Star-studded peloton cycling to Edinburgh to deliver Six Nations ball for Doddie Weir Foundation

Phil Vickery and Rob Wainwright receive the match ball from The Princess Royal. Credit: Jack Boskett Media

A team of rugby legends including former Scotland and England captains is cycling 555 miles in 48 hours in support of the charity set up by Doddie Weir.

The 200-strong peloton, led by former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright is now on its way to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium to deliver the Six Nations match ball ahead of the Doddie Weir Cup - between Scotland and Wales - on Saturday 11 February.

The rugby fixture between Scotland and Wales is known as The Doddie Weir Cup each time the teams face each other. Credit: Jack Boskett Media

The trophy was established in 2018 by the Welsh and Scottish Rugby Union authorities and proceeds from match tickets are donated to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which was set up by Weir to raise money for research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Weir, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2017, died in November.

The Princess Royal presented the match ball at Gloucester Rugby Club to former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright on Wednesday 8 February before the group set off for Cardiff’s Principality Stadium en route to Scotland.

The Doddie Cup 555 Ride follows a gruelling route via rugby clubs across Wales, England, and Scotland in time for the Scotland vs Wales Six Nations Championship match where Princess Anne will receive the match ball. 

The star-studded team of famous faces and rugby legends will make the trip in just 48 hours.

Riders include international rugby players and endurance cyclists, including Sir Chris Hoy, world record breaker Mark Beaumont, former England captain Martin Johnson, and former Scotland international Carl Hogg – one of Weir’s closest friends. 

The ride is taking place during the last week of Doddie Aid 2023, a national fundraising event which has seen more than 38,000 people across the UK taking part to raise as much money as possible for MND research. 

The teams are aiming to raise over £500,000 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright sets off from Gloucester to Cardiff. Credit: Jack Boskett Media

Rob Wainwright, who played alongside Weir for Scotland said: "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, who played alongside Weir for the British and Irish Lions during their 1997 tour of South Africa, 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.”

Doddie Weir and former teammate Rob Wainwright at a fundraising event in Edinburgh in 2018. Credit: PA Images

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