Former Test stars Tim Stimpson and Ollie Phillips have set a new Guinness World Record for playing the northernmost rugby match in history, at the Magnetic North Pole – and raised a stack of money for charity in the process.
The extraordinary feat was accomplished as part of the Wooden Spoon Arctic Challenge, which saw the intrepid group trek more than 60 miles over the ice in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees C, then set up rugby posts, mark out a pitch perimeter and play a match.
Team Tim beat Team Ollie 17-14, while another former England player Lee Mears was the referee. Winning skipper Tim Stimpson said: “Having played a lot of rugby up in Newcastle I’ve played in some chilly conditions but this was another level altogether!”
Ex England Sevens captain Ollie Phillips added; “I can’t quite believe that we’ve done it, it’s an amazing feeling. The Arctic is an incredible yet dangerous place and we needed to be on the top of our game to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes during the trek, as one lapse in concentration could have been catastrophic.”
The Artic Challenge was created with the aim of raising £300,000 for Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby, which helps disadvantaged and disabled children across the UK and Ireland. To donate, text code ARCT01 for £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.
Watch the Wooden Spoon Arctic Challenge video here.