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England deaf Rugby international Ben Lawniczak from Caldecott in Rutland needs to raise £1,500 to go on tour to South Africa to play test matches in May 2020

A deaf Rugby international is appealing for help to get him on a ‘chance of a lifetime’ tour to South Africa.

Ben Lawniczak, from Caldecott, has been selected to play for the England deaf Rugby team when they go on a tour to South Africa in May next year and each player has been asked to stump up £1,500 to go.

The 31 year-old, who works as a Rugby coach, said: “It’s the chance of a lifetime to go over there and play one of the top three southern hemisphere teams.

Ben Lawncizak
Ben Lawncizak

“I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen to go on the tour but we have to raise £1,500 each to go to South Africa and that will cover costs such as accommodation, travel and all sorts.

“I’m looking at all sorts really - anything will help.

Ben Lawniczak
Ben Lawniczak

“Sponsors would be great or anything would be fantastic.

“I’m looking into fantasy rugby as a little fundraiser.”

The touring party for South Africa features 35 players and although the fixtures are yet to be confirmed, three test matches will be played during the two-week tour.

South Africa are one of the top three southern hemisphere teams along with Australia and New Zealand.

Ben, who has lived in Caldecott since 1999, is a hooker and plays his club Rugby for Market Harborough.

He is deaf in his left ear.

“I started playing Rugby when I was younger then tried other sports,” he explained.

“Deaf Rugby is no different from normal Rugby really.

“We use hand signals to communicate but apart from that, it’s exactly the same.

“We’ve got players that are profoundly deaf so they rely solely on hand signals.

“Some players play with hearing aids, some with cochlea implants.

“It’s a variety really - from partially deaf to profoundly deaf.

“I’ve been playing for England for about four years now and I’ve been in and out of the team because of injuries and all sorts.

“We’ll be playing South Africa in a number of games for ranking points.

“At the moment, we’re [England] ranked second and I think South Africa are ranked fifth or sixth.

“We’re playing Wales home and away in January and we might be playing them again in an exhibition match although I’m not 100 per cent sure.”

To support Ben or for further information, email him on ben.lawniczak@hotmail.com.

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