Ollie Phillips to tackle Arctic challenge in world record attempt

15 April 2015

Following the extreme conditions he tackled on the Clipper Race, former international rugby star Ollie Phillips is today setting off to attempt to play the world’s most northerly rugby Sevens match at the North Pole.

After completing the circumnavigation on board GREAT Britain in July 2014, Phillips - the former England Sevens, Gloucester and Stade Francais winger – decided he had to embark on a world first.

Phillips is joining fellow rugby veterans Tim Stimpson and Pat Sanderson in a squad which is bidding to set a new Guinness World Record at the 1996 Magnetic North Pole and raise £300,000 for the Wooden Spoon charity.

The challengers will fly from Resolute Bay, in the former North West Territories of Canada, before trekking 100 miles across sea ice to play the 7-a-side match in the frozen conditions.

Ollie, a Clipper Race ambassador, said: “Doing the Clipper Race gave me the confidence that I could handle extreme conditions and operate in adverse environments.

“We are not sure what to expect on this trek and the punishing cold and threat of polar bears is very daunting.

“I loved discovering the unknown on the circumnavigation and the experience I gained will help when we are freezing and exhausted but need to work together as a team to help each other through.

“Most of us know from our love of rugby how important teamwork is for success so we have something to draw on when the going gets tough.

“Doing the Clipper Race has become part of my moral fibre and gave me the hunger to discover more of the world by taking on further challenges for charity.”

Ollie Phillips, the 2009 IRB Player of the Year and former England Sevens Captain, was a crew member and watch leader who took part on the GREAT Britain yacht during the 2013-14 race whilst taking an injury break from professional rugby.

The next edition of the Clipper Race will start in August 2015 from the UK and return in July 2016. Crew places are 80 per cent full, but it is not too late to apply.

You can follow Ollie on Twitter @olliephillips11 and find out more about the Arctic Rugby Challenge at www.arcticrugbychallenge.com or on Twitter @WSArcticRugby.

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