O2 today announced England rugby star, Paul Sackey, will be fronting eight O2 Scrum on the Beach events taking place this summer across the country.

The England winger will be encouraging rugby fans to get involved at the events and put their beach rugby skills to the test. There will also be opportunities at each event for fans to meet Sackey, as well as other England stars who will be joining him at the free family festivals of rugby.

Following the success of last year’s O2 Scrum on the Beach events, part of the RFU’s Play On scheme, this year there will be eight events taking place throughout the country, as follows:

Clacton on Sea, Essex – July 4th

Great Yarmouth – July 11th

Southport, The Wirral – July 18th

Bournemouth – July 25th

Weymouth – August 1st

Newcastle – August 8-9th

Skegness – August 15th

Lusty Glaze, Newquay – August 28-30th

At each event, Sackey and some of his team mates will be looking for the teams with the best beach rugby style, both on and off the pitch. The eight most stylish teams, judged on style of play, look and attitude, will win the chance to play at a tag tournament at the home of England rugby, Twickenham, in September.

Paul Sackey said: “O2 Scrum on the Beach is a great way to have fun and stay involved with rugby this summer. This year we’re looking for some seriously stylish teams – with the most impressive getting to play at Twickenham in September. That should give you even more of an incentive to get down to the events and show off your skills.”

As well as getting involved in a game of beach rugby, you can test out your skills such as kicking, passing, running and tackling in the state of the art rugby Play Zone or simply chill out and enjoy the entertainment.

O2 customers can also access the exclusive O2 blueroom on the Beach, a VIP chill-out area with free massages and refreshments. They can also try out their speed reaction skills on ‘Batak Duel’ and try to beat one of the England players’ top scores. To find out more about the events, visit www.o2.co.uk/playon

Mark Stevenson, Head of Sponsorship, O2 said: ‘O2 Scrum on the Beach provides a great opportunity for families to enjoy a day of action packed rugby as well as the chance to meet some of the current England stars. It’s fantastic that we are continuing our support of RFU’s Play On Rugby campaign, helping to achieve the aim of retaining players in the game and making rugby accessible to all.’

O2 Scrum on the Beach is part of the RFU’s Play On campaign, sponsored by O2, which aims to keep more 16-24 year-olds in the game as they move from school into higher education and beyond.

Since its launch in May 2008, Play On, which is also supported by the National Sports Foundation, has created a network of more than a thousand O2 Pathfinders to guide young players on their rugby journey, promoted rugby directly to thousands of teenagers, and created more teams, competitions, coaches and referees to sustain the growth of the game.

RFU Community Rugby Director, Andrew Scoular said: “Rugby is the fastest growing major sport in the country and the Play On campaign is all about making sure we keep as many young people involved in the game as possible.

“O2 Scrum on the Beach series was a major success last summer and we’re delighted to have O2’s continued support in expanding the programme to provide even more playing opportunities this year.”

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