In a new ITV reality show called “Grand Slammers,” Mike Tindall, who is married to Zara, King Charles’ niece, and a former rugby star, got a big surprise from Princess Anne. This show features Mike and other players from the 2003 England Rugby team that won the World Cup. It’s a two-part series starting on Wednesday.
In the show, Mike and his teammates went to HMP The Mount prison. Their challenge was to help inmates become a strong rugby team that could take on the tough Australian team.
In a part of the TV show, Mike is shown chatting with his rugby buddy Martin Johnson on the phone while they are at Royal Ascot with their teammate Phil Vickery.
After their talk, they spot Princess Anne, who happens to be Mike’s mother-in-law, coming into the room. Surprised, Mike says, “Oops, my bad. Would you like to join us? We’re teaching a rugby team in prison how to play.”
Mike invites Princess Anne to join the coaching team, and Phil suggests she could be the team manager. Princess Anne, looking elegant, asks about the plan. Mike explains that they’re going into a prison to teach inmates how to play rugby, and they’ll be playing against the prison guards. Princess Anne mentions she’s heard of a similar project but knows it’s challenging to sustain. She jokingly asks if she’s allowed to leave.
As they help the princess leave the room, Mike reassures her that she can leave, and she mentions she’s there to watch the racing.
In this two-part documentary, members of the 2003 England Rugby World Cup-winning team, including Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Jason Robinson, Will Greenwood, Ben Cohen, and Matt Dawson, are trying to train a group of prisoners to become a strong rugby team capable of competing against the Australians. The show airs on two consecutive nights and takes place in HMP The Mount, which has one of the last rugby pitches inside an English adult male prison.
The rugby players aim to introduce the prisoners to the spirit of rugby, emphasizing its inclusive and unifying aspects, with all the camaraderie, intensity, emotion, excitement, and laughter that come with being part of a team working toward a common goal.
Mike decided to participate in the program because rugby has played a significant role in shaping his life and identity.
“Sports can make a big difference in people’s lives, and rugby, in particular, is a game that welcomes everyone and makes them feel like they belong. It has the power to help anyone on their journey.
So, when they approached me with this idea, especially doing it with my fellow 2003 teammates, it seemed like a really interesting thing to be a part of.”
He went on to say, “The show highlighted an important issue. As prisons get bigger, they often take up the space where sports fields used to be. This makes it more challenging to use sports as a way to help rehabilitate and prevent people from returning to prison.”
“Grand Slammers” was approved for ITV by Kate Teckman, who is in charge of developing factual entertainment programs.
Kate explains that in this new series, some of England’s greatest sports heroes are coming together on the rugby field for the first time in two decades. They’re going into a prison to help build a rugby team with men who are serving time behind bars.
For many of these England legends, rugby was a positive path that allowed them to reach their full potential. Now, with high rates of former prisoners returning to crime, these World Cup winners are connecting with young men who have made significant mistakes. They want to show them how the sport they love can provide an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives.
This show, “Grand Slammers,” will give us a closer look at both England’s rugby legends and the transformative power of the sport that has been a big part of their lives. It’s airing on ITV1 and ITVX at 9 pm on Wednesday, September 27th, and Thursday, September 28th, right when the Rugby World Cup is getting a lot of attention.
Source: Daily Mail