1. ITV Report

Call to #BleedForEngland as Rugby World Cup approaches

Stars like Jonny Wilkinson have backed the campaign. Credit: NHS Blood and Transplant

England's rugby legends have backed a campaign to get more people to donate blood.

NHS Blood and Transplant is leading the #BleedForEngland push, and they want 100,000 new volunteers to register as blood donors between England's first warm up game, and the end of the world's biggest rugby tournament.

They say there's a desperate need, because currently less than three percent of people aged between 17 and 70 have donated blood in the past year, whereas research shows 24 percent cheered England on when they won the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

The campaign is backed by Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Ben Kay, Jason Leonard, Maggie Alphonsi and Matt Dawson.

Watch the promotional video here:

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I’ve always wanted to give back and now I’m learning about how to support that massive team that was behind us– be a link in a chain that’s going to go somewhere fabulous for someone else. Giving blood is such a great way to do that.”

– Jonny Wilkinson

We’re delighted that some England rugby legends have bled for England by making their first blood donations and we really hope they have inspired people in Cumbria who’ve never donated before to register to join them.

They have shown just how easy it is to become a new blood donor. We want to see 100,000 new donors sign up to #BleedForEngland to help us meet patient needs in the future."

– Jon Latham, Assistant Director at NHS Blood and Transplant