CELEBRTIES and rugby players teed off in Newport today for the second annual Mike Tindall charity golf tournament.
Ninety two players took part in the golf tournament at the Celtic Manor resort in aid of Rugby For Heroes, a charity which helps former servicemen and women adapt to civilian life. The 23 teams of four played on the 2010 course which was built for the Ryder Cup and spans 7,493 yards.
Players included Sir Steve Redgrave, James and Oliver Phelps from Harry Potter, Martyn Williams, former Welsh international, Nicky Robinson, Welsh international and fly-half for Bristol, and Peter Jones from Dragon's Den.
Mike Tindall, former England Rugby captain, said: "We have quite a few more players than last year's tournament, it's a mix of friends and celebrities. We are trying to push it on with the help of the Celtic Manor, we raised just under £50,000 last year and hope to raise even more.
"I came second last year, hopefully we will push that position up. I can't really win my own charity tournament."
He added: "To play the Ryder Cup course is an accolade. I have played here quite a few times, yesterday I did part of the course, hopefully it will go well today."
The Gloucester player/coach is a patron of the charity since its origin in 2011.
He said: "Rugby and the armed forces are quite linked with team work. I'll be coming to that point in my career when you have to make the crossover, to make the decision to stay or go out. The charity aims to help servicemen with that.”
Sir Steve Redgrave, five time Olympic gold medal winner, said: "This is my first time on the 2010 course, I have played part of it but not the whole thing. I know Mike quite well, I did the celebrity cup last year, I captained England and he was on my team.
"It's great to come and take part to support him and to support the charity."
Martyn Williams, former flanker for Wales, said: "I'm a member here, I've been an ambassador since 2010. I think it's the best golf course in the country.
"It's a privilege to play here and for such a good cause. Ruby players are looked up to as role models, it's nothing compared with what the armed forces do, I'm very happy to show support for the servicemen and women."
The Celebrity Golf Classic is sponsored by ISPS Handa, a golf sponsor and Artemis, an investment manager.
Oliver Phelps, George Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise, said: "I played in Mike's tournament last year it was a great laugh. I have played here four years ago before the Ryder Cup tournament, we came with a few of the Potter cast, they somehow let us come to here for the day.
“I want to win, my brother and I are quite competitive, as long as my team beats my brother's I will be happy."
For more information visit www.rugbyforheroes.org.uk