former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, pop star Stacey Solomon, socialite Lady Victoria Hervey, heptathlete Louise Hazel, TV presenter Chloe Madeley, fashion model Jodie Kidd and Made In Chelsea’s Louise Thompson.

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