RIVAL rugby teams put their differences aside to help fund a Hampshire youngster’s specialist care.

Players from across the county united for a charity rugby match in aid of four-year-old Reuben Smith.

The youngster from Whiteley was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after surviving a brain haemorrhage within a week of his premature birth.

His twin brother Zachary has fought off two bouts of meningitis and although both brothers survived they have complex medical needs.

The Romsey Select XV rugby team took on a Hampshire Invitational XV consisting of players from Millbrook, Trojans, Andover, Tottonians, Fordingbridge and Market House Pirates on Easter Saturday.

They raised £950 to pay towards Reuben’s conductive education therapy. He receives this at the Rainbow Centre charity in Fareham which has itself launched an emergency appeal to save it from closure. Team fly-half Nick Creal who lives next door to the Smiths and has raised a further £150 for them said: “I’m delighted with the outcome and would like to say thanks to all the players who put traditional club rivalries to one side for a common cause.”

Meanwhile, an Easter Family Fun Extravaganza held at Whiteley Shopping Centre raised funds towards sending the twins and their family on a Mediterranean Cruise.