“If I get the ball and I ran at someone full blast, they’re not going to stop me.” – UFC fighter Tom Aspinall has offered to play for England boss Shaun Wane
Yes, you read that correctly – every last bit of it.
Tom Aspinall, a UFC fighter with a professional record of 12 wins and three losses in his career, offered England head coach and former Wigan Warriors boss Shaun Wane the opportunity to bring in his services in a chance meeting at a train station.
With the Rugby League World Cup on the horizon, the This Is Impact podcast has been travelling around the UK doing exclusive interviews.
And, one of those was 29-year-old Aspinall whose father, Andy, once played alongside Shaun at Wigan.
“I saw Shaun Wane at the train station,” Aspinall said on the Rugby League World Cup podcast.
“Personally, I was going to London to get stitches out of my knee and he was going down for some talks and stuff like that.
“I said ‘Look, if you want me to have a game when my knee is better, I’ll come back and have a game’ and he was laughing. I said I was being serious and if you want me come do a bit, I’d love to.”
Aspinall also claimed that, despite not being in the game, he would be able to more than stand his ground against those rugby players who have played the game their whole lives.
“I’ve been involved in rugby a little bit myself,” Aspinall continued.
“I still make time to watch it and I enjoy it as I’m a big supporter of any contact sport where you’ve got to put your body and your mind on the line – I like that kind of stuff.
“I’d gladly have a game. I guarantee if I get the ball and I ran at someone full blast, they’re not going to stop me.
“If I get a ball and I’m running at a rugby player who doesn’t know the stuff I know about grappling, I guarantee you they won’t get me to the floor.”
It’s a brave call by the UFC fighter, but will it happen in the future? Stranger things have happened.