TWO members of a Clydebank charity will join other anti-asbestos campaigners in a protest at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Rachel Gallagher and Adele Kane of Clydebank Asbestos Group will join their counterparts at the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum (AVSGF) from around the UK and France to demo outside the France vs. New Zealand match at the Stade de France on September 8.

The match – which will open Rugby’s showpiece event – features two teams who are sponsored by Altrad, the parent company of Cape, which was a leading manufacturer of asbestos products in the UK from the 1950s to the 1980s.

A 2019 legal case allegedly proved that in the 1960s, Cape withheld evidence on the true dangers of its asbestos products.

Now, as well as a long-running plea for Cape to donate £10 million to research into life-extending treatments for asbestos-related illness, campaigners want both France and New Zealand to cut all ties with Altrad as a sponsor.

Speaking to the Post, Rachel said: “Clydebank Asbestos Group has always fought for truth and justice for asbestos victims.

“We will go to Paris along with AVSGF to seek justice for those that have suffered and continue to suffer from Cape’s deceit.

“Today people continue to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, indeed West Dunbartonshire mesothelioma death rates are amongst the highest in the UK.

“This is why funding for research is vital.

“The truth is out and it is only right that Cape's owner's Altrad must pay."

In July, the Post reported how Altrad - whose headquarters are in Montpellier in France – had refused calls to make the £10m donation.

And Rob Rayner, chair of the AVSGF, urged the French and Kiwi rugby teams – who are two of the leading nations in the sport – to ditch Altrad for good.

He said: “Cape’s asbestos products are responsible for many deaths.

“As Cape’s parent company, Altrad has a moral obligation to put right some of the wrong that has been done.

“Altrad is a global brand and a major sponsor of the French and New Zealand rugby teams.

“It is incomprehensible that they cannot find £10 million for mesothelioma research.

“In the eyes of asbestos victims, Altrad’s sponsorship of the French and New Zealand rugby teams is an insult, both to the sport and to the fans."