Toonie to the fore for Doddie!

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What does the head coach of the Scotland team do the day before his charges fly the 6,000 miles to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

Gregor Townsend will be spending it criss-crossing his Borders homeland in an epic charity initiative to raise funds for his friend, the inspirational Doddie Weir.

Townsend and Weir played together for Scotland on 35 occasions between 1993 and 2000 and also toured together with Scotland, Scotland 7s and the British & Irish Lions.

Townsend, whose older brother Craig, was an outstanding amateur golfer, has hit upon playing a hole at each of the 21 golf courses within the Scottish Borders to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

He explained: “It’s been great to see rugby and wider sporting world get behind Doddie and help him raise more awareness and money in his battle against Motor Neurone Disease.

“Who can forget Doddie’s match-ball delivery with his sons, Angus, Hamish and Ben at BT Murrayfield before the Scotland v New Zealand match in 2017 and the very many other examples of folk expressing their love and admiration for Doddie.

“He has been relentless in his pursuit of finding a cure for MND and I wanted to contribute in some way before we head off to Japan.

“I have set a challenge of playing one hole at every golf course in the Scottish Borders, an area where Doddie and I grew up and still call home.

“The Borders Golf Challenge for Doddie takes place on Sunday 8 September with all funds going to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“There are 21 courses in the Borders and Doddie has promised to join me for the day.”

Asked about undertaking the challenge the day before flying to Japan, Townsend added: “Rugby World Cup is obviously hugely important and in the white heat of competition it’s equally important to maintain a sense of perspective.

“What Doddie – and others affected by this terrible disease – are going through and yet managing to retain his sense of humour is incredibly humbling and whatever I can do to help is a privilege for me.”

> Click here for the route.

There will also be an opportunity to bid for the chance to play with Gregor, with each club tasked with raising £500.

You can support Gregor’s challenge through his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doddiegolf

 The 21 golf courses in the Scottish Borders are at Duns, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Innerleithen, Jedburgh, Kelso, Langolm, Lauder, Lilliardsedge, Lilliesleaf, Cardrona, Melrose, Minto, New Woll Estate, Newcastleton, Peebles, Selkirk, St Boswells, The Hirsel, The Roxburghe and Torwoodlee.