Trophy Tour arrives in Dubai

Nov 27 • General News, International, RWC 2015, World Rugby • 1981 Views • Comments Off on Trophy Tour arrives in Dubai

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Rugby’s most prestigious prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, has arrived in the United Arab Emirates as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

The visit to Dubai marks the halfway point of the Trophy Tour which 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 and the USA.

On the first day of a two day visit, the Webb Ellis Cup visited Rashid School for Boys where pupils got a chance to see the trophy up close. This evening the trophy will be the guest of honour at a special reception hosted by the British Embassy, which will also see some previous Rugby World Cup stars in attendance including former Wales international, Tom Shanklin, former Scotland international, Rory Lawson and former Samoan international, Apollo Perelini.

Halfway point

Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “As we reach the halfway point of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, it’s a reminder that the tournament is getting closer and you can really feel the excitement starting to build. We have received a warm welcome everywhere we have been, showing the global reach that Rugby has. We are pleased to be able to take the Webb Ellis Cup to Dubai for what will be a real celebration of Rugby.”

Tomorrow the Trophy will visit Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Club where former Wales international, Tom Shanklin, will put some of the players through their paces.

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.

Global showcase continues

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.

Land Rover journeyed out of Dubai on the Least Driven Path earlier today, taking the Webb Ellis Cup somewhere it has never been before. Accompanied by former Scotland Rugby captain, Rory Lawson, who represented his country at Rugby World Cup 2007 & 2011, as well as Cyrus Homayoun, UAE National 7’s captain and regular member of the National XV’s side, the trophy travelled to Al Ain in the district of Zakher. Here the trophy visited one of the area’s most iconic sand dunes, located on the western outskirts of Al Ain, before proceeding to the Emirates National School where Rory and Cyrus conducted a Rugby training session with the local Emirati children.

Speaking on behalf of Land Rover, Rory Lawson commented: “It has been extremely rewarding to take the Webb Ellis Cup to Al Ain on Land Rover’s Least Driven Path and hugely exciting to see so many of the local children joining in with our training session. It shows there is huge appetite for the sport, even in a remote community such as this. By taking this iconic trophy off the beaten track, hopefully Cyrus and I have helped to bring a new generation of sporting talent closer to the game of Rugby.”

Growing the game

Bruce Robertson, Managing Director for Jaguar Land Rover MENA, said: “We are proud to be helping England Rugby 2015 grow the anticipation of Rugby World Cup 2015 and particularly in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, that are still in the early stages of their Rugby journey. Taking the Webb Ellis Cup to communities who would otherwise never see the prestigious trophy continues Land Rover’s commitment to developing all levels of the game of Rugby around the world.”

As part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, and to spread the excitement of the sport around the world, DHL pits Rugby against a popular sport on each stop of the tour in unique Rugby vs. the World Challenge events. In Dubai, two-time Grand Slam winning Welshman Tom Shanklin will represent Rugby against Golf, as he goes head to head against Meydan Golf Resort’s club professional. Three light-hearted and engaging challenges will test the speed, agility and accuracy of the two competitors. Shanklin, a keen golfer, will be hoping to prove his mettle on the course and lead Rugby to victory.

The previous Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour stop saw the Webb Ellis Cup head to the USA to visit the great cities of New York and Chicago, where three Rugby legends took on three much-celebrated American Football players in a hard-fought showdown.

Frank-Uwe Ungerer, DHL Express Country Manager, said: “We are proud to be associated with the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour and welcome the Webb Ellis Cup here in the UAE. All our customers and employees are really excited to see this sought-after trophy. It’s also a great reflection for our network and delivery capabilities that spread across 220 countries worldwide”.

Courtesy of World Rugby

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