• Race to Rugby World Cup, Ron Rutland and James Owens are delivering the official match whistle to open the 2019 tournament.
  • The tournament’s Official Logistics Partner DHL is supporting cyclists on extreme expedition.
  • Journey aims to raise significant funds and awareness for children and young people in disadvantaged communities in Asia.

Hong Kong, 23 August 2019: Cyclists Ron Rutland and James Owens have now crossed the Chinese border and entered Hong Kong as they continue their remarkable quest: to cycle from Twickenham to Tokyo.

This is part of a unique initiative to give disadvantaged children in Asia the opportunity to take part in sport and learn vital life skills through rugby for development program ChildFund Pass It Back.

Having reached Hong Kong on 18 August, the pair have been enjoing several well-earned rest days ahead of a fundraising dinner tonight at the Kerry Hotel.

This will be attended by former Manchester United player Dennis Irwin, DHL Rugby ambassador Sir John Kirwan, former England sevens captain Rob Vickerman, and current Australian sevens player and ChildFund ambassador Charlotte Caslick.

Tomorrow morning they will be back on their saddles as they depart Hong Kong and continue their 231-day journey to Tokyo, with DHL, the official logistics partner for Rugby World Cup, providing essential support every step of the way.

On arrival in Tokyo on Thursday 19 September, Ron and James will hand over the official match whistle for the opening game of Rugby World Cup to referee Nigel Owens at a special ceremony hosted at Tokyo Stadium, the venue of the match between Japan and Scotland the next day.

To round off Race to Rugby World Cup, that evening the pair will head to the stunning traditional Japanese gardens of Happo-En.

Members of the public and a host of DHL ambassadors, including former Japanese rugby international Shotaro Onishi, will hear firsthand from Ron and James about the trials and tribulations of their extraordinary 20,000 km expedition.

Tickets for the Happo-En arrival celebration are available via RaceToRWC.com

The ride has been undertaken in support of ChildFund, the principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2019. To date, Race to Rugby World Cup has raised more than €31,000 for the charity and its award-winning program ChildFund Pass It Back.

ChildFund Pass it Back not only promotes the right to play in communities where children have little or no access to organised sport, but provides important learning opportunities for children in remote and rural developing communities in Asia.

For more information, visit https://www.dhl-in-motion.com/en/rugby/race-to-rwc/

Media Contacts:

ChildFund: Larissa Tuohy, ltuohy@childfund.org.au
DHL: Tim Rehkopf (+49 228 182-9944), pressestelle@dpdhl.com