England RL legends take on the Ride to Wembley challenge

England RL legends take on the Ride to Wembley challenge

Two of the most decorated players in the history of women’s Rugby League will hit the road less travelled in August by taking part in the UK Red Ride to Wembley, an epic off-road cycling challenge to raise funds for the charity, Rugby League Cares.

Kirsty Moroney and Beth Sutcliffe amassed 41 England appearances between them prior to their retirement at the end of last season, when they made the move into coaching as joint head coaches of Bradford Bulls.

Kirsty and Beth will join fellow England star Andrea Dobson alongside men’s internationals Keith Senior, Denis Betts, Robbie Hunter-Paul and Nathan McAvoy on the ride, which sets off from the George Hotel, Huddersfield, on Monday August 19.

Over the next five days, 23 hardy riders will follow bridleways, country lanes, byways, canal towpaths and forest trails on a 340-mile route to Wembley Stadium, climbing over 18,000ft – the equivalent of sea level to Everest base camp – along the way.

“I’ve done long distance cycling events before but nothing like this so it’s going to be great testing myself for the week,” said Beth, a project manager for Greater Manchester Moving, a campaign to encourage more people in the region to take up physical exercise and sport.

“It’s good to have three women players involved in an event like this and can only raise the profile of our game. It’s also a great opportunity for us to give something back to the sport by raising funds for RL Cares.”

Kirsty, who played all her career at Bradford before hanging up her boots in 2018, bringing to an end a career that brought her 19 caps including three World Cups, said taking part in the UK Red Ride to Wembley will help fill some of the void created by not playing.

“Unlike Beth, I’m very much not a cyclist so it’s going to be really tough for me but I’ve never been one to shirk a challenge!” said Kirsty, who works for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at their control centre in Leeds.

“Although I haven’t had much time to dwell on not playing because I’ve been so busy coaching, I do miss the competitive element of matchday. The Ride to Wembley may not be a race but I’m sure me, Beth and Andrea won’t be giving each other much quarter!”

To sponsor Kirsty on the UK Red Ride to Wembley please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kirstymoroney-ride2wembley1

To sponsor Beth please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bethsutcliffe-ride2wembley