Worcester Warriors skipper Pat Sanderson helped raise valuable funds for The Professional Rugby Players' Association (PRA) Benevolent Fund over the course of the 2008/2009 season.
CORAL.co.uk, the official betting partner of the Guinness Premiership, raised £2,200 for the PRA Benevolent Fund by awarding £100 to the charity whenever a try was scored by a Premiership club team captain.
Melanie Berry, Coral's sponsorship manager, commented: "This is CORAL.co.uk's third year as a commercial partner to the Guinness Premiership and we felt this initiative was an apt way of extending our support of rugby to the players. We are delighted that the club captains managed to score so many tries and we've been able to contribute to this worthy cause."
As a winger, Northampton's Bruce Reihana would have been a likely candidate to finish top of the pile against his more forward orientated counterparts but with four tries, was pipped to the post by the Sale captain, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe. In Sale's final match of the season against Northampton, the unstoppable Number 8 ran home his fifth try of the season and brought the total tally of tries by Club Captains to 22.
The PRA Benevolent Fund is a major part of the Professional Rugby Association's ongoing support of players in need of help in readjusting to life after their rugby career. Whilst Rugby Union offers both players and fans with high level entertainment and sporting drama, traumatic injuries are unfortunately part of the game, and cases such as Andy Blyth and more recently Matt Hampson highlight the need for the help that the PRA provides. Through the Benevolent Fund the PRA is able to assist players in covering their medical costs as well as providing a support network to which the player or family can turn to for help, advice or encouragement.
PRA Chief Executive, Damian Hopley said, "This is a great contribution to the PRA Benevolent Fund, and I'd like to extend a very big thank you to Coral.co.uk for supporting us. The help that we have been able to offer players and their families in difficult times has been a massively rewarding part of the PRA's work, and the Benevolent Fund is a charity very close to the hearts of players across the Guinness Premiership."
A new generation of rugby stars were born at Warriors' Sixways Stadium on Wednesday, as over 150 youngsters experienced one of Premiership Rugby's best grounds at the National Urban Rugby Squad Festival.