Gareth Ellis gears up to tackle the Wild Atlantic Adventure

Gareth Ellis gears up to tackle the Wild Atlantic Adventure

Rugby league legend Gareth Ellis is preparing for his toughest challenge since retirement by signing up as a rider on Rugby League Cares’s 2024 fundraising bike ride, the Wild Atlantic Adventure.

Gareth, the former Wakefield, Leeds, Wests Tigers, Hull FC, England and Great Britain player, will help lead the epic ride along Ireland’s craggy southern coastline in late June.

The 42-year-old, who led Hull FC to back-to-back Challenge Cup final wins at Wembley in 2016 and 2017, is getting back in the saddle to help the charity raise the essential funds it needs to continue making a positive difference to the lives of people in rugby league communities.

It will be Gareth’s second cycling adventure with RL Cares, having ridden from Salford to the Challenge Cup final on the 2018 Ride to Wembley, which raised over £35,000.

“I’m really looking forward to the Wild Atlantic Challenge and feel privileged to be able to do what I can to help such a good cause,” said Gareth.

“I have some fantastic memories from riding to Wembley in 2018, despite having the wrong bike! The ride was mainly on unpaved tracks and trails, and I was on a road bike, which struggled to cope with the terrain and I had a few ‘offs’.

“We also caused a minor diplomatic incident when a small group of players, including Robbie Hunter-Paul, took a wrong turn and inadvertently rode into the Prime Minister’s home at Chequers, where we were turned back by armed guards!

“The RL Cares rides are great experiences for everyone and the funds we raise allows the charity to do so much good work.”

After leaving the coaching staff at Hull FC last year, Gareth joined RL Cares in a full-time capacity as a member of the welfare and wellbeing team, leading on the delivery of wellbeing programmes for players and coaches.

His involvement in the ride will see him reunited with his former Wakefield Trinity reserves team-mate James Elston, who went on to become the club’s chief executive after Gareth’s move to Leeds Rhinos.

James is now CEO of Wakefield-based Boiler Central, who are the principal partners of the Wild Atlantic Adventure.

The ride takes place between June 25 and June 30 and will see the riders take on a tough 300-mile on-road route between Cork and Limerick. The Wild Atlantic Adventure also sees RL Cares partner with Rugby Players Ireland, the organisation responsible for delivering player welfare services to rugby union players across the island of Ireland.

Please show your support for Gareth by sponsoring him via his Justgiving page