Rugby stars go behind bars to coach prisoners

Rugby stars go behind bars to coach prisoners

Lawrence DallaglioITV has commissioned Grand Slammers, in which England Rugby World Cup winners will enter HMP The Mount prison to train inmates to compete against a team of ex-pat Australian players.  

The prison is home to one of the only remaining rugby pitches inside an adult male English prison, where captain Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Phil Vickery, Jason Robinson, Will Greenwood, Ben Cohen, Mike Tindall and Matt Dawson will build and coach the prisoners/players. 

The 2 x 90 series is produced by Remarkable Factual. It was developed by Matt Winter and the executive producers are Helen Simpson, Tim Allsop, Jo Smith and Kitty Walshe.

Grand Slammers was commissioned for ITV by Kate Teckman, head of Development, factual entertainment, who said: “In this new series we’ll see some of the greatest sporting heroes England has ever produced reunite on the pitch for the first time in 20 years to go into a prison and build a rugby a team with men who live their lives behind bars.  For some of these England legends, rugby presented a positive pathway and an opportunity to fulfil their potential.  

“So, with re-offending rates from ex-prisoners at an alarming level, these World Cup winners are engaging with young men who’ve made big mistakes to show them how the game they love can offer the possibility of taking positive steps to move forward. 


“At a moment when rugby will be in the spotlight, during this autumn’s Rugby World Cup, Grand Slammers will provide a revealing insight into both England’s legends and the power of the sport that has defined so much of their lives.”


Lawrence Dallaglio image credit David Howlett and Creative Commons. 

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