Ben Cohen takes part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen

Former Northampton Saints legend and World Cup winner Ben Cohen is among the 15 contestants taking part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 34-year-old who lives in the Daventry district will be competing on the show which starts on BBC One on Saturday.

Speaking about the decision to sign up for the show, Mr Cohen said: “When I’ve seen other people on the show before, I’ve always been in awe and thought fair play because that really takes some guts.

“I’ve always watched from a distance, and never ever in a million years thought I’d be in this position now.”

And the former rugby star, who set up The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation following his retirement in 2011, will be giving it all in the series.

He added: “No I don’t. I’m not in competition with other people in my eyes, I just want to do the best I can.

“If someone’s better than me on the day then fine, I’ve given it 100% and that’s all I can give.

“I don’t have any preconceived ideas of where I want to come in the show. For me it’s going to be week by week. You won’t know the dance, and you’ll only be as good as your last week and your last dance.

“If you’re here the next week you’ll learn something else. It’s like a cup competition.”

The line up was revealed on The One Show last night (Monday) and he will compete alongside Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden, Countdown co-host Rachel Riley and one half of The Hairy Bikers, Dave Myers.

The dance partners for the celebrities will be revealed on Saturday night. He is hoping for the best possible partner.

Mr Cohen said: “Someone who is a good teacher and is easy to learn from. It’s a crash course, and crash courses are intense.

“I haven’t come into this saying ‘I’m going to learn a dance, we’ll do a couple of hours here and there and everything will be great’.

“I know it’s going to take time and a lot of hours and I’m prepared for that. I’m not a workshy person, I never was when I played. I enjoy a challenge.

“For me it’s all about the mental side of it. The physical side is going to be tough but I don’t think that’s really going to be my biggest problem. The psychological side for me is what will win or lose me that dance, and that’s leaving everything at the door.”

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing starts on Saturday at 6.50pm.