Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team set off on epic cycle

All Roads Lead to Rome challenge is the most ambitious cycling challenge yet in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation

The Dodd1e'5 Gr4nd S7am team taking part in The All Roads Lead To Rome challenge had a pit-stop at Murrayfield this [Wednesday] afternoon.
The Dodd1e'5 Gr4nd S7am team taking part in The All Roads Lead To Rome challenge had a pit-stop at Murrayfield this [Wednesday] afternoon.

THE DODD1E’5 GR4ND S7AM team visited Murrayfield this [Wednesday] afternoon for their first pit-stop at the start of an epic cycle from Melrose to Italy as part of the ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’ fundraiser in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Following on from the success of the Doddie Cup 555 ride in 2023, Rob Wainwright, the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions star, has set the biggest cycling challenge yet in memory of the late, great Doddie Weir.

He will be leaving on Monday, March 4th from Oban with his team which includes Stuart Hogg and Gordon D’arcy, while around 19 other teams have taken up the challenge as well, all leaving from various points at various times, with everyone aiming to reach to Piazza Navona in Rome by 5pm on Friday, March 8th, the night before the Italy-Scotland Guinness Men’s Six Nations match.


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Roger Baird along with co-captains Ian Barr, the ex-Scotland Rugby president, and Rob Boyns, who was part of the Doddie Cup 555 ride elite squad last year that went to Wales, are heading up the Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team.

The team is made up of riders of varying abilities and experience from Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland and South Africa ,and will feature many guest riders along the way. They will also have a support crew with them.

The team name incorporates the numbers 1,4,5 and 7, representing Weir (5), the late Paul Rendall (Wasps/England, 1) and Ed Slater (Gloucester, 4) and Rob Burrow (Leeds Rhinos, 7) who are both currently living with MND.

The cyclists will be passing by all of the Six Nations stadiums en route over the next few days with the Aviva in Dublin first up, and they will also be heading to Monaco where they will pass the match ball for the Italy-Scotland clash onto Marcello Cuttitta, the brother of former Italy cap and Scotland scrum coach Massimo Cuttitta who passed away in 2021 and now has the Cuttitta Cup named after him.

All being well, the Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team will arrive in Rome on Thursday, March 7th.

“We have been planning this for ages, the people that have planned it are just amazing, our team have raised over £100,000 already, so it is really exciting and it’ll be a great trip with a great bunch and a bit of pain,” said Baird, the former Scotland and Lions winger, before setting off.

“I was very lucky to know Doddie well as we were from the Borders and it was the end of my playing career and the start of his that crossed over. He was larger than life and just great fun to be around literally everyone loved him.

“The legacy he has left since passing away is just amazing and it means so much to MND sufferers. What he did was amazing and the fundraising fight goes on.”

Lasswade man Barr explained that the reality of the challenge ahead had just hit him. “It has suddenly become very real,” he said. “It was nice on Wednesday morning going down to Melrose and leaving from Doddie’s own club  we are ready to go.

“We are wanting to do a lot of engagement around MND on the way and we will be popping into rugby clubs and schools in Ireland and Wales and everywhere else.

“I know Doddie’s family well and when you see an event like this come together it is brilliant, we are just one team and there are teams setting off from all over the country because of their love for Doddie.

“Doddie was a larger than life character and the inspiration for all of this, he inspired Kevin Sinfield and those kinds of people to do their tough challenges and he has inspired all of us to get on our bikes here.

“Everyone is working so hard in his memory and giving back and it’s great to see.”

 

 

Chris Paterson, the Scotland centurion, was at Murrayfield to see the team  clad in their Doddie tartan and including ex-England caps Huw Davies and Paul Volley  off on their travels.

“Things like this are brilliant. It’s the legacy we all hoped would continue  and it has continued,” he said.

“There’s a special link with the Rome fixture after the spontaneity of the support that gathered there six years ago [when Doddie himself led Scotland supporters in a mass march to the international stadium].

“Those undertaking the cycle are brave and I wish them all the best.

“I knew Doddie for a long, long time. He was someone initially that I looked up to because of his involvement with rugby and his talents, then when I got to know him and play alongside him I saw what was more special than just his rugby talent and that was how much he looked after people.

“As a young player coming into the Scotland squad back in the day, he looked after me.

“From Doddie’s MND diagnosis to his passing, I think his actions and behaviour underlined what a special person he was. These fundraising events that happen throughout the year show the bond is so strong, not only for Doddie but for other MND sufferers. Everyone in the rugby community and beyond wants to help.”

  • To donate to the Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team and their efforts, click HERE.
  • To donate to the overall All Roads Lead to Rome fundraiser, click HERE

 

Chris Paterson, Ian Barr, Roger Baird, Scottish Rugby president Colin Rigby, Rob Wainwright and Rob Boyns with the match ball for next Saturday's Italy versus Scotland match during a pit-stop at Murrayfield on Wednesday afternoon for the Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team taking part in the All Roads Lead to Rome challenge.
Chris Paterson, Ian Barr, Roger Baird, Scottish Rugby president Colin Rigby, Rob Wainwright and Rob Boyns with the match ball for next Saturday’s Italy versus Scotland match during a pit-stop at Murrayfield on Wednesday afternoon for the Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team taking part in the All Roads Lead to Rome challenge.

 

Dodd1e’5 Gr4nd S7am team schedule


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About Gary Heatly 455 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.

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