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Gregg Wallace backs campaign connecting rugby stars with fans

The TV star is a long-standing Wasps supporter.

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Gregg Wallace (Yui Mok/PA)

Gregg Wallace (Yui Mok/PA)

Gregg Wallace (Yui Mok/PA)

Gregg Wallace has backed a Premiership Rugby campaign urging its players to call vulnerable fans during the lockdown.

The MasterChef star, who is a long-standing Wasps supporter, shared a video on Instagram calling on fans to join the Make That Call initiative.

England World Cup stars George Ford, Ben Youngs and Dan Cole are among those who have been catching up with their supporters during the pandemic.

Wallace, 55, said: “I want to talk to you about something I think is really important.

“Now, I’m guessing you’re like me and you’re at home?

“Good. I want to tell you about (an) initiative that was started by Wasps, which is the club I support, and has now been picked up by all Premiership Rugby teams.

“What they did is they took it in turns to phone supporters so those supporters didn’t feel isolated, felt they were still part of something

“Now we want that to grow. We want you to make that call.

“Phone somebody. It’s really important we all feel we all feel we are still part of society.

“Phone a loved one. Phone someone you haven’t seen for ages. Perhaps phone someone who works for the NHS or is in the frontline of care at this difficult time.”

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England’s George Ford (Steven Paston/PA)

England’s George Ford (Steven Paston/PA)

PA

England’s George Ford (Steven Paston/PA)

Coventry-based Wasps launched the campaign last week, with the aim of connecting their players with NHS workers, key workers and the elderly.

Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Saracens, Bath and Gloucester have also signed up.

Craig Doyle, presenter of BT Sport’s Premiership Rugby coverage, said: “The simple action of just picking up the phone is what this campaign is all about.

“As a nation, never before have we needed to come together so much as we do now.

“Calling each other with messages of encouragement and friendship is exactly what we need to get us through the coming weeks.”

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs added: “I’m so proud of this campaign from Premiership Rugby’s players and clubs who support their communities right across the country.

“The past weeks have been tough for us all, but making these calls to our supporters, and hearing these heart-warming stories have kept us all going.

“We can all make a difference to someone, and we hope to support many more people over the coming weeks with this campaign.”

People can join in by using the #MakeThatCall hashtag on social media.

PA