A crack team of journalists will get the chance to grill MPs, councillors and parliamentary candidates on the rugby league pitch in a rematch with the Political Animals.
On Sunday 22 February, the two sides will face each other for the first time since 2008, a game that was so successful it sparked the foundation of the Political Animals club comprising Lords, MPs, councillors and others involved in the political process.
The game is taking place at Wigan Warriors’ training ground in Orrell on the afternoon of the World Club Challenge between St Helens and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
It kicks off at 1pm and is raising funds for the sport’s charity Rugby League Cares and Joining Jack, the charity founded by the parents of Jack Johnson to promote and fund research into the study and cure of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and one close to the rugby league community.
There is a JustGiving webpage for the game taking donations for the two charities: www.justgiving.com/Political-Animals.
The Animals’ club captain is Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland MP. He said “I am delighted that the big rematch between Politicians and Journalists is taking place. What better way for the two professions to sort out their differences than by a game of rugby league!
“The first game at Headingley was a hard fought bruising encounter and I am sure this time will be no different. Since that match, we’ve become an established club and play games every year. It’s a brilliant way for politicians to get involved in the sport and promote rugby league.
“The game against the Journalists is the big one though and I hope that fellow Politicians, MPs, councillors and candidates will join us to take to the field. I am especially delighted that with this special game we will be raising money for two fantastic charities, Rugby League Cares and Joining Jack, and hope that those who can’t play will donate to make our bruises worthwhile!”
Captaining the Journalists, whose line-up will include some familar names from television, radio and print, is former Yorkshire and GB amateur representative Danny Lockwood.
He said: “This is a tremendous initiative to develop the sport. To have a team of local and national politicians regularly playing rugby league is terrific for our game. This match is definitely one of attrition as there are few opportunities politicians have to show us journalists what they really think.”