Big Eorl to lead Rugby League stars in athletics challenge

Big Eorl to lead Rugby League stars in athletics challenge

Former England and Huddersfield Giants prop Eorl Crabtree will lead a team of Rugby League legends in a unique sporting challenge during the Manchester International Athletics meeting on Wednesday August 15.

Eorl and his team-mates will go up against a team of boxing legends led by former world champion boxer Anthony Crolla in the event at the Regional Athletics Arena near the Etihad Stadium.

The Rugby League and boxing stars will go head to head over 100m, long jump, shot put and the 4x100m relay. The Rugby League vs Boxing action is part of an event that sees an England athletics team take on athletes from Scotland, Wales, Iceland and Northern Ireland and Ulster.

England Athletics plan to sign a ‘Time to Change’ pledge on the night, a commitment to end mental health stigma, and, to raise awareness of the positive impact of sport on mental health.

Eorl said: “Rugby League has a proud record when it comes to raising awareness of mental health issues in sport through the great work done by Rugby League Cares and the charity’s partnership with State of Mind.

“The more work we can do of this nature the better.

“I’m also looking forward to returning to some competitive action and enjoying the taste of victory once again!”

Manchester-born Crolla, who held the WBA World Lightweight title in 2016, competed against the Athens Olympics 4x100m team featuring Darren Campbell at last year’s International and returns in 2018 alongside recently crowned Commonwealth super welterweight champion Stacey Copeland.

“The atmosphere at last year’s event was fantastic,” he said. “So, when I was offered the opportunity to come back, I jumped at the chance. Enjoying good mental health is so important and as professional boxers we all know how difficult it can be to maintain it.

“This is a great way to highlight the benefits of sport on maintaining good mental health and should also demonstrate that boxers are superior athletes to rugby players!”

Dean Hardman, the Head of Business Partnerships and Major Events for England Athletics, said: “Over the past two years the Manchester International has become an established event on the local sporting calendar and we cannot wait for the 2018 edition to come around.

“That we’re also able to demonstrate England Athletics’ commitment to ending mental health stigma will make the night even more special.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased here and cost £5 for adults. Entry is free for under-16s.