AROUND 30 ex-rugby players are set to stop off in Innerleithen this weekend as part of an annual charity bike ride.

On Saturday, May 26, the cyclists, all from Blyth Rugby Club in Northumberland, will set off from Edinburgh and will head south through the Borders on their epic three-day ride.

The ride is the seventh to be undertaken by the group, who this year are raising funds for the Mesothelioma UK cancer charity.

Colin Wilson from the group told us: "Unfortunately one of our club members passed away last year after suffering from this dreadful disease.

"We are doing the journey over three days to make sure we have time to rehydrate sufficiently in the evenings.

"The first event was launched after a player was rushed to hospital eight years ago after suffering a heart attack on the rugby pitch and he was fortunate to survive and has made a full recovery.

"Later that year we decided to raise some money for the British Heart Foundation as a way of thanking the people who made it possible for him to make a full recovery and the first bike ride was a huge success. The same lad is riding his bike this year after breaking his foot."

Every year, the ride has managed to raise around £3,000 for good and worthy causes, and gives the guys the opportunity to rekindle friendship's made many years ago.

Colin added: "This year our oldest cyclist is 76 and the youngest is just 17. So it really is an eclectic mix of characters and we have two tour virgins.

"The Vale of Leithen rugby club has very kindly offered to provide us with food on our first day and making sure we are fully refuelled with pie and chips.

"A fantastic gesture from our Scottish friends over the border as we all know rugby brings out the very best in people."

To make a donation, go to: