Ruck and Maul: It's snow joke as Henson gets his kicks crossing the Arctic Circle

Gavin Henson's new TV programme, '71 Degrees North', is at the editing stage, with producers tight-lipped over whether or not the gap-year Ospreys and Wales centre made it to the end of the show's gruelling trek through Norway and across the Arctic Circle. Billed in advance as a kind of 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of the Tundra', it was filmed in March and though no transmission date has yet been announced, it will feature challenges including mountain trekking, climbing ice walls, reindeer herding and dog sledding.

The cast list who endured the reality-TV staple of being voted off one by one included opera singer Lesley Garrett, ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, Footballers Wives actress Suzy Amy and bra tycoon Michelle Mone, who reportedly cut her face abseiling down a frozen waterfall.



Cipriani calls off Kiwi stint

Danny Cipriani has decided against kicking off his new career down under with a stint in New Zealand. The sometime England fly-half had been asked whether he was interested in playing for North Harbour by their head coach and former Wasps prop Craig Dowd, starting in August with the glamour 'Battle of the Bridge' tie against Auckland in the recently rebranded provincial competition, the ITM Cup. Cipriani has not yet set foot in Melbourne but the man who signed him for the Rebels has resigned after being linked to the financial irregularities at the city's rugby league side. The Rebels chief executive, Brian Waldron, previously held the same position at Melbourne Storm, who have been stripped of their 2007 and 2009 NRL titles for making player payments which breached the salary cap.



Zebras can earn stripes

A more positive conjunction between union and league takes place this afternoon in the Cumbrian town of Workington, with a charity match of two halves of 40 minutes played under each code (the scrums will be uncontested). Workington Zebras from union will meet league's Workington Town at the latter's Derwent Park ground; admission is £10 by buying a programme in advance. Proceeds from that and a post-match auction go to the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund and the Memorial Fund commemorating PC Bill Barker, who was directing motorists to safety off the town's Northside Bridge when it collapsed and he was swept away in November's storms.



Saddle do nicely

Intrepid rugby fans Tom Hudson and Jodie Burton are setting off next Saturday on a trip to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. A bit early, you might think, until you realise Tom and girlfriend Jodie are cycling the 25,000km to New Zealand unassisted, with the intention of finishing at Auckland's Eden Park – the venue for the final – shortly before the tournament kicks off. Tom, 28, who has played for London clubs Footscray, Dartfordians and Finchley, and 29-year-old Jodie intend to visit as many rugby outposts as possible en route, including "the only female Muslim team in Pakistan". Children's charity Rays of Sunshine will benefit from sponsorship and the couple reckon the epic journey – starting from Twickenham, though they are currently engaged on a practice run from Lansdowne Road to London via the Millennium Stadium – will take 15 months to complete. It sounds very tyre-ing but wheel worthwhile.



hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

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