International rugby stars to cycle 555 miles in 48 hours for Doddie Weir Foundation

Mark Beaumont, Steve Romans, Rob Wainwright, Jon Shubert, Russ Kesley and OJ Borg took part in last year's cycle challenge. Credit: A View From My Camera

A team of rugby legends including former Scotland and England captains will cycle 555 miles in 48 hours in support of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. 

The team, which includes former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright and World Cup winning England skipper Martin Johnson, will deliver the match ball ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations game against Wales on Saturday 11 February.

The fixture between Scotland and Wales is now known as The Doddie Weir Cup each time the teams face each other. The trophy was established in 2018 by the Welsh and Scottish Rugby Union authorities.  Proceeds from match tickets are donated to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

HRH The Princess Royal will hand over the match ball at Gloucester Rugby Club the day before the ride on Wednesday 8 February, before the team embark on the journey via the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

Rob Wainwright, Doddie Aid founder and Doddie Weir’s former Scotland and British and Irish Lions teammate, will lead a 200-strong peloton of cyclists, including famous faces.

Riders will take on a gruelling route via rugby clubs across Wales, England, and Scotland in time for the Scotland vs Wales Six Nations Championship match on Saturday 11 February, where The Princess Royal will return to receive the match ball. 

Names include international rugby players and endurance cyclists, such as world record breaker Mark Beaumont, former England back row Dean Ryan, and former Scotland international Carl Hogg, one of Weir’s closest friends. 

There is also a team made up of Weir’s teammates from the victorious 1997 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa including Paul Wallace, Jeremy Davidson, and Tim Stimpson.  

The ride takes place during the last week of Doddie Aid 2023, a national fundraising event where over 38,000 fundraisers across the UK have already rallied to raise as much money as possible for MND research. 

Rob Wainwright commented: "This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Doddie Weir Cup, and it’s particularly poignant as it’s the first since Doddie’s passing in November, but this only drives us forward to continue making progress and raising awareness of MND.

“We have to believe that a breakthrough in MND treatment is just round the corner and push ourselves and others to raise funds to realise that dream.”

Martin Johnson said: “Doddie was an inspiration to all of us, and the life and soul of one of the most important periods in our lives in South Africa in 1997. That spirit will be our motivation on this adventure.”

This is the fourth year that the ride has taken place, having raised £300,000 in 2022.

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