Wilkinson store reopened by Rugby legend Neil Back

The new-look Wilkinsons store was opened recently, by Neil Back and other members of the Lions Rugby Team.
The new-look Wilkinsons store was opened recently, by Neil Back and other members of the Lions Rugby Team.
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The refurbished Wilkinson store kicked off its new look with the help of Rugby Lions’ head coach Neil Back.

The 2003 World Cup winner was joined by players and officials in the Clock Towers shopping centre, where he signed autographs and chatted to shoppers last Thursday.

Wilkinson’s also presented him with a £500 donation for his chosen charities.

Manager Jamie Bainbridge said: “With the world cup starting tomorrow and the Rugby being the home of the game Neil Back and the Rugby Lions seemed a very apt choice.

“We’ve had a complete rebrand, with new decor, new ranges and we’ve opened up the aisles so there’s a lot more space. We’ve also introduced the lottery.

“The reopening has been a great success, which is testament to the long hours and hard work the team have put in over the past few months.”

The first 20 customers through the door received a free rugby ball and celebrations, which continued on Saturday, included a raffle for Wilkinson’s charity Age UK, rugby-themed cup cakes, face-painting and back-to-school giveaways.

Former England and Leicester Tigers’ star Back, who joined Rugby Lions in the summer, said: “When was invited to open the store, I didn’t really know what to expect as I’ve not been into the town centre before.

“But it’s my pleasure and I’m impressed with the enthusiasm of the staff. They seem very highly motivated and that’s the business I’m in - motivation.

“And it’s great that they wear Rugby Lions colours as well! Hopefully we will meet a lot of people today and they’ll come and support us.”

Wilkinson’s donation will be split between the Matt Hampson Foundation - set up by the player after he was paralysed - and the Wooden Spoon charity, for disadvantaged children.

“Matt Hampson was at Leicester Tigers and was training with England under-21s when he was injured, so it’s a cause close to my heart,” Back added.

The foundation supports and inspires young people seriously injured in sport.