The Ospreys will be wearing shirts adorned with the 'Help for Heroes' medallion at their match in aid of the charity on Sunday, as a further gesture of respect for our troops.
The club has also announced that it will be donating its green playing strip – which will be signed by the players - to the charity, which will then be auctioned off to raise money for the cause.
The Ospreys have invited a battalion of local servicemen who have just returned from Afghanistan as special guests to the fixture against Irish club Connacht, who along with over 50 additional troops from the Royal Welsh, will be undertaking a ‘lap of honour’ of the Liberty Stadium shortly before the 5pm kick off. The club has also committed to allowing all servicemen and women with a valid warrant card into the fixture free of charge.
Paul Thorburn, Ospreys Strategic Development Manager, said:
“We are delighted to be able to welcome so many troops to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, and felt it was an important and symbolic gesture that we ‘wear our support on our sleeves’ by displaying the Help for Heroes badge on the player’s shirts. We are also pleased to announce that the squad will sign the shirts after the game, and these will be donated to Help for Heroes for them to auction off as they see fit at a later date
“The green shirt is very much symbolic of our region, we chose the colour as it’s representative of the hills and fields of Ospreylia. With this in mind we thought it was the perfect choice for the game to welcome the troops back home to their region, and the Help for Heroes badge further demonstrates our respect and admiration for the hard work and dedication shown by all our troops, both from Ospreylia and beyond.”
The Army will be taking over the Ospreys Village for the day, with an inflatable assault course, climbing wall and a Panther vehicle in the area outside the Stadium which supporters and families can enjoy prior to kick off.
Troops from A Company, Second Batallion, the Royal Welsh have also decided to do their bit for the charity on the day, and have organised a Help for Heroes bucket collection at the Liberty Stadium.
Ospreys player, Mike Phillips, said:
“Having recently met some of the troops from A Company, who have recently returned from Afghanistan, it will be an honour to play this match in support of a charity that they obviously feel so strongly about.
“All the players are looking forward to what we hope will not only be an exciting game of rugby, but also a chance to show our respect to all the local soldiers that will be coming along to the match.”
The crucial Magners League fixture is a key date for the Ospreys, as it could see the club enhance their strong position near the top of the Magners League and keep them in line for a home semi final in the Play-Offs.