Rugby stars cycle 500 miles in 48 hours with match ball

Ex-Scotland captain and British & Irish Lion, Rob Wainwright, is cycling from Twickenham Stadium, London to Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh next month – for a great cause..

He’ll be leading a charity cycle team in support of Doddie Weir and Tom Smith.

Setting off on 6 February, the Wounded Lions 500, which includes international rugby players and endurance cyclists, will pedal for 48 hours, arriving in time to deliver the match ball for kick-off at the Scotland vs England match at 4.45pm on 8 February.

Other players joining the challenge include: John Hall, England International; Paddy Johns, Ireland International – both completing the full 500 miles. John Barclay, former Scotland and current Edinburgh flanker; Kelly Brown, Scotland International; Will Carling, England International; Paul Wallace, Ireland International; Peter Winterbottom, England International; Damian Cronin, Scotland International and Paul Burnell, also Scotland, will all be taking part during various stages.

The team is aiming to raise over £100,000 for two charities close to the hearts of all involved:

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded by former Scotland International and Lion, Doddie Weir, which was set up in 2017 following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease.

The other charity: 40tude was selected by Tom Smith, a former 61 cap Scottish International and two-time Lions Tourist who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. 40tude helps to fund pioneering research projects, targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

Rob said: ‘I’m hugely honoured to have played for Scotland and the Lions alongside Doddie and Tom. Both are top men and both have tragically hit hard times with their health recently.

‘Whilst we cannot heal them, we can point our bikes north for 48 hours and suffer in solidarity with them, inspired by their fortitude and courage in the face of huge adversity. Two very different characters, but legends the twain. Thus roused, we aim to beat last year’s £65k fundraising total, and help improve both the treatment and the prognosis for MND and Colon Cancer.’

This is the second year that the ride has taken place, having raised £65k in 2019. Riders last year averaged two hours of sleep across 48 hours during the gruelling challenge, which saw them maintain speeds of 15mph in order to deliver the match ball on time.

This year’s ride will be split into legs with short breaks at rugby clubs throughout the UK, including professional sides, Newcastle Falcons and Northampton Saints, former clubs of Doddie and Tom.

Cyclists are warmly welcomed to support the team and join the ride for as much of the route as they wish with a donation of £1 per mile. However, please note that the ride is unsupported and pirate code will apply after the first 50 miles. More details of the route and timings are available on the event HERE.

All donations make an important difference and can be made on the Wounded Lions 500 fundraising page HERE.