Rugby’s most prestigious prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, arrived in Hong Kong this week as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.
The Trophy Tour is visiting 15 countries over 12 months as part of a celebration of Rugby in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Previous destinations have included Japan, Australia, Fiji, Madagascar, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, USA and the UAE.
On the first day of a two day visit the Trophy visited some of the iconic locations around the city which included the Tian Tan Buddha and Golden Bauhinia Square.
TOn Monday the Webb Ellis Cup visited Kings Park, the home of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, where players from local clubs will have their chance to see the iconic Trophy.
Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring the Webb Ellis Cup to Hong Kong which has a strong Rugby tradition. The team came close to qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015 but were defeated by Japan for the Asia spot and then lost out to Uruguay in the repechage semi-finals. We are looking forward to the visit for what will be a celebration of Rugby.”
Monday the Trophy visited King George V School where former England 7s captain, Ollie Phillips,took pupils from a number of local schools for a training session. Then in the evening the Webb Ellis Cup was guest of honour at a reception hosted at the British Consulate-General in association with The GREAT Britain Campaign, and attended by people from the local Rugby community.
Marking the arrival of the Webb Ellis Cup in Hong Kong, the British Consul-General Caroline Wilson said: “The UK is proud to be hosting Rugby World Cup in 2015 and we are looking forward to welcoming fans from around the world to what will be a fantastic spectacle of Rugby.
“The GREAT Britain Campaign is supporting the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour to promote Rugby and the positive values it embodies, inspiring others with the values of personal excellence through dedication and teamwork, whether on or off the pitch.”
Rugby World Cup, the third largest global sporting event behind the Olympics and Football World Cup, takes place in England and Cardiff next year 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.
The Trophy Tour, which is the first time Rugby’s most coveted prize has been showcased around the world, is being delivered in partnership with Land Rover and DHL – two long supporters of the Game and Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partners.
As part of Land Rover’s pledge to take the Webb Ellis Cup where it has never been, Land Rover Global Ambassador Lawrence Dallaglio embarked on the latest instalment of the Least Driven Path. Dallaglio, a Rugby World Cup winner with England in 2003, took the Webb Ellis Cup on a tour of Hong Kong’s most iconic locations, including Lantau Island’s picturesque Inspiration Lake, the busy Canton Road and Mount Davis.
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, commented, “Together with England Ruby 2015 we are proud to be able to bring the Webb Ellis Cup to Hong Kong and China as the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour continues. It is a fantastic opportunity for Land Rover to give a region that is developing within the global Rugby stage the chance to get close to Rugby’s most prestigious prize and meet a Rugby legend such as Lawrence Dallaglio. As excitement grows for Rugby World Cup 2015, the Hong Kong and China leg of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour continues Land Rover’s pledge to support all levels of the game through visits to local communities and Rugby clubs that would otherwise never have seen the Webb Ellis Cup.”
At each tour stop, DHL presents the Rugby vs. the World Challenge, a fun-filled, never-before-seen contest between Rugby and a locally celebrated sport, which aims to create engaging content and excitement in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2015. Hong Kong plays host to a world first, seeing Rugby take on Rope Skipping. Former Scarlets prop Deacon Manu, who captained Fiji in Rugby World Cup 2011, will go head-to-head with World Record holding rope skipper Timothy Ho Chu-ting, in what promises to be an enthralling encounter. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Ngong Ping 360, the two competitors will battle it out in three unique challenges that will test their speed, strength and agility to the max.
Ken Lee, Executive Vice President Commercial, Asia Pacific and Managing Director, Hong Kong and Macau, DHL Express, said: “The sport of Rugby is in our DNA. We have been engaged in a range of Rugby Partnerships in Hong Kong and across the globe. As a partner of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, DHL is excited to welcome their debut visit to Hong Kong and celebrate our shared values of speed, passion and teamwork. We are proud to continue our long-term association with the sport and look forward to delivering this exciting event to the world city.”
Following the visit to Hong Kong the Webb Ellis Cup will spend two days in Shanghai.
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