Retired Stars Honour Rugby's Fallen Heroes In Memorial Bike Ride

A number of former international rugby players have set off on a memorial bike ride to honour the contribution of rugby players in the First...

A number of former internationals have set off on a memorial bike ride to honour the contribution of rugby players in the First World War.

The likes of Mike Tindall and Thinus Delport will be joined in the three-day challenge by serving personnel and veterans.

Traveling from Calais to Laon, they'll be conducting several acts of remembrance on the way to the unveiling of the World Rugby Memorial on Saturday. 

The ride's in support of Rugby for Heroes, a charity which helps military personnel transition to civvy street.

Former South Africa international Thinus Delport, a Rugby for Heroes ambassador, said: "Apart from going on a bit of a mountain bike trip for a couple of hours once a week around the Cotswolds, this is all new territory [for me].

"[Being] on a road bike for three days is certainly going to challenge me."

The team will be riding 177 miles to honour the contribution of international and club rugby players from around the world who fought and died during WWI.

They won't be without expertise though. Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Erling Davies will be their cycling guru for the challenge. He said:

"Some of these boys are six and half foot [tall]... and have never seen a road bike before, so it's certainly going to be a challenge."

"It will be mentally challenging... but given the nature of these characters, they'll get through it", he added.

As part of the ride the team will conduct acts of remembrance at the Menin Gate, Vimy Ridge and the Thiepval Memorial, while reinforcing the connection between rugby and the military.

Another of the riders is WO1 Lee Cole. He's been associated with Rugby for Heroes for the last year and is one of the many course attendees who are now returning to help out the charity in any way they see fit.

Like many on the ride, this is something new for him - but he believes it's a small price to pay in tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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