A RUGBY star says he will try his best to help out a children’s hospice having been named its player ambassador.

Worcester Warriors flanker Jake Abbott will be aiming to boost publicity for Acorns Children’s Hospice — and he has a very special reason for doing so.

When the 25-year-old was just three, his sister, Rebecca, was taken to an Acorns’ hospice in Selly Oak, Birmingham suffering with a brain tumour from which she sadly died, aged seven.

His family received specialist bereavement support from Acorns, including family fun weekends away.

“Acorns offered fantastic support for us as a family and I have had a real affiliation with the charity ever since,” said Mr Abbott.

“I’m eager to help out in any way I can.

"I’m looking forward to visiting the children at the hospice more, taking the other players along and interacting with the staff.”

Mr Abbott, who has been out injured since November having ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, has been involved with Worcester Warriors for many years and is now in his sixth season as flanker.

He says he has seen first hand the work Acorns does.

“The facilities are great; it’s a fantastic, happy, colourful place. Everyone’s having fun and there is a wonderful atmosphere.

“It’s nothing like you’d expect.”

The player will take on a range of duties as part of his new role.

They include raising awareness of Acorns and supporting fundraising initiatives, including a recent charity match day at Sixways, the Warriors’ home ground.

The charity’s corporate and partnerships manager, Elinor Eustace, said: “We are thrilled to have Jake’s support as our new player ambassador.

“He has already demonstrated a huge deal of commitment, energy and understanding of our work and we look forward to working with him in the coming months.”