The Jump 2017: Jason Robinson TUMBLES in race against rugby rival Gareth Thomas

Former England and Wales players went head-to-head in the parallel slalom

The Jump 2017: Jason Robinson falls during race with Gareth Thomas

A battle of rugby titans Jason Robinson and Gareth Thomas ended in disaster on The Jump 2017 tonight when Jason FELL during their parallel slalom race.

The 42-year-olds went head-to-head in the first event of the series, creating an England vs. Wales rivalry.

"I have waited a long time to stand next to the punk that put my country out of the World Cup," Gareth teased at the athletes' lodge.

"You'll bring the best out of me, and I'll bring the best out of you," Jason responded rather diplomatically.

Jason had never skied before signing up for the Channel 4 show, but quickly became adept on the slopes.

Alpine trainer Warren Smith said: "Jason is one of the fastest learners, that guy has got a lot of raw talent."

Meanwhile, Gareth went a bit too hard during training. Warren added: "Gareth is a bit like a bull in a china shop. If he doesn't focus on his technique he has no chance."

The Jump 2017: Jason Robinson falls during race with Gareth Thomas

However, the tables turned during their actual race in tonight's live show.

Jason spun out of control and fell at the second gate, losing one of his skis and almost crashing in to his opponent.

The accident left Gareth to cross the finish line alone and automatically claim victory.

The Welshman told presenter Davina McCall: "I'm genuinely gutted, we've been building up, we're such good competitors."

Jason soon joined them and joked: "That is the worst ever I've been. He paid me twenty quid though!"

"If you wanted a Slush Puppy you should have gone to the shop!" laughed Gareth.

The tumble did not result in injury, enabling Jason to fight to stay in the competition on the ski jump.

He ended up achieving the best distance of the night, 14.95 metres - while Josie Gibson was eliminated after failing to take part.

The Jump continues next Sunday at 7.30pm on Channel 4.

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