Doddie Weir Cup: Scottish Rugby defends decision not to donate to MND charity

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Scrum V pundits call for donation to Doddie Weir charity

Scottish Rugby says it will continue to make "significant contributions" to Doddie Weir's foundation after it emerged it will not donate earnings from Saturday's match with Wales to the motor neurone disease charity.

Former Scotland lock Weir announced he had the illness in June 2017.

In his honour, Scotland and Wales will contest the Doddie Weir Cup in Cardiff next Saturday.

But neither union is making a direct financial contribution to the charity.

Several fundraising events have been planned around the fixture, including a dinner with Weir, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and Wales defence specialist Shaun Edwards.

Some supporters have said on social media they bought tickets for the Principality Stadium Test believing a portion of their money would go to the foundation.

But despite bearing Weir's name, the contest was never explicitly billed as a charity match.

The distribution of gate receipts is decided by the Welsh Rugby Union as the host body, but Scottish Rugby will earn a reported seven-figure sum for its participation.

A Scottish Rugby spokesperson said the foundation was one of its official charity partners and the governing body says it will "work with Doddie throughout the year across his activities and initiatives".

A statement read: "Scottish Rugby has made significant contributions, in numerous ways, to the foundation and will continue to do so in support of his inspiring work to raise funds for MND research."

Weir set up the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, to help fellow MND sufferers and their families, while funding research into finding a cure for the disease.

The foundation described the game as "a wonderful tribute to Doddie" who "is honoured to have his name on the new trophy".

"The foundation very much appreciates the support of Scottish Rugby, the WRU and the wider rugby community - all have stepped up since Doddie's diagnosis," read a statement.

A statement from the Welsh Rugby Union added: "The formation of the Doddie Weir Cup is a gesture of support by the WRU and the Scottish Rugby, designed to raise awareness of MND as well as contribute funds to the work of the foundation set up in Doddie's name and will be played for whenever the sides meet in similar future circumstances.

"On the day of the game the Doddie Weir Foundation will feature heavily on Stadium big screens, LED advertising and in the match programme, with an audience of millions watching live on the BBC and Doddie and his family present as guests of the WRU."

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