Devon rugby players shave heads and raise thousands to help NHS fight against coronavirus

A group of rugby players from Plymouth have raised almost £20,000 to help the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic - all by shaving their heads.

Their season may have been cut short because of the outbreak, but players from Devonport Services RFC have used the free time to make a difference.

For every £10 donated, a player is shaving their head to raise awareness of the crucial work being done by the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.

The team's original target was £200 - but since it was set up at the end of March, they have raised almost £20,000.

WATCH: Devonport Services RFC player shaves his hair off - all for a good cause.

Vice-captain of the club, Sam Bennett, set up the fundraising page and each player has to post a selfie once they have taken part.

Sporting teams from across the West Country have taken up the challenge, helping the club raise more than 100 times its original target.

Player coach Richard West said it was disappointing that the season had to be cancelled after the outbreak became a pandemic in the UK.

"All the lads are pretty gutted, but it is what it is," he told Plymouth Sports Gazette. "It is annoying, but what can you do. We just have to hope this [coronavirus pandemic] passes and we can go again next season."

The players were disappointed that the season had to be called off. Credit: Devonport Services RFC

Devonport Services' men's first team was pushing for promotion to the South West Premier and had placed in the top three of the South West One all season.

Now they want to raise as much money as possible for the NHS and get as many people from Devon's rugby community involved.

READ MORE: How West Country communities are doing their bit to help the fight against coronavirus.