DAVID WALLACE HAS faced many challenges in his rugby career but he is almost a beaten man when TheScore.ie catches up with him for a chat about the Malin to Mizen Cycle.
The former Munster and Ireland flanker is preparing for the arrival of a third child and has been left at home to build a flat-pack bed. “I could do with the break, to be honest,” he remarks soon after answering his phone.
For the second year running, Wallace will join his brothers, Paul and Richard, for the week-long chaity cycle from one end of the country to the next. Malin to Mizen is taking place to raise money for CROSS [cancer research and patient care]. The only three brothers ever to play for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions will also be joined by their eldest sibling, Henry, and a camera crew from Bord Failté, who are making a documentary on their adventures.
“Paul has been a patron for CROSS ever since Felipe Contepomi left Leinster and moved to France,” Wallace explained. “It was great fun last year and is a brilliant cycle across a wonderful part of the country. Everyone was mad keen to get involved again.”
As rugby royalty in Ireland, the Wallaces are hoping to get other former players out for support legs along the 800 kilometre route. Mick Galwey took part last year and David Campese and Anton Oliver have signed up this time out.
More than €50k was raised last year and the goal, with an extended route this year, is to surpass that total. Wallace’s other goal is to get up to cycling speed so he does not slow his brother and the other participants down. A 40km cycle for the Clíona Foundation on Saturday helped and Wallace’s knee, which forced him into rugby retirement, held up to the rigors of the day.
“We have to cycle more than 100km a day so I will have to get out and put some more miles in my legs before I set off next weekend,” he said. “Thankfully, it is not a race and the whole week is all about having fun, chatting on the road as we go along and meeting new people.”
Try telling that to David Campese. The legendary Wallaby winger may yet modify his famous goose step to get him over that finishing line first up at Mizen Head.