It's on! Sale Sharks and Salford Red Devils set for "AJ Bell Clash of the Codes"
18 February 2014 12:40pm
By Sale Sharks
To celebrate the shared success of North West Rugby Union and Rugby League, Sale Sharks and Salford Red Devils will take to the pitch at the AJ Bell Stadium on 26th August in aid of two fantastic causes - The Prince's Trust and Maggie's. This will literally be a match of two halves, with one half played to Rugby Union rules and one half played according to Rugby League rules. The format has been specially chosen to create maximum entertainment for what is likely to be a sell-out crowd at the AJ Bell Stadium, the home ground of both teams. The "AJ Bell Clash of the Codes" follows in a history of cross-code matches in rugby, with honours remaining even. Back in 1996 more than 62,000 fans cheered on a double header between Bath and Wigan at Maine Road and Twickenham whilst the most recent cross-codes clash was between Sale and St Helens at Knowsley Road in 2003, when Sale Sharks edged out St Helens 41-39, stemming a dramatic second-half comeback from the league side. There is no shortage of drama expected at the AJ Bell Stadium either, with both squads full of international quality players. Sale Sharks boast the likes of Mark Cueto, Danny Cipriani and captain Dan Braid, and Salford Red Devils squad includes England's Rangi Chase, Samoa's Lama Tasi, and England's most-capped player Adrian Morley. Steve Diamond, Sale Sharks Director of Rugby, said: "Everyone at Sale Sharks is very excited about taking on our friends and rivals in League. Our players will definitely be up for the challenge and I'm sure our fans will be there making plenty of noise". Brian Noble, Salford Red Devils Head Coach, added: "This is a great opportunity for our guys to pit their skills against different athletes. It will be a big challenge but I think they'll relish it. The fact that this is for two such fantastic causes is going to be a big motivator for both teams." Andy Bell, CEO of AJ Bell concluded: "We're very proud that the AJ Bell Stadium will be hosting this chapter of sporting history to help raise funds for two great causes. It's going to be an amazing atmosphere and I'm sure both sides and their fans will want to get the bragging rights." The AJ Bell Trust, AJ Bell's charitable foundation has committed to donating at least £50k from the proceeds of the "AJ Bell Clash of the Codes", split between The Princes' Trust, which helps young people of all backgrounds develop their lives through work, education and training, and to Maggie's, which is trying to raise £6m to build a new centre at the Christie, designed by Lord Norman Foster, to provide comfort and support to cancer sufferers and their families. As part of the fundraising effort, an all-star Gala Dinner for 400 people will be held ahead of the match, with a stellar guest list, red carpet arrivals, live music and after-dinner speaking all planned to provide the perfect curtain-raiser for the rugby. The date for this event will be announced shortly. Ticket details for the AJ Bell Clash of the Codes will be available shortly.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Sale boss Steve Diamond believes that some good old-fashioned home comforts can help drive the Sharks to a second successive top-six Premiership finish this season.
As England host the Rugby World Cup, the multi million selling soprano, Laura Wright, who is known to millions as the official anthem singer of the England Rugby Team will be getting behind all things rugby this February, continuing her support for the RFU's All Schools rugby campaign.