Rugby’s most prestigious prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, has arrived in England with the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, counting down 75 days until the start of the Tournament.
RFU President and Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Jason Leonard OBE took the Trophy to Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly where he joined the Cornish Pirates for a Rugby training session. He then took the Trophy on a short helicopter ride to the Eden Project in Cornwall where local school children had the opportunity to have their photos taken with it inside one of the biodomes.
Jason Leonard OBE, RFU President, said: "This year will be the most significant in the history of the game in England and it's an exciting opportunity for us to raise the profile of Rugby through the Trophy Tour, in particular amongst grassroots clubs, across the country. Rugby really is a sport for everyone, for all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds – men, women, boys and girls – and it's great to see so many people already feeling the excitement of Rugby World Cup 2015.
"I'm looking forward to the schools' beach Rugby later today to see children taking part and having fun. Three of the schools there are part of the RFU's All Schools Programme which takes Rugby into non-rugby playing secondary schools. These three schools didn't play Rugby until two years ago and are great examples of the work we're doing to create a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
In May the Trophy Tour reached the end of its 12 month journey around the world as part of a celebration of Rugby, with the Webb Ellis Cup visiting Japan, Australia, Fiji, Madagascar, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, USA, UAE, Hong Kong & China, Italy, Romania, Canada, Germany and France.
Since then, the Trophy has embarked on a 100 day journey around the UK & Ireland in the build up to the Opening Ceremony of Rugby World Cup 2015 on Friday September 18. The Webb Ellis Cup has spent 5 days in Scotland, 10 days in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and 10 days in Wales to create excitement amongst home nation fans as they countdown until kick-off.
The Webb Ellis Cup will now tour around England, where it will visit each Host City and Host Venue, as well as the Team Bases and local Rugby clubs and community events as well as iconic locations across the country, all in celebration of the biggest Rugby World Cup ever. The World Cup will visit Headingley Carnegie on the morning of Thursday 6th August
England Rugby 2015 Managing Director, Stephen Brown, said: "The Webb Ellis Cup's return to England today marks a big moment for Rugby fans as the Tournament becomes another step closer. The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour will now embark on a tour of England, following on from the success of the International Trophy Tour of 15 countries over the last 12 months, as well as more recently 25 days in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Wales which has engaged and inspired the home nations to be part of this fantastic Tournament. We're hopeful that the Trophy Tour's trip around England will enable fans to create unforgettable memories in the lead up to the very exciting six weeks of Rugby ahead of us all.
"As the Organising Committee we are pleased to be fully on track with our delivery plan. We've sold 2 million tickets, recruited 6,000 volunteers who will form 'The Pack', confirmed our 15 Official Fanzones and are delivering a Rugby World Cup 2015 testing and readiness programme. We continue to work hard with all our key stakeholders to ensure Rugby World Cup 2015 is a true celebration of Rugby for the nation and the watching world.”
Details about where else the Webb Ellis Cup will visit as it makes its journey through England as part of the Trophy Tour can be found here.
Rugby World Cup, the third largest global sporting event behind the Olympics and Football World Cup, takes place in England and Cardiff between September 18 and October 31. The Tournament will be hosted in 13 venues in 11 cities across the country. The remaining tickets are on sale at tickets.rugbyworldcup.com.