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JBL’s Beyond Rugby Bermuda to host benefit game between Saracens and USA Islanders
For an epic rugby match that can’t be seen anywhere else, look no further than John "Bradshaw" Layfield’s Beyond Rugby Bermuda.
The former WWE Champion’s Bermuda-based program, which caters to at-risk local youths, will host a massive preseason match between the 2017 London-based Saracens and the USA Islanders, streaming live tonight on FloRugby.com.
The Saracens, the defending European Cup champions who Layfield compared to the New England Patriots, hold their preseason training in Bermuda and often work with the members of Beyond Rugby Bermuda, which assists its young players in everything from academics to on-the-pitch skills.
“We put incredible standards around what we do. We demand a lot out of these youths,” JBL told WWE.com. “Our goal is to keep kids in school and out of gangs. Most years we have 100 percent graduation rate. You have to have a certain Grade Point Average to be in our program. We have mentors, we have all kinds of counselors, we have mandatory homework academy, we have tutorials.”
They’re assisted by the Saracens, who the SmackDown LIVE commentator called “one of the most community-minded organizations in the world.”
“They come over here and they do tons of stuff with our kids,” JBL said. “They coach our kids, they do all kinds of events for our kids. They understand this is a fundraiser, so they participate in dinners and golf tournaments, and and it’s all to benefit the children. The Saracens have done stuff with [the kids] all week.”
The Islanders are an all-star team whose sole requirement is some island nation heritage, and they boast several veterans of the U.S. national rugby squad, the Eagles. A crew of 10 WWE production team members has flown to the island on their own dime to help with the broadcast of the match.
“We’ve got some of the best technicians and camera people in the world,” said JBL, who added that the event is Beyond Rugby Bermuda’s biggest fundraiser ever. “We’re really looking forward to tonight.”
To see the Saracens and USA Islanders in action, log on to FloRugby.com, where the livestream begins at 4:30 ET. The action kicks off with the Collegiate All-Star Cup between the Liberty All-Stars and the Republic of Texas All-Stars at 5:30, then Saracens vs. Islanders at 7:30. For more information on Beyond Rugby Bermuda, click here.