Lions rugby stars to cycle 500 miles for Doddie Weir and Tom Smith

In support of rugby legends Doddie Weir and Tom Smith, their former teammate Scotland captain and British & Irish Lions star Rob Wainwright is leading a charity cycle team who will ride from Twickenham Stadium to Murrayfield Stadium.

Former teammates to cycle 500 miles for Doddie.
Former teammates to cycle 500 miles for Doddie.

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

They plan to raise money over £100,000 for two charities close to the hearts of all involved - the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation set up by Doddie Weir, which was set up in 2017 following the former Scotland rugby star's Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis in 2017 to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease.

Former Scottish international Tom Smith, who won 61 caps and was selected for two Lions tours has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer and chose 40tude which helps fund pioneering research projects, targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of the illness.

Other players joining the challenge include John Hall, England International; Paddy Johns, Ireland International; Paul Volley, Wasps legend – all completing the full 500 miles.

John Barclay, former Scotland and current Edinburgh flanker; Kelly Brown, Scotland International; Roger Arneil, Scotland International; 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.

READ MORE: https://www.scotsman.com/news/people/doddie-weir-i-nearly-died-after-eating-a-piece-of-toast-1-5055848Rob Wainwright, 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 inspired by their fortitude and courage in the face of huge adversity. Two very different characters, but legends the twain. We aim to beat last year's £65k fundraising total, and help improve both the treatment and the prognosis for MND and Colon Cancer.”

Jonny Kennedy — who was forced to quit rugby professionally after a series of punishing concussions and the founder and brainchild behind Neubria adds: “We are thrilled and immensely proud to be involved with the Wounded Lions 500 charity cycle team. It means a lot to myself personally and everyone involved with this venture. It is a real honour to be part of such a brilliant initiative.”

The team are being supported by Neubria - creators of a range of plant-based supplements that are rooted in science and support brain health. Crerar Hotels, a luxury hotel chain based in Scotland, and Fosroc, provider of construction solutions, are among other sponsors.

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This is the second year that the ride has taken place, having raised £65k in 2019. Riders last year averaged 2 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 side Northampton Saints, former club of 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 website here: https://woundedlions500.co.uk/

All donations make an important difference and can be made on the Wounded Lions 500 fundraising page here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WoundedLions500