Strictly Come Dancing: Rugby star Ugo Monye to miss next live show due to 'back problems'

Ugo Monye with partner Oti Mabuse.

Ugo Monye has announced he will be unable to compete on Strictly Come Dancing this week because of back problems.

The retired rugby union player, 38, has decided to rest for a week after the strains of the competition began to take a toll.

It means he and his partner Oti Mabuse will be absent from Saturday night's live show.

"Gutted Oti & I won’t be dancing this weekend but wishing all the other contestants the best of luck & will be cheering them on from home!" he said on Twitter.

Monye impressed the judges earlier in the series when he delivered an emotional Samba performance dedicated to his late father, who had passed away a few weeks before.

His announcement comes a day after comedian Robert Webb withdrew from the show due to ill health.

The Peep Show star, who had open heart surgery two years ago, said he was advised by a doctor to quit the show after he had “begun to feel symptoms” while training for the BBC One celebrity dancing competition.

Webb, 49, was partnered with Dianne Buswell in the competition.

Dianne Buswell and Robert Webb Credit: Guy Levy/BBC

He said in a statement: “I’m extremely sorry to have to announce that I’m withdrawing from Strictly Come Dancing due to ill health.

"Two years ago I had open heart surgery and although I believed I was fit enough to take on Strictly and its demanding schedule, it became clear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew for this stage in my recovery. “I had begun to feel symptoms that led me to seek an urgent consultation with my heart specialist, and it was her view that it would be better for the sake of my health to step back from the show."

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Last weekend McFly star Tom Fletcher and partner Amy Dowden returned to the dancefloor after testing positive for coronavirus. The duo missed a week of shows while they were self-isolating.