Carling using power of social media in Covid-19 fight

Will Carling 19/2/1994
Former England captain Will Carling has been making social media waves to help support the elderly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Former England captain Will Carling has been making social media waves to help support the elderly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Carling, who made 72 appearances for his country and led England to Five Nations Championship titles in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996, issued a rallying cry on Twitter to enlist the help of several stars in offering messages to elderly people in isolation.

And his idea was met with an overwhelming response, with the likes of Sam Warburton, Owen Farrell and George North all recording messages for pensioners currently at home.

Carling got the ball rolling with a tweet proposing his innovative ‘idea’, that came three days after an initial video message was sent out to a Twitter user’s grandmother including appearances from several England players.

And that kick-started a regular stream of contributions from multiple stars, with former South Africa back rower Bobby Skinstad the first former player to feature.

Next came former Scotland prop David Sole, followed by Wales legend Gareth Edwards – who won no fewer than seven Championship titles including three Grand Slams.

It was a modern-day star who stepped up to the plate next, as England front rower Ellis Genge surprised another lucky rugby fan.

Another ex-Wales man then appeared on Carling’s timeline shortly after, as Jonathan Davies – winner of 32 caps and the Championship Triple Crown in 1988 – provided his contribution.

And the Wales legends just kept on coming, with Sam Warburton next to step up to the plate – a message that also evoked a response from its recipient.

Carling himself came next as he recorded a message for another fortunate rugby fan, before Wales back North then got involved in the brilliant initiative.

Scott Quinnell made over 50 appearances for Wales – and won the Championship in 1994 – and he was the next former star to appear on Carling’s timeline.

And then came a rather special contribution, as three Guinness Six Nations captains – Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton and Stuart Hogg – and Shane Williams all contributed to one message together.

Gavin Hastings and Martin Bayfield – former Scotland and England stars respectively – were next up as they continued to make people’s days all over the UK.

Carling made several more contributions himself, before Scotland legend Craig Chalmers then sent his best wishes to another lucky rugby fan.

And most recently there have been two humorous messages from Carling, sent to current England second row George Kruis with the apparent help of both Manu Tuilagi and Jamie George.

Carling’s scheme provided a timely distraction from the current climate, with the assistance of some of rugby’s most famous faces filling many elderly rugby fans with joy.