Rugby stars to sail at Cowes

World Cup winning England Intenational and Wasps rugby player Joe Worsley (on the right, grinding with team-mate Tim Payne) has just announced his plans to be sailing during the next Cowes Week. He may look fit and young enough, but it’s actually his testimonial year next year, having played for 10 years at the London-based Wasps club. Testimonials are designed for the player’s to have fun doing other events, but also to raise money for their chosen charities. Worsley plans to bring four or five fellow England players down with him next year to sail on one of Clipper Venture’s 68 footers during the Thursday and Friday of the 09′ week. ‘I used to sail a bit as a kid’ said Worsley, ‘but rugby then took over. Due to time constraints I can’t do the full round the world trip on the Clipper but would like to do a leg of it sometime in the future.’ James Haskell and Lewis Moody were two of his colleagues he’s apparently roped into sailing with him. They will auction off the opportunity to sail with them next year, including two days racing, accommodation and social events with the rugby stars each evening.
The pleasure of the event aside, Worsley is keen to raise as much money as possible for three charities that are close to his heart. The prime one being in name of a Scottish friend of his, Chris Mallet, who played at Wasps before tragically losing his life to Hodgkin’s Disease, aged just 25. Before he passed away, Mallet set up a forum the Lymphoma Association to help teenagers inflicted with the illness exchange information and messages. Worsley’s other chosen charities are the ‘Burned Childrens’ Club’ and the Professional Rugby Players Association (PRA) Benevolent Fund, supporting injured or ill players forced into retirement.