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AFEX, one of the world’s largest non-bank providers of global payment, foreign currency and risk management solutions, played host to a unique encounter between stars of rugby league and rugby union in support of Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), and Rugby League Cares, the official charity of the Rugby Football League.
Stars of rugby league and rugby union, past and present, went head-to-head on the trading floor in a bid to see who could place the most currency trades in an hour. Among the rugby league players that took to the phones were the sport’s most-capped international, Adrian Morley, and St. Helens legend Paul Sculthorpe MBE, while former Harlequins and England international Ugo Monye and James Downey, former Northampton player and currently with Wasps were among those representing union.
It was the rugby union players that triumphed, completing £8.4m of trades within the allotted hour window compared to £5.6m completed by the rugby league players. The highest individual trade was completed by Mark Odejobi, former Wasps and England rugby sevens international.
In total, the event raised £20,000 for the two charities that provide financial and emotional support to ex-players in their respective codes that have had their careers ended through injury or illness.
“The excitement on the trading floor today has been unbelievable and we’re thrilled to have been able to play host to such a unique event,” said Rachel Hollos, Global Marketing Director of AFEX. “As well as raising money for two great charities, this event was intended to give the players an experience of what it’s like to work in a bustling financial services environment. From what I’ve seen, there are some natural traders among them.”
Damian Hopley, Group CEO of the RPA, said: “We’re extremely grateful to AFEX for hosting this fantastic event yet again and also to the players for giving their time and throwing themselves into the trading challenge. Not only are they raising vital funds for Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players Association, they’re also gaining invaluable, real-world experience working with an RPA Partner.”
Chris Rostron, the Head of Rugby League Cares, said: “All the players who took part in today’s trading challenge had a terrific time and have taken away much from the experience, especially the ones who had expressed an interest in working in financial services.
“Rugby league players are by their very nature fiercely competitive, as we saw from the way they embraced the cut and thrust of the trading environment and it was good to see them make the most of a valuable hands-on experience.
“Like all athletes, rugby league players have short careers and there is a growing awareness among them of the need to examine new career options long before they retire. However the transition process is not always easy and that’s where Rugby League Cares comes in.
“Our partnership with AFEX is critically to our important work to help players prepare for life after rugby and we are hugely grateful for their continued support.”