Sport Relief 2014: Greg Rutherford jokes that he is more nervous about attempting Saracens 'Catch a Million' challenge than he was about his winning Olympic gold medal at London 2012


On Saturday Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford will attempt Saracens ‘Catch a Million’ challenge in an attempt to win £1 million for Sport Relief, a task he has said he is more nervous about than his winning leap at London 2012.

Rutherford steps out in front of the biggest crowd for a club rugby union match in history at Wembley Stadium on Saturday to try and complete the half-time task, which will also be broadcast live on BT Sport. He has little rugby experience, has not been allowed to practise or receive any advice from the Sarries players, only being allowed to watch on as they trained ahead of their match against Harlequins at the home of football on Saturday.

The deck is certainly stacked against the Olympian as he looks raise a considerable amount of money for Sport Relief in front of over 80,000 people and he admits he has been taken completely out of his comfort zone and knows that there is a lot riding on him catching the three balls.

“I’m more nervous for this then I was for the long jump event at the Olympics, this task has got me completely out of my comfort zone, I don’t do this, I don’t train for this, where as if I’m going into a long jump competition I’m more relaxed as I’ve trained a lot and completed a lot and I’m ready to do it.

“Put me on a track and I’ll be absolutely fine and I’ll be fully confident, but put me in the middle of Wembley stadium in front of 80,000 people shouting at a rugby game, we will have to see what happens.

“It has been about 12 years or more since I’ve played a game of rugby let alone catch any high balls. I played a little bit for my school and a local club for a short period of time. But I was more into football and more obviously athletics” he said.

“I agreed to it and then I sat back and thought it could go really bad and if I don’t catch all three I’m going to get absolutely battered by everyone so the pressure is on.

“If I don’t catch all three then I’m going to be very upset and everyone is saying to me that if I catch two it will be fine and one is manageable but I have to expect to get all three, or else I’m setting myself up for failure already.

“My original thought when I agreed to it was I thought I was just going to catch and drop but apparently not. I wouldn’t take two, I’m too competitive I’d have to go for the million; it’s such a big difference from 10,000 to a mil and what a difference that amount of money would make from Sport relief” he added.

“It’s a brilliant thing to do for charity but the more that’s going on the more I’m realising how tough it is going to be. I’m really excited to try and do it and I’m wiling myself to win but I know it’s going to be tough.”

After attempting Saturday’s challenge the real effort starts. Rutherford will travel to America to complete a six week training camp ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth games. Since winning his gold the athlete has had his doubters, most notably Jonathan Edwards and Denise Lewis, he is aiming to prove them wrong and go one better than the silver he one at the last games and says that he is feeling confident.

“Really well, I leave for America on Monday for the training camp. I had a pretty good first competition when I came out and it was good to blast off the cobwebs after my injury, I want to upgrade the silver medal I got last time to gold and that’s the aim for this year.

“When it comes to track and field I’m always confident, as long as I’m fit and healthy and I stay away from injuries then hopefully I can have another good summer.

“We will have to wait and see nothing has changed for me I’m training as hard, if not harder than before and I’ve got a good team around me so there is no reason why I can’t do it again all I can say is watch out for me.

Greg Rutherford takes on the Catch-a-Million challenge for Sport Relief at half time during Saracens v Harlequins at Wembley on March 22nd. The match kicks off at 3pm and is exclusively live on BT Sport

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform