Ryan Reynolds has wished the “best of luck” to a team of rugby stars who are cycling 555 miles in 48 hours to deliver the match ball ahead of the Scotland v Wales Six Nations game in a fundraising event for research into motor neurone disease (MND) – in memory of late rugby legend Doddie Weir.
The group, which includes former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright and World Cup-winning former England skipper Martin Johnson, set off on their journey from the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Thursday morning in support of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which Weir launched in 2017.
The 200-strong peloton of cyclists, which also includes Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, will arrive at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Saturday for the Scotland v Wales match known as the Doddie Weir Cup, where the Princess Royal will be waiting to receive the match ball.
Hollywood actor Reynolds sent a motivational video to the riders offering an advanced welcome to the Racecourse Ground, home of his football club Wrexham AFC, where the group is due to stop on Friday morning.
The Deadpool and Bullet Train star said: “I just want to wish you guys all the best. Go get them and what an incredible cause and such a wonderful thing that you’re all doing.
“I hear that you might stop off at the Racecourse Ground so enjoy it, it’s a pretty magical place and best of luck to each and every one of you.”
This is the fourth year that the ride has taken place, but it is the first since Weir died last November, aged 52, after a six-year battle with MND.
Those taking part also include international rugby players and endurance cyclists, such as world record breaker Mark Beaumont, former England back row Dean Ryan, and former Scotland international Carl Hogg – one of Weir’s closest friends.
The ride takes place during the last week of Doddie Aid 2023, a national fundraising event which has seen more than 38,000 fundraisers trying to raise as much money as possible for MND research.
The teams are aiming to raise more than £500,000 this year and anyone wanting to find out more or make a donation can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/DoddieCup555