12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Why do I want to support the Trust? As a rugby fan, I've gotten huge enjoyment from the sport over the years, both as a supporter and through playing Tag rugby and (briefly!) Women's rugby. But the benefit of the IRFU's work is bigger than just the rugby community.
The IRFU Charitable Trust is actively working to offer a variety of additional support to the 36 rugby players in Ireland whose lives have dramatically changed through no fault of their own.
At a time when we are constantly hearing about the pressure the health system is under, cutbacks to vital services and reductions in disability allowances, this important work can make a huge difference.
The charitable element was not the only thing that attracted me to the cycle though - the personal challenge of getting fit enough not just to complete, but also to enjoy a 1000km cycle also served as a big incentive, while the opportunity to travel to New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup didn't hurt either.
In truth, the decision to take part in the cycle was instant, but progress since then has been anything but. As a novice cyclist the first step was to buy a bike, but the December snow meant it was January before I was geared up and ready to go.
Choosing the right bike was a little daunting, but Kevin in 2Wheels Cycles offered wonderful advice and support.
Bike in hand, training has begun - though not quite in earnest. For the moment I am focused on getting used to my first road bike, and gradually building up my fitness with a couple of short spins and one long(er) trip a week.
I've also been busy planning my first fundraising event, a table quiz in Kiely's in Donnybrook, starting at 8pm next Wednesday (January 26).
In fine table quiz tradition, there'll be a raffle on the night as well, and with prizes donated so far by the IRFU and totalrugby.ie, along with other local restaurants and businesses. I'd love you to come along and buy a ticket or two for a really good cause!
Aisling will be keeping us up to date with her training and fundraising in her monthly blog!
Related Links -