Adventurers Ron Rutland and Adam Nunn will complete the final leg of their epic cycling journey from Tokyo to Auckland on Saturday when they deliver the whistle that Maggie Cogger-Orr will blow to officially kick-off Rugby World Cup 2021 in the opening match at Eden Park.

The duo have spent the past seven months undertaking the ‘Race to Rugby World Cup 2021’, a cycling trip spanning over 209 days, 11 nations, and over 16,500km, raising funds for the tournament’s Principal Charity Partner ChildFund Rugby. They will arrive at Eden Park just in time for the tournament’s opening match between South Africa and France (kick-off at 14:15 GMT+12).

Media advisory: Media interested in interviewing Ron and Adam upon their arrival at Eden Park on Saturday 8 October (approx. 11:30) can RSVP at

Their pioneering spirit of adventure reflects a tournament that is changing the game for women in rugby, with Eden Park set to deliver a record crowd for a standalone women’s rugby match and more than double the existing record for a women’s sports event in New Zealand. 

Local cyclists are welcome to join Ron and Adam for their Auckland leg ‘grand depart’ at Becroft Park (08:00), taking in Waitakere Stadium (approx. 09:30) before arriving at the Morningside Tavern (approx. 10:30). Adam and Ron will then cycle solo to Eden Park, arriving at approximately 11:30, completing an incredible adventure of endurance, determination and passion. 

Fans are urged to get behind the pair and make a donation to Rugby World Cup 2021 Principal Charity ChildFund Rugby via to help support range of innovative and award-winning sport for development curricula, giving children and young people from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to play, learn and lead.

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin, who will be greeting Ron and Adam on their arrival said: “Rugby World Cup 2021 is rugby’s great family reunion and Ron and Adam have been the ultimate uniters of our family, travelling through 11 nations to participate in transformational activities with our Principal Charity Partner ChildFund Rugby.

“I hope that the people of Auckland and Waitakere get behind the remarkable pair and join them on the final leg of their epic journey before they arrive at a packed Eden Park for the start of a very special celebration of women, rugby, New Zealand and togetherness.”

Margaret Sheehan, ChildFund Australia CEO: “It’s been inspiring seeing Ron and Adam travelling towards Auckland, and visiting the rugby community along the way, including many of our partners. Their support means that more girls and women will have the opportunity to learn leadership and life skills through rugby, supporting a more impactful tournament legacy.”

Mark Foy, DHL Express Managing Director, New Zealand & Pacific Islands said: “Congratulations to Ron and Adam for completing their impressive journey and a very warm welcome to New Zealand. DHL has a longstanding association with rugby across the globe and are passionate about our partnership with ChildFund. Their cycle over 16,500km to deliver the official match whistle, truly embodies the DHL values of ‘Can Do’ and ‘Passion’, with the fundraising efforts going a long way to improve the lives of thousands of children.”

Ticket information for matches across the tournament can be found at