Gloucester Rugby's Director of Academy and Development Carl Hogg and former Cherry and White Head Coach Dean Ryan are taking on a tough charity challenge to raise money for their teammate, Doddie Weir, and his MND foundation.
Carl has created a cycling group the ‘Melrose Falcons’ that will head off from Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium on Thursday 10 February as part of a 100-strong cycling group aiming to reach Cardiff’s Principality Stadium by Six Nations kick-off.
It strengthens the Gloucester club’s connection with the charity as a group of former Cherry and Whites players, Mike Teague, Ian Smith, Greg Keyse, Phil Pritchard, Pete Jones and John Gadd are also participating in the challenge.
The Melrose Falcons’ line-up comprises of former Melrose players Carl and Craig Joiner, former Newcastle Falcons player Dean Ryan and former Scotland teammate Duncan Hodge.
Their mission is two-fold – to deliver the match ball in time for the Doddie Weir Cup fixture between Wales and Scotland, being held as part of this year’s Six Nations tournament, and to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Using a relay system, the teams of cyclists will endeavour to cover the distance in 48 hours before kick-off, with various rugby clubs along the route – including Kingsholm Stadium – providing stop overs and feed stations.
Carl Hogg, Director of Academy and Development at Gloucester Rugby is looking forward to the challenge and is hoping to raise money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
“Doddie and I grew up together in the Scottish Borders, both farmer’s boys, both playing rugby for Melrose and Scotland. As mates we’ve had some wonderful times and experiences through rugby and life in general. Since Doddie’s diagnosis of MND in 2017, I’ve been blown away by the courage and strength he and his family have displayed.”
My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has so far ploughed £6.5m into MND research in the last four years and also supports people living with MND.
“This is going to be a really tough challenge for us but more importantly it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness and funds for MND research. Doddie’s been taking the mickey out of me, teasing me about how much Kevin Sinfield has achieved in support of his best mate Rob Burrow, who is also suffering from MND. Kevin completed 7 marathons in 7 days & ran 101 miles continuously from Welford Road to Headingley Stadium. Doddie said it was time for me to do at bit!”
“I believe there will be more international caps riding from Murrayfield to Cardiff than there will be on the pitch at the Principality Stadium for the match. That’s a fantastic testament to Doddie and his standing in the game.
As former teammates of Doddie Weir, we want to do as much as we can to support him in the great work that his foundation is doing. We hope that we can get the support of the rugby community as we take on this challenge.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor the “Melrose Falcons”, and in so doing support the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, can find out more information HERE