England manager Martin Johnson is to dust off his boots one last time after agreeing to play in the Help for Heroes match at Twickenham on September 20.
Johnson has agreed to participate in the fundraiser staged to help the care and rehabilitation of British service personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
England’s World Cup-winning captain will be joined in the Heroes XV by Lawrence Dallaglio, the first time the pair have played together since the 2003 final.
It will be a one-off for the double Lions skipper, whose last serious outing was against a Jonah Lomu XV at Twickenham just over three years ago as part of his testimonial farewell.
Johnson said: “I’ve kept myself fit and although I’ve appeared in some one-off charity rugby and football matches this will be the first - and I’m sure last - time that I’ll play in a competitive match against some world class players.
“As soon as I was asked to play by Lawrence Dallaglio, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“The cause is a superb one and anything the players and fans can do to raise money for care and the facilities to support our wounded service personnel at Selly Oak and Headley Court has to be worthwhile.
“Our target is to reach a sell out at Twickenham and to raise £1million for Help for Heroes so I urge everyone to do their bit, buy a ticket and enjoy a good day out for an excellent cause.”
Dallaglio will skipper the Heroes XV after throwing his weight behind the cause when the initial approach requesting his support was made.
The former England skipper retired from all rugby after Wasps’ victory over Leicester in the Guinness Premiership final on May 31 and fans will be thrilled at the prospect of being reunited with Johnson.
Another ex-England captain, Phil de Glanville, will manage the Heroes side against an International XV overseen by Ieuan Evans and led by Scott Gibbs.
The Rugby Football Union have given their full backing to the match by donating the use of Twickenham free of charge for the first time.
Details of other participating players taking part will be announced on Monday.