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Wooden Spoon arctic challengers play the northernmost game of rugby in history 

Press Release 06/05/2015 – Former international rugby stars Tim Stimpson and Ollie Phillips have returned victorious from the arctic, trekking over 60 miles to the Magnetic North Pole experiencing temperatures as low as minus 30◦C, in a bid to create a Guinness World Record for the northernmost rugby match in history.

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Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby, took on the challenge in order to raise £300,000 for disadvantaged and disabled children across the UK and Ireland.

Tim Stimpson and Ollie Phillips
Tim Stimpson and Ollie Phillips

The teams faced treacherous conditions during the trek. Arriving at the Magnetic North Pole exhausted, the group had the small task of setting up a rugby pitch on the Arctic ice. As required by Guinness World Records, posts were erected and the perimeter of the pitch was measured and marked all to World Rugby regulations. #teamtim came out on top of a closely contested 17-14 victory. Winning skipper Stimpson said; “We’re pleased with the win. Having played a lot of rugby up in Newcastle I’ve played in some chilly conditions but this was another level all together.”

Barry Monahan, Chief Operating Officer at Wooden Spoon said; “It’s a phenomenal achievement to make it the North Pole but to then play a game of rugby is an extraordinary feat. The conditions were very challenging and the group showed great determination and team spirit throughout.  We are delighted.”

Ex England 7’s captain, and Captain of #teamollie, Ollie Phillips commented; “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.”
Wooden Spoon Arctic Challenge Team Photo
The teams were made up of committed Wooden Spoon members from across the UK and Ireland including David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Exchange, the charity’s lead sponsor. David added; “I feel very privileged to have been part of such a great group of people completing the challenge and expecting to set a Guinness World Record to boot. It was a once in a lifetime experience, made all the sweeter by creating greater awareness of such a fantastic charity and raising a substantial sum of money. I join Wooden Spoon in thanking all supporters and personally would like to thank the LMAX team and partners for all their efforts in the lead up to and during the challenge.”

Following the successful completion of the Arctic Rugby Challenge, Wooden Spoon is asking the public to support the challengers in their continued efforts to raise £300,000. To donate, text code ARCT01 for £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.

To donate online visit  and for more information go to

Wooden Spoon Match Imagery

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