Meet the heroic Ladbrokes Lions set to line-up at Twickenham

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We’re getting ready to watch one of the finest team units ever assembled and potentially one of sport’s greatest triumphs when the Ladbrokes Lions take to the field at the home of rugby union.

Nine employees have been specially selected to represent the company at the upcoming O2 Touch Rugby Tournament at Twickenham.

The six-a-side charity event takes place on Thursday 12 May with money raised going towards our chosen charity.

When signing up, each individual player has committed to raise £300 for Barnardo’s.

One of the ways they can do this is to ask family, friends and colleagues to sponsor them to take part in the O2 Guinness World Record Attempt for the most consecutive rugby passes ever achieved which will take place on the day.

The official record currently stands at 270.  It’s hoped that, with over 300 individual players on the pitch and some careful passing, we will smash it!

There will be 17 other companies aiming to secure corporate bragging rights but we reckon our heroes are more than a match for the likes of British Gas, Tesco and Yodel.

So, without much further ado, let’s meet our intrepid bunch…

Alexandra Winning

Why did you want to be in the team?

Every rugby player wants to have a shot at playing at Twickenham. Also, I want to meet fellow colleagues interested in rugby. Sometimes I feel like I’m a rarity.

What can you bring to the team?

A great set of skills, an amazing sense of humour and a cracking tackle. Wait, I must remember it’s touch rugby so no contact!

What is your biggest strength?

Years of University Rugby has trained me in the art of pint downing.

What is your biggest weakness?

I am notorious for getting hurt and having the bruises to show for it.

How are you going to train for the tournament?

Well, I finally signed-up to a gym. Talk about motivation!

Who is your rugby hero?

Nigel Owens (Google him).

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Meeting fellow rugby lovers, especially some female players and rugby supporters.

Lindsey Taylor

Why did you want to be in the team?

I thought it would be a great experience to get a chance to play rugby at Twickenham.

What can you bring to the team?

Enthusiasm!

What is your biggest strength?

I do a lot of gym and running so hopefully my fitness.

What is your biggest weakness?

I’ve only ever played rugby once at a beach touch rugby tournament for my nephew’s rugby club (he’s nine)!

How are you going to train for the tournament?

Learn the rules and hopefully get some practice.

Who is your rugby hero?

It’s got to be Jonny Wilkinson – he’s just lovely.

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Surviving with all my limbs still intact and being the coolest Aunty in the world to my rugby mad Nephew!

Alex Donohue

Why did you want to be in the team?

I am one of the few survivors of the Ladbrokes XV which took an almighty thrashing at the hands of Betfair almost six years ago and want to make amends.

What can you bring to the team?

Extensive media coverage in the event of a victory.

What is your biggest strength?

Talking a good game.

What is your biggest weakness?

A lack of pace, gears and all round fitness.

How are you going to train for the tournament?

Crash cardio course.

Who is your rugby hero?

One of my first school and club coaches who is no longer with us.

When the public school boys turned up in bright boots , flash shoulder pads and expensive headguards, he told us all we ever needed to play rugby was a dollop of vaseline for the ears, a blast of deep heat and some electrical tape to keep our socks up.

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Stepping out on to the Twickenham turf, rebooting my rugby career and having a beer with the team after win or lose.

Joe Burton

Why did you want to be in the team?

I get the chance to play where many greats of the game have.

What can you bring to the team?

Dancing feet and water bottles .

What is your biggest strength?

Running lines.

What is your biggest weakness?

Rucking & mauling.

How are you going to train for the tournament?

By playing Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge on the Xbox.

Who is your rugby hero?

Jonny Wilkinson/Brian O’Driscoll

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Tearing up the Twickenham turf and celebrating with the team afterwards!

Ceiron Jones

Why did you want to be in the team?

I’m Welsh and by default that makes me a huge rugby fan.

What better place to score a try than at Twickenham?

What can you bring to the team?

Confidence and some ink

What is your biggest strength?

Until I moved to London four and a bit years ago I had played rugby my whole life.

Tactically I’m very aware of how to play the game. I can also run all day!

What is your biggest weakness?

Probably my competitiveness.

I’ll be going all out to win and won’t be too happy if we are not competitive as a team.

How are you going to train for the tournament?

I train at six miles every day before work anyway, but I will do less weights and add extra cardio such as running shuttles and interval sprinting to mimic requirements of tag rugby.

Who is your rugby hero?

Adam Jones – for much of Wales’ recent success he was the most important player we had and for years he was the best tight head in the world. There was absolutely no frills about him but nobody fancied taking him on in the scrum. So much so that the South African team purposely injured him to get him out of the 2009 Lions tour.

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Winning it.

Tom Sutton

Why did you want to be in the team?

Who can honestly say they don’t want to play in the greatest stadium ever? It’s every boy’s dream to score a try at Twickenham!

What can you bring to the team? 

My speed and a crate of lager.

What is your biggest strength?

I’ve played rugby for many years. I have a good knowledge and my competitiveness is second to none. This isn’t just a game, this is the World Cup!!

What’s your biggest weakness?

My obsession with dominoes. I have not been preparing for this!

How are you going to train for the tournament?

I’d like to say excessive gym routines and fitness but, let’s face it, I’m going to eat pizza instead!

Who is your rugby hero? 

Without question, Jason Robinson. That man had the most magical feet. I think he’d probably say the same about me though?

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Collecting the winners trophy along with the top try scorers award!

Stephen Corbet

Why did you want to be in the team?

My team narrowly missed out on playing in the Scottish Cup final at Murrayfield, so I want to make up for that missed opportunity and win at Twickenham.

What can you bring to the team?

Pace, vision, cheeky interceptions and luminous yellow boots.

What is your biggest strength?

Interception tries and wild tricks that sometimes come off.

What is your biggest weakness?

Wild tricks that sometimes don’t come off…

How are you going to train for the tournament?

Hit the gym and keep on the diet.

Who is your rugby hero?

Big Stuart Hogg. One of the best players to come from the Glasgow and Scotland academies. Well deserved RBS Six Nations player of the tournament. Amazing runner and such a good rugby mind.

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament? Scoring tries at Twickenham. Hopefully be the first Scotsman in a while to win something there.

Tom Willis

Why did you want to be in the team?

I thought my rugby adventures had stopped years ago and couldn’t resist the opportunity.

What can you bring to the team?

Haribo sweets.

What’s you biggest strength?

Being very optimistic.

What’s your biggest weakness?

Being match rusty, I haven’t played for 10 years.

How are you going to train for the tournament?

My football mad nephew will have to put up with having a kick around with an odd shaped ball until the big day.

Who is your rugby hero?

Mike Tindall, for managing to marry the Queen’s granddaughter with a nose like that.

What are you most looking forward to about the tournament?

Spending the day playing rugby in the sun and lifting the trophy. I told you I was optimistic!

Richard Parker

Why did you want to be in the team?

I’m involved in all sports and excel playing within a team and feel with my help we could win the tournament.

What is your biggest strength?

Knowledge and fitness. I will not stop running throughout.

What is your biggest weakness?

I never take pity and maybe sometimes I take things too seriously.

Who is your rugby hero?

Austin Healey. He was educated at the same high school as myself and to think that he worked hard to achieve what he did, I will always respect that.

What are you most looking forward to in the tournament?

Has to be the chance to play at Twickenham and a chance to win and represent Ladbrokes.

Check back for more news and reaction to what’s sure to be an incredible event!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.