Scotland will wear Doddie Weir’s tartan as part of their kit when they face New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday.
The numbers on Scotland’s shirts will be in the distinctive blue and yellow tartan to mark five years since the launch of Weir’s motor neuron disease research foundation.
Weir will be at the game, having attended the same fixture shortly after revealing his MND diagnosis in 2016.
He went on to found the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation (MNDF), which has raised £7.8m to conduct research into the disease. A further £1.3m has been dedicated to supporting people living with MND.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, a friend and former team-mate of the 61-times capped international, said: “It’s of huge significance that Doddie will be at BT Murrayfield with us on Sunday.
“It’s [Doddie’s attendance] to acknowledge what Doddie has done over the last five years, show our love for him and his fight against MND, and also it’s to remember that great night five years ago when he launched the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
“So many people in Scottish rugby feel they’ve been on this journey with him and I know he has inspired a lot of people to do things to raise money and probably change people’s lives. I know he’s going to change a lot of lives in the future due to the work he’s doing.
“It’s great the numbers on the back of our shirts will be in Doddie’s tartan, as we’ll feel we’ll have Doddie with us.
“He’s a big supporter of the team. I always get a message the night before our game saying we’re going to win this weekend and wishing us all the best. It’ll mean a lot to him if we get the win on Sunday and that’s what we’re working towards.”
Jill Douglas, the MNDF’s CEO and Doddie’s close family friend, has been with the foundation since the beginning, and explained how the charity has caught the imagination of the public, with thousands of people fundraising from all backgrounds to support the cause.
“The Foundation’s success has been down to a combination of things – but of course primarily it is the power of Doddie,” Douglas said. “He is such a big character and much loved by so many people.
“His positivity, energy, and drive to make a difference is inspiring. I also believe more and more people have become aware of MND, it is not as rare as many think, and they want to help us achieve our vision of a world free of motor neuron disease.
“Doddie has been so candid and frank about how the disease affects him and his family. He wants to be a voice for others who share his diagnosis but don’t have the support and platform he has.
“We receive so many amazing letters and emails from people who have been touched by Doddie’s story and want to help. We also hear from people living with MND who take comfort from Doddie’s strength and openness. He has been instrumental is raising awareness and we continue to challenge the MND research community to push for progress.”