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Sunday 10 September 2023

Grand Slammers - Brand new series sees England Rugby World Cup Winners tackle rugby behind bars

A brand-new series reunites England's Rugby World Cup-winning heroes as they embark on a unique rugby adventure within the confines of a prison.

Among the legendary lineup are Captain Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Phil Vickery, Jason Robinson, Will Greenwood, Ben Cohen, Mike Tindall, and Matt Dawson. These luminaries, who together formed the backbone of England's finest rugby team, basked in the glory of their nation's greatest rugby moment when they hoisted the William Webb Ellis trophy. Now, after two decades have passed since that historic victory, they are reuniting for an entirely different challenge.

Twenty years after their triumphant final against Australia in Sydney, these rugby icons are voluntarily going behind bars to face a novel endeavor. This captivating two-part series, scheduled to air during this year's Rugby World Cup exclusively on ITV, is titled "Grand Slammers." Produced by Remarkable Factual, a Banijay UK company, the show will witness these sports legends entering HMP The Mount, a prison uniquely equipped with a rugby pitch. Their mission? To construct and train a team of inmates with the skills and strength necessary to take on their formidable rivals, the Australians.

Through "Grand Slammers," viewers will gain a profound understanding of how sports can transform lives. The England legends will candidly share their personal experiences with inmates, revealing how rugby played a pivotal role during their formative years and provided them with purpose.

The finale of the two episodes will see our legends play alongside the inmates they've trained to recreate the historic Rugby world cup final from 20 years ago…this time against a team of ex-pat Australian rugby players.

In response to statistics which show that a staggering 50 per cent of all prisoners reoffend within 12 months of release, Grand Slammers will explore how channelling their energy into team sport can have a positive effect on the lives of prisoners whilst also lowering their chances of reoffending post release.  This entire project would not be possible without the support from HMP The Mount's governor, John Gormley as well as the Ministry of Justice.  

Grand Slammers is commissioned for ITV by Kate Teckman, Head of Development, Factual Entertainment.

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