Rugby community unites for fundraiser

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LEEDS RHINOS star Ryan Hall is returning to his former amateur club to kick-off a charity match involving a raft of ex-Super League players.

The England winger will be at Oulton Raiders, near Rothwell, on Sunday along with his Headingley colleague Jamie Jones-Buchanan who is covering the event for Rugby AM.

The centrepiece of WillPower Rugby Fest is the game between an Oulton Raiders Select and National Conference League All Stars team coached by Hull FC’s Lee Radford and set to include ex-Bradford Bulls star Matt Calland and ex-Castleford Tigers ace Jamie Benn.

It is in aid of Candlelighters, a Leeds-based charity which supports families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire, and has been spearheaded by Sasch Brook, the Oulton stalwart whose nine-year-old nephew Will Coley was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

The family-fun free event runs from 11am starting with a series of junior rugby league games while the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is on show, too.

There will be a fun fair, face-painting, ice creams, a visit from the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service engine plus West Yorkshire Police dogs before evening entertainment, which includes a prize raffle of worldwide rugby league memorabilia, finishing at 10.30pm.

Ex-Wigan and Great Britain prop Kelvin Skerrett will help coach Oulton and Hall said: “It’s looking like it’s going to another great rugby league event.

“Rugby League has a great community and a habit of standing together and helping each other. This proves it again with so many getting involved for a fine cause. It’s brilliant to be able to go down to my old community club and do this.

“I know Sasch well having played with him at Oulton when I came into the senior side before joining Rhinos.

“They’ve arranged some great people to take part in the match – I’ll be doing the kick-off – and there’s plenty of other entertainment on as well so anyone who fancies going definitely get yourselves there and show your faces.”