Jason Robinson ready for Charity finale

Jason Robinson may have vowed he’d played his final game of rugby last year but the England World Cup-winner will be one of several players coming out of retirement on Saturday at Twickenham.

The former British and Irish Lions wing will be one of several rugby greats putting his boots on in the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity match.

This fixture, between a team of England ‘old boys’, including current coach Martin Johnson, and an International XV featuring Jonah Lomu, aims to raise one million pounds for British soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I said I wouldn’t come back playing again but there are certain things you have to do,” said Robinson.

“As soon as I got the call on Saturday morning, it was a case of ‘how could I turn this down?’ I then did my first training session last Saturday evening.

“I went for a run in the fells. I knew I had to get myself into shape in a week. It was a bit like a Rocky film! “I must have been saving all my energy over the last nine months for this game. And Martin Offiah has given me hope. He is 42 and he has still got the gas!

“It is right we go out there and put in a good performance because there will be a lot of feeling at Twickenham on Saturday. The rugby world owes it to these guys to raise a lot of money and this is a great way to do it.”

Robinson, as well as lining up with former Wigan and Great Britain rugby league team-mate Offiah, will also be alongside fellow 2003 World Cup winners Dan Luger, Will Greenwood, Lawrence Dallaglio, Richard Hill and Mark Regan.

Johnson, who captained England to World Cup glory, will start on the bench.

“He couldn’t make training yesterday (Wednesday) so for his lack of commitment he is on the bench!,” team manager Phil de Glanville, himself a former England captain, joked.

Robinson, who has met with wounded servicemen, said recent events had put his own career in perspective.

“I spoke to Phil de Glanville last Saturday morning. In the evening I heard on the radio that Jason Rawstron had been killed in Afghanistan. He was just 23 and from Lancashire.

“I was speaking to a guy yesterday (Wednesday) who had been blown up and had both legs amputated. He is talking to me as if I am a hero and I am thinking ‘hang on a minute, I just play rugby’.”

Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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