Mount Everest charity rugby match breaks record for highest ever | UK News

A group of rugby players, including former internationals, has taken part in a record-breaking charity match held 20,771ft (6,331m) up Mount Everest.

Former England and Bath hooker Lee Mears and ex-Wales and Ospreys wing Shane Williams were among those taking part in the seven-a-side match on the East Rongbuk Glacier, near the mountain’s Advanced Base Camp.

Teams battled chronic altitude sickness, fatigue and exhaustion to compete in the match, which raised more than £250,000 for Wooden Spoon – a charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged children through rugby.

Playing the game. Pic: Wooden Spoon
Team members had to spend two weeks acclimatising Pic: Wooden Spoon

Williams, who captained one of the teams, said: “In arguably the world’s most spectacular setting for a rugby match but also the most inhospitable conditions, the game was incredibly tough.

“If you ran during the match it took 10 minutes to recover.

“That said, everyone put in 100% and there was some great rugby played. I can’t praise the team enough.”

The match was made up of the standard two seven-minute halves of rugby in order to meet strict Guinness World Record rules.

Champagne shot. Pic: Wooden Spoon
It ended 5-5 after both teams each scored an unconverted try Pic: Wooden Spoon

It ended 5-5 after both teams each scored an unconverted try – setting a new record for the highest game of rugby in recorded history.

Team members had to spend two weeks acclimatising, during which they successfully played the highest ever game of touch rugby in the build-up to the main event, at 16,794ft (5,119m).

Match referee Tamara Taylor, a former England women captain, said: “The time spent at this altitude has taken its toll on all of us but the group summoned a second wind to play the game.”

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