Following the conclusion of a spectacular Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand last weekend, adventurer Ron Rutland has been handed the whistle for Rugby World Cup 2023’s opening match taking place in France on 8 September 2023.
Having started his latest epic journey at Eden Park on 12 November, he will cycle across 25 countries and ride 22,000km to deliver the precious whistle, raising money for ChildFund Rugby along the way.
Rutland will be aiming to reach the French capital within 300 days, presenting the Rugby World Cup whistle to local rugby communities of 25 countries and raising money for ChildFund Rugby on his journey.
He will cycle within 10 participating nations (New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, USA, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and France) and will expect to arrive in Saint-Denis on 7 September, 2023 on the eve of the opening match between France and New Zealand.
Rutland said: “This will be the fourth consecutive time I have cycled from one Rugby World Cup to the next and raising funds for social impact has become the central focus of these adventures over the years.
Childfund Rugby is transforming the lives of thousands of kids around the world through rugby and the Race to Rugby World Cup will support their amazing work around the globe.
I am also looking forward to showing the whistle to local rugby communities along my ride and cycling the equivalent of half the distance around the world under mostly my own power.”
A long-standing Rugby World Cup charity partner, ChildFund Rugby is giving children and young people from vulnerable communities the opportunity to play, learn and lead through innovative and award-winning rugby for development learning.
Fans interested in supporting the organisation and getting behind Rutland’s fundraising efforts for ChildFund Rugby can visit www.racetorugbyworldcup.com.
CYCLING COMMUNITIES AND RUGBY FANS INVITED TO JOIN THE RACE
The provisional journey and schedule of Rutland’s ride across the Americas and Europe is available on the website and both cycling, and rugby enthusiasts are invited to join him on one or more of his legs through the USA, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and France from mid-June to early September 2023, helping raise awareness and funding for ChildFund Rugby.
Rutland’s progress will be tracked in real time, the last leg between Twickenham and Stade de France is already proving to be popular. Interested parties can contact Race to Rugby World Cup through Basecamp Manager Adam Nunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret Sheehan, ChildFund Australia CEO, said: “We are thrilled that Ron has chosen to support ChildFund Rugby in his latest adventure.
Well-designed sport for development programmes are a proven way to achieve positive social outcomes, such as building resilience, youth leadership and gender equity.
We are proud and excited to be part of this global initiative to improve the lives of children and young people. We hope everyone will support and join Ron on this epic journey, as it will provide lifelong memories and create life changing opportunities for vulnerable girls and boys.”
 should USA qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 at the Final Qualification Tournament in Dubai (6-18 November, 2022)