Ambassadors

Nick Knowles

Patron

Nick Knowles is an English television presenter, writer and musical artist. He is best known for his presenting roles on the BBC, including game show Who Dares Wins (2007-present), and the DIY series DIY SOS (1999-present), Nick is a great supporter of the military and rugby and has helped raise thousands of pounds to support fantastic causes. Nick joined Rugby for Heroes in 2016 and his passionate support of our armed forces has made him a brilliant addition of our charity family.

Thinus Delport

Ambassador

Thinus Delport is a South African ex rugby union player who played at wing or fullback for Worcester Warriors and South Africa. He started his career playing for the Lions from U21 level and he made his senior debut in 1997. Thinus has been a great ambassador for the charity, regularly attending dinners, putting his boots on to captain our charity rugby team, and most importantly leading our Transition Through Rugby courses for military men and women.

Amy Williams MBE

Ambassador

Amy Joy Williams MBE is an English former skeleton racer and Olympic gold medallist. Originally a runner, she began training in skeleton after trying the sport on a push-start track at the Bath Uni. She became the first British individual gold medalliist at a Winter Olympics for 30 years when she triumphed in 2010. Amy has been involved with Rugby for Heroes charity as ambassador for several years. She can relate to the regimented life top athletes have to endure and recognises the similarities for our service men and women. She is passionate in helping to support our military personnel.

Ryan Jones

Ambassador

Ryan Jones is a triple Grand Slam winning Wales rugby captain who made 150 appearances for the Ospreys. Since his retirement from professional rugby in 2015, he has gone on to take on the role of Performance Director at the WRU. Ryan is a keen supporter of the military and joining us at Rugby for Heroes is a perfect fit.

Kelly Sotherton MBE

Ambassador

Kelly Sotherton is a triple Olympic Medallist in Heptathlon and 4x400m. She has won multiple medals at World and European championships including being Commonwealth Games Champion. This makes her one of the most decorated British female athletes in track and field history. Kelly works in coach development and talent pathway within Athletics and also is a national team coach at all levels at Championships. The 2018/19 Rugby season has seen Kelly become Wasps 1st team performance running coach. Kelly is a passionate advocate for Sports Governance including athlete well-being, duty of care and doping in sport. In 2017, she founded British Athletics Athlete commission. Kelly sits on various boards and commissions Nationally and Internationally. Kelly is extremely honoured to be made an ambassador and looking forward to helping to support our military personnel from their transition to civilian life.

Julian Lewis Jones

Ambassador

Julian has been an actor for over 20 years. His extensive CV includes roles in films such as Clint Eastwood’s Nelson Mandela Inspired 1995 Rugby World Cup Movie- “Invictus”, Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” ,”The Bank Job” and Kevin Macdonald’s “The Eagle”. On TV he has appeared in shows such as SKY 1’s Stella ( where he plays Stella’s Ex Husband “Krazy Karl” ), BBC’s River and Spooks, and The Tudors, ITV’s “Foyle’s War”, “Life of Crime” and “Where The Heart Is” to name but a few. He is proud to be an Ambassador for Rugby for Heroes. "It is such an Important charity and the work they do for our ex service men and women is truly fantastic."

Justin Harrison

Ambassador

Justin Harrison, born 20 April 1974 in Sydney, Australia, played 34 times at lock forward for Australia. He is honoured to be an ambassador for Rugby for Heroes and sees the similarities and difficulties in making the transition from professional rugby and the military to civilian life.

Nia Parsonage

Ambassador

Nia Parsonage is a Yorkshire and RFU match official operating across the community game and in the women's professional and international game. She started playing rugby at 15 for Capilano RFC in Canada, and has since been a school team coach, representative level team manager, regional 7s event director, and match day referee manager. Growing up, she wanted to join the Air Force, but wasn't able to for medical reasons, so these days she's involved in the commercial side of sport. She's made a lot of great friends from the forces through rugby and looks forward to welcoming more service personnel into the rugby family through Rugby For Heroes.

Keith Senior

Ambassador

Keith Andrew Senior is a former English professional Rugby League player who played for Sheffield Eagles and Leeds Rhinos in the Super League. A Great Britain and England international representative centre, he is considered one of the greatest players of the Super League era. Keith joined Rugby for Heroes as a candidate of one of the Transition Through Rugby courses and has been a great supporter ever since. He is passionate in his support of our armed forces.

Kevin Yates

Ambassador

Kevin is a former professional rugby player who has represented Bath, Wellington Hurricanes, Sale and Saracens. He made his debut for Bath in 1993 and finished his career at Saracens after nearly 300 first class games. He has represented England at International level as well as the Barbarians. Since retiring Kevin has enjoyed representing rugby for heroes charity team on a number of occasions and is honoured to be an ambassador, which is particularly special as he comes from a military family. Matt is very honoured to be an ambassador for Rugby For Heroes and coming from a military family it’s even more special.

Anthony Allen

Ambassador

Anthony Allen capped another impressive season in 2012/13 by being named Man of the Match in the Aviva Premiership Final win over Northampton Saints, his fourth successive Premiership Final appearance with Tigers. Anthony is a Founder member of the charity and passionate supporter of our military. He has been a great asset promoting our cause throughout the rugby industry and is a credit to the game with how he conducts himself on and off the field.

Ryan Lamb

Ambassador

A former pupil of St Peter’s High School, Ryan made his professional debut in the European Challenge Cup quarter final against Brive in 2006 which Gloucester Rugby won comfortably. Lamb started in the subsequent final, as Gloucester defeated his future club, London Irish. Ryan is a Founder member of the charity and has supported the cause in many ways from fundraising, attending the events, even rallying up players to help support. He is passionate about helping our ex service men and women as they transition to civilian life.

Jonny Goodridge

Ambassador

Jonny is a former professional player who has represented Gloucester, Leeds and Bristol. Made his debut for Gloucester in 2001 and finished his career at Bristol in 2013 after over 200 professional games. Since retiring from playing Jonny has started coaching where he has taken up a role as Backs coach with Hartpury Academy. Jonny has represented the Rugby for Heroes side numerous times since retiring. "I am very proud to become an Ambassador for such a great charity, helping the difficult transition from active service to civilian life"

Mark Atkinson

Ambassador

Mark Atkinson is a Gloucester Rugby Player his career first started for Sale Sharks in 2008 before joining Wasps in 2010 he had a spell in the Champions Leauge before 2014, returning to the Premiership as he signs for Gloucester Rugby from the 2014-15 season. Mark has been recently introduced to the charity and was asked to become a Rugby For Heroes ambassador where he instantly agreed as he shares the vision of helping our men & women make their personal transition out of the forces.

James Forrester

Ambassador

James Forrester is a tall, agile, talented number eight with excellent ball handling skills and an eye for the try line, as his impressive try tally for Gloucester Rugby In 2003 Forrester was named PRA Premiership Young Player Of The Year as well as Sports Writers Young Player of the year. He was also named in the 37 man training squad for the 2003 World cup before a wrist injury and surgery ruled him unavailable. James retired due a long list of injuries in 10 October 2008 James grandfather Major-General Michael Forrester, was a first-rate front-line commander and was awarded two DSOs and two MCs in hard fighting in four widely different theatres James appreciation for the military made him want to become an ambassador for Rugby For Heroes and do more in giving back to the game he loved and to help with the transition of military personnel.

Delon Armitage

Ambassador

Brought up in the south of France, Delon played U16 rugby for Les Bleus. A move to the London Irish academy brought him into the Premiership, and eventually into the England set up. He first appeared in an England shirt in the Autumn Internationals of 2008, and went on to win 26 caps. After amassing 330 points in a ten year career at London Irish, Delon was tempted back to France in 2012 with an offer from Toulon, and he made over a hundred appearances for the French and European champions. A highlight was when he scored the winning try in the 2013 Heineken Cup final against Clermont. In 2016 Delon moved to play in Lyon, and since retiring in 2019 he has moved into coaching, establishing the Delon Armitage Elite Academy. He is a keen supporter of our military, and Rugby For Heroes is excited to have him aboard.

Marcel Garvey

Ambassador

Marcel is a product of St Peter’s High School Gloucester, the same school as former teammate and Rugby For Heroes founder Ryan Lamb. The word most often used to describe him is “electric”, and he marked his Gloucester debut by scoring three tries against Bristol. Marcel represented England A and England U21, and was also a member of the England Sevens squad. He made 95 appearances for Gloucester, amassing 180 points and developing a reputation as a deadly finisher. Marcel moved up the M5 to Worcester in 2006 and appeared 125 times for the Sixways outfit, scoring 42 tries. “Rarely have we seen a more exciting player in blue and gold” said a Worcester Warriors blogger. Marcel also played for Castres in France’s Top 14. He is a great addition to the Rugby For Heroes team, and we look forward to working with him.

Jordan Crane

Ambassador

A West Brom academy footballer as a teenager, Jordan Crane began his rugby career at Leeds Tykes before embarking on ten successful years as part of a formidable Leicester pack between 2006 and 2016. He proved to be the ideal Welford Rd forward, an athletic, hard-carrying No.8 in a side that won four Premiership titles during his time there. Perhaps his most famous moment in a Tigers shirt came in the European Cup semi-final against Cardiff Blues in 2009, when he kicked the match-winning penalty in the first ever rugby penalty shoot-out. Jordan’s followers on social media will know that his son Hunter is following in the family tradition, judging by his kicking exploits. Capped three times for England in 2008 and 2009, Jordan ended his 16 year playing career under Pat Lam at Bristol, and he has been working there as the Academy Transition Coach. Rugby For Heroes is looking forward to working with him.

Julian Salvi

Ambassador

Julian arrived in the Premiership having established a reputation as a flank forward who relished his work at the breakdown during his time at the Brumbies and as skipper of the Australia U21 side. After a season at Bath, he moved to Leicester Tigers. He made over a hundred appearances for the Welford Road outfit, scoring 55 points. Will Greenwood highlighted his importance to the club’s success, describing him as a “hidden gem” in a stellar side. The knowledgeable Tigers supporters agreed, voting Salvi as their Player of the Year in 2013. In 2015 he moved to the West Country, adding his expertise to Rob Baxter’s pack at Exeter. Julian moved into the coaching team there in 2018. Everyone at Rugby For Heroes is delighted to see Julian added to our group of ambassadors.

Wayne Godwin

Ambassador

Sean Holley

Ambassador

Sean Holley is the curent coach of Bristol RFC Sean’s former club the Ospreys were he was head for over 9 years. He is the Current BBC Scrum V Rugby Analyst “Man in the Truck” for ‘The Breakdown’ and Six Nations “StatPad”, Host of Sony Award Winning ‘Rugby Nation Radio Show, Freelance Writer regularly published in Rugby World, The Rugby Paper, Emerald Rugby, Rugby Coaching Weekly, International Rugby Coaching.Experienced Keynote and After Dinner Speaker, MC and Host. Sean has been an active member of Rugby For Heroes since 2011. He has raised money by giving after dinner speeches at military bases and engaging with the military community.