Help for Heroes Challenge Match
Stars provide charity windfall
PA Sport
September 20, 2008
Scott Gibbs and Lawrence Dallaglio pose with the Help for Heroes Challenge Match trophy following the Help for Heroes XV's 29-10 victory over the International XV at Twickenham
Scott Gibbs and Lawrence Dallaglio were just two of the former stars on show at Twickenham © Getty Images

The Help For Heroes XV beat their International Select XV opponents 29-10 at Twickenham but the real winner was the charity with a £1.1m windfall generated by the clash.

Martin Johnson made a triumphant return to Twickenham as the Help for Heroes XV claimed victory over the International XV. The current England manager and 2003 World Cup-winning captain was given a standing ovation from the 52,254 crowd when he appeared as a 47th minute replacement in a fundraising game for injured servicemen and women.

Lawrence Dallaglio captained the Heroes XV, who scored four tries to two to run out 29-10 winners.

Watched by Prince Charles and Lady Camilla Parker Bowles, the game proved to be a hotly contested affair between two sides packed full of stars from the past and future, mixed with current servicemen. Organisers also announced that £1.1million had been raised for Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Epsom, Surrey.

On a beautiful sunny day in the capital, the International XV opened the scoring after eight minutes when captain Scott Gibbs made a sharp outside break before putting 18-year-old winger Kristian Phillips in for the try.

Rhys Priestland, who had missed an earlier penalty, failed again with the conversion. Former Wales centre Gibbs was again involved on 28 minutes when a sweeping move by the International XV was foiled five metres short of the line by a last-gasp tackle from Mark Odejobi.

Fly half Alex Goode got the Heroes on the scoreboard with a 31st-minute penalty before 2003 World Cup-winning flanker Richard Hill crashed over from short range five minutes later. Goode added the extras to make it 10-5 to the Heroes XV.

The Heroes XV stretched their lead further when prop Nathan Catt scored another try from close range on the stroke of half-time. This time Goode failed with the conversion.

Kenny Logan brought the International XV back into it when he went over in the left corner following a scrum close to the line. Priestland's conversion attempt from the touchline flew wide.

Johnson, playing his first game of rugby since May 2005, entered the contest to a standing ovation from the Twickenham crowd when he replaced Scott Hobson in the Heroes second row. Replacement flanker Paul Volley was harshly sinbinned by referee Sean Davey for handling the ball on the floor on 52 minutes.

The Heroes weathered a sustained spell of pressure and forced their way back up field before the impressive Will Greenwood gave a trademark dummy and slid over the line to make it 20-10. Goode added his third kick of the day to extend the lead further.

Priestland made a series of impressive late breaks for the International XV and Greenwood went close to scoring his second before Joe Simpson sealed the game with a try on the final whistle. Dallaglio completed proceedings with the conversion.


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