Whereas each males are big rugby followers, the first intention of their epic journey was to boost cash and consciousness for ChildFund Go It Again, the Rugby World Cup’s official charity.
“That is what’s been actually particular,” Owens, a Briton born and raised in Hong Kong who works for the Go It Again charity in Thailand, advised CNN’s Alex Thomas.
“To see what it means to a few of these coaches and simply to share it with them. All of the adventures, the ability of them is sharing them. It isn’t simply us two on the bike. It is a lot greater than that.
“World Rugby are all the time speaking about respect, self-discipline, integrity, ardour, solidarity. These are issues you’ll be able to tangibly use in life-skills schooling.”
The pair set off from England’s Twickenham Stadium on February 2 and have been tasked with delivering the official whistle for the opening match between Japan and Russia which they handed over to referee Nigel Owens.
The 2 cyclists, who’ve been supported on their journey by DHL (CNN’s protection of the Rugby World Cup is sponsored by DHL), have been solely launched to at least one one other as a result of Rutland’s physician is James Owens’ father.
Regardless of solely assembly 5 days earlier than setting off and having spent 230 consecutive days collectively, South African Rutland insists they have not obtained sick of each other’s firm.
“There was a giant threat for each of us, I feel,” the 45-year-old mentioned. “We did not know one another, and we obtained on a motorcycle and spent the following 230 days, each single day hip-to-hip and we nonetheless discuss to one another in order that’s a very good signal.”
This journey is not the primary and even the longest distance Rutland — common supervisor for enterprise improvement for Hong Kong Rugby Union — has cycled to be at a Rugby World Cup.
For the 2015 match in England, Rutland cycled 41,843 km over two years and three months on the planet’s first unsupported solo cycle by Africa to observe his beloved South Africa.
When he obtained there, he witnessed his nation lose to Japan in one of many greatest shocks in rugby historical past, however on account of that recreation, Rutland developed a love for Japanese rugby.
“That night time in Brighton was an evening I am going to always remember,” the 45-year-old remembers.
“Clearly shedding was a shock however inside hours of that, after taking off my inexperienced and gold glasses, and as a sports activities fan and as a rugby fan, witnessing historical past is simply so particular.
“We met a younger man in China who mentioned he heard about rugby due to that match.”