Rugby ace Ben Cohen has said that he believes his late father is watching over him as he performs on Strictly Come Dancing.

The former member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad will perform a rumba with partner Kristina Rihanoff on Saturday night’s love-themed show.

And he told The Sun: “I think of him all the time. There are many moments I wish we could have shared.

“But I hope he’ll be proud. I believe he’s up there watching over me.”

Ben’s father Peter died in 2000 after he was attacked by a group of thugs after defending another victim from them while at a party.

The defendants were eventually convicted of violent disorder after being cleared of manslaughter charges in 2002.

And Ben – who set up the anti-bullying StandUp Foundation in honour of his father – revealed he had been his inspiration.

“I set two targets – to be the best player in the world in my position and go to the World Cup. I achieved both.”

He added: “If it wasn’t for Dad, I’d never have done it.”

Ben will perform along with the other 13 remaining couples on this Saturday’s Strictly from 6.30pm on BBC One.

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