Rugby star Hines says matchday nerves returned for mammoth charity bike ride

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The core team of ex-professional rugby players equipped with the Gallagher Premiership Rugby trophy cycled from Newcastle to Twickenham, stopping off at several Premiership Rugby grounds along the way.
The core team of ex-professional rugby players equipped with the Gallagher Premiership Rugby trophy cycled from Newcastle to Twickenham, stopping off at several Premiership Rugby grounds along the way.

Former Scotland international Nathan Hines admitted the game-day jitters returned during his 750-mile charity bike ride from Newcastle to Twickenham, writes Tum Balogun.

The Road to Twickenham, which took a core group of former professional rugby players and riders on a gruelling seven-day trek, was the brainchild of the former Scottish international.

Gallagher’s Road to Twickenham campaign builds upon the Wooden Spoon’s core values of Passion, Integrity, Teamwork and Fun, while aiming to raise as much money as possible in just seven days.

Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby, funding life-changing projects across the UK & Ireland that support vulnerable children and young people.

Their aim is that every penny that their volunteers raise is spent on life-changing projects in their local communities.

In the last year, despite the difficult conditions, they funded 43 charitable projects supporting 100,000 vulnerable children and young people. However, more vulnerable children need their help, now more than ever.

And despite retiring from the game in 2015, Hines explained how the daily routine was strikingly reminiscent of his playing days.

He said: “We had that feeling back, where you are nervous, and you think of what’s coming and how it’s going to be challenging.

“I’m looking forward to a decent sleep tonight to be fair because every day [was] like game day.

“Tomorrow will be a little bit less stressful, it’s an amazing feeling to finish.”

The riders began their nationwide trip last week, stopping off at several Premiership Rugby grounds along the way.

Since calling time on his career, the 45-year-old has taken up the role of development director at Premiership Rugby sponsors, Gallagher.

The inaugural event, supported by Hines’ new employers, was organised to raise crucial funds for children’s charity Wooden Spoon.

And contained a core group of ex-rugby playing riders including the likes of Jonny Arr, Will Hurrell, Jack Clifford, and Charlie Sharples.

Rio 2016 Paralympic cyclist Louis Rolfe completed the roster while former Harlequins winger Ugo Monye joined their ranks on the last leg of the journey from Newbury.

With the help of the rugby family, Wooden Spoon funds life-changing projects across the UK & Ireland that support vulnerable children and young people.

The former Edinburgh lock, who has first-hand experience of the charity's amazing work, believes the ride was the perfect opportunity to support a worthy cause.

He said: “I just thought it would be something cool to do.

“I cycle a little bit, not much but I thought it was something we could do to get all the clubs involved, raise money for Wooden Spoon and just do a little bit of good.

“We’re in a position where I played rugby all my life and we’re quite fortunate we get to do what we love.

“So, it’s just good to be able to do something that’s a challenge to raise money to help kids and young people who need that extra support.

“My next-door neighbours have four children and they needed extra help.

“I opened a sensory room there and I just see the benefit that it makes when that facility is there.

“If they didn’t have money from the wooden Spoon, they’d have a life, but it can help their quality of life and it’s good to be part of that.”

Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby. With the help of you, the rugby family, we fund life-changing projects across the UK & Ireland that support vulnerable children and young people. Text WOODENSPOON 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or visit JustGiving: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gallaghersbikeride and woodenspoon.org.uk to find out more.

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