The Webb Ellis Cup, the trophy for the Rugby World Cup, kicked off the Canadian leg of its 2019 Trophy Tour in Victoria and Vancouver this week. The historic piece of silverware drew crowds in both locations as rugby fans gathered to see the cup in person.
In Victoria, mini and junior members of local rugby clubs had the unique opportunity to play rugby on the lawn of the BC Parliament Buildings as part of the tour. Politicians including BC Premier John Horgan were present to welcome the Webb Ellis Cup to the provincial capital, along with four-time Rugby World Cup player Gareth Rees. Both spoke of the significance of having such an iconic piece of Rugby on Canadian soil, as well as their hopes to see events like this and the HSBC Canada Sevens help to grow awareness and engagement with the game of Rugby.
A unique sight and a unique opportunity – Rugby on the lawn of the BC legislature
Today in Vancouver, the Webb Ellis Trophy was greeted a perfect Spring day as dozens of children from local rugby clubs and the Hillcrest Community Centre gathered to play some games. Rees was once again on hand to address the local media and gathered crowd, talking of the cup’s legacy and importance in the Rugby world. “I often say to people that the Rugby World Cup is one of the biggest events on the globe behind the likes of the Summer Olympics and the Soccer World Cup.”
Some of the lucky children to get up close with the Webb Ellis Cup in Vancouver
SWorld Rugby is known for taking the Webb Ellis Cup on a world tour in the months leading up to each Rugby World Cup (RWC). During the run-up to the 2015 RWC in England, the Webb Ellis Cup made a stop at Klahanie Park on Vancouver’s North Shore. Canadian Rugby star Phil Mack (Toquaht First Nation) was in attendance along with a group of local rugby club members and the Cup received a traditional welcome and blessing from First Nations representatives.
Already, the Webb Ellis Cup has visited 16 different countries across 6 continents and is currently in the USA before making its way north to Canada. In total the cup will have travelled over 136,000km before it arrives at Hillcrest Community Centre next week. It will then travel across Canada to Ontario before finishing the tour with trips to Brazil and Chile.
The Webb Ellis Cup has already covered thousands of miles –
Find out more about the RWC Trophy Tour
The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is just a few short months away, with the first match kicking off on September 20th in Tokyo. Canada’s Men’s XV will play their first game of the competition on September 26thagainst Italy. It will be the ninth Rugby World Cup to be held, the first taking place in 1987, with Canada competing at every single tournament since it started.
If your children are interested in playing rugby for the first time, why not check out the free TRY Rugby sessions taking place at rugby clubs across the province on Sunday, March 31st.