The rugby community has rallied behind Doddie Weir OBE, the former Newcastle Falcons lock whose Foundation aims to raise funds to aid research into the causes of Motor Neurone Disease and investigate potential cures, making a difference to the lives of those coping and battling with MND.

From the alliance with Finals Weekend, EPCR will contribute £51,500 to those projects (approximately €58,300) – roughly equal to £1 from each seat for the Heineken Champions Cup Final – with a range of activations surrounding the two showpiece matches at St. James’ Park on 10-11 May.

EPCR Chairman Simon Halliday said: “The whole of the rugby family is behind Doddie and the fantastic work that is being done through the Foundation, so we are thrilled to be involved and helping to bring attention to treatment of MND. Having played against Doddie, I know he’s a tough competitor and it’s great to be on the same side as him now as we work together around the Newcastle Finals, which will be a fantastic occasion for all in European club rugby.”

Doddie Weir said: “We are delighted and overwhelmed by the support of EPCR with this partnership, especially in a city that is so close to our hearts. There is no cure for this horrific disease so to raise awareness as well as funds for crucial research is vital and we’ve had amazing support on a day-to-day basis.

“In the year since we set up the Foundation, we have spent over one million pounds. That could not be done without the generosity and support of everyone out there and we are looking to pledge the same in the next six months. It is testament to EPCR that they are helping us, and it wouldn’t be possible without that support.”

For more information about the Foundation, go to www.myname5doddie.co.uk