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On your marks, get set…MO! James Haskell relishing Movember effort

On your marks, get set…MO! James Haskell relishing Movember effort

James Haskell might have had a few hot dates hampered by Movember in the past but as the month rolls around again he is more excited than ever to jump back on the fundraising bandwagon.

The British & Irish Lion and Wasps back-rower will once again spearhead his club’s efforts to round up as much cash as possible for the Movember Foundation.

The month of November will see Aviva Premiership Rugby and The Movember Foundation team up once again to help raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.

And Haskell – who helped raise £4,516 alongside Wasps players and fans last year – admits that it certainly helps having a supportive other half.

“It feels like I’ve done it a million times now but Movember is an incredible cause,” said the 32-year-old.

“To be fair, I’m very lucky with my girlfriend. She likes facial hair.

“When I met her, the very first date I went on with her, I was actually doing Movember at the time and was worried that as I had a horrific handlebar moustache she’d be very reluctant to meet me.

“So I don’t know what she actually thought when I turned up at the door. I think she was instantly unattracted to me, but luckily my charm and my wit won her over.

“Movember has caught the imagination of a nation and the world. They’ve raised well over £100 million for charity.

“Cancer is ever-growing and causing so many troubles for people’s lives, but with Movember, it’s an excuse for the lads to get behind it and grow all sorts of facial hair – your missus can’t complain about it and it helps raise money, which is great.”

Since its inception in 2003 the Movember movement has become a global phenomenon and has garnered support from over five million people worldwide.

The partnership between the foundation and Premiership Rugby sees 12 ‘Movember captains’ – one selected from each Aviva Premiership Rugby club – help inspire players and supporters from the rugby community to get behind the month-long initiative, with Alex Rieder taking on the responsibility for Wasps.

But for Haskell, the thing about Movember he most looks forward to is the added merriment it provides around the Wasps training ground.

He added: “The best thing about Movember is that it’s really caught the male population in that it’s something to do and it’s something to get behind.

“Offices and teams around the country will do it. It’s something which has been adopted by rugby players for a long time.

“There’ll be boys who have started months in advance to try and grow some sort of facial hair who will manage to get a bit of fluff above their lip – and then you’ve got the guy who shaves in the morning and he’s got a beard by the afternoon.

“So there’s always lots of creations going on and a lot of good efforts. There’s people who cheat a little bit.

“I’ve been a bit of a cheater, I’m not going to lie, but as long as you’re raising money, that’s what matters.”

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