On Thursday 9th February, a team from Annan Rugby Club will depart Cardiff’s Principality Stadium as part of the Doddie Cup 555 Challenge. The team will cycle 555 miles – including 26,556 feet of elevation – in the depths of a British winter aiming to reaching Murrayfield in time to watch Scotland play Wales in the Guinness 6 Nations, 2.5 days after they start.  

The route will take the group North through Wales stopping at several Welsh rugby clubs enroute, they will then cross the country from Wrexham to Darlington via Orrell and Wharfedale Rugby Clubs, before heading North to Edinburgh via Alnwick and Dunbar Rugby Clubs.

The Doddie Cup 555 Challenge is a charity cycling event in honour of Doddie Weir, who very sadly succumbed to MND on 26th November last year. The ride is led by Doddie’s former Scotland and British & Irish Lions teammate Rob Wainwright aiming to deliver the match ball for the Doddie Weir Cup, but the ultimate goal is to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, to help find a cure for MND.

The Annan team is captained by Billy Henderson, former player and current Annan girls youth coach who said

I have supported this event for a few years and took part last year with an “island of Coll team “. Out of all last year’s bike riders I was the slowest but had so much fun, so this year I hassled Rob Wainwright to allow an  Annan team to participate.

His only request was that we were all “High octane fund raisers, “ which with everyone’s help we hopefully will be.

Everyone I asked to join up did so with minimum persuading. All realising it is a special event and we are privileged to be taking part.’

Billy has assembled a fine squad to take on the challenge including former club Captains Sean Buckley, Craig McCann, former players, Barry Graham, Graeme Hogg, Tom Sloan, Thomas Buckley, former Moffat RFC Captain Roy Thorburn and local Paramedic and supporter of the Club Dek Reive in the riding group.

Photo of G Hogg, D Reive and S Buckley in some of their 555 ride kit.

With a cracking support team comprising, Skipper Henderson, current 1st XV head coach Gog’s Carmichael, former President Gary Coupland, and Andrew Black, a lifelong supporter of the club, who tragically lost his dad to MND several years ago.

The 555 Squad would like to thank their sponsors for the event Annan Rugby Club, Atkins, Annandale Distillery, Halbro, Isle of Coll Distillery, Albie Forestry Ltd, Annan Academy (Home Economics Dept) as well as the numerous individuals who have donated so far either directly to their just giving pages or at the various events and matches held by the club for the 555 Ride in recent weeks.

Should you wish to support Team Annan or any of the individual riders you can do so at –

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