The Trophy arrived this morning under tight security, with former Australian Captain and Emirates Ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2015 George Gregan set to showcase the Trophy to fans over the coming days.
This opportunity is designed to give Australians the chance to view the Trophy up close and see what the nation will be cheering for come 23rd September when Australia kicks off their Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign in England against Fiji.
As part of Emirates sponsorship of Rugby World Cup 2015, the airline is also offering one lucky Australian teenager a once in the life time opportunity to represent Australia at the England v Australia pool match at Twickenham on Saturday 3rd October as the Australian team’s official ‘Flag Bearer’. The prize includes flights to the United Kingdom with Emirates for the winner and their parent or guardian and four nights’ accommodation.
Rob Gurney, Divisional Vice President Australasia Emirates said: “Our partnership with Rugby World Cup 2015 is testament to Emirates’ commitment to first-class sporting events. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the Webb Ellis Cup in Dubai, Auckland, Sydney and then onwards to Johannesburg and England, helping to connect fans around the world with the world’s most prestigious rugby Tournament, and we are pleased to welcome the Trophy to Australia, one of the greatest rugby nations in the world.”
Students from across New South Wales participating in the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA) Trials will this afternoon enjoy the Ultimate Rugby Experience thanks to Emirates. Students will be able to see the Webb Ellis Cup, take photos and receive some insight into the sport from Rugby World Cup 1999 winner George Gregan at an intimate Q&A and clinic session at Northbridge Oval in the North Shore.
“I’m honoured to be Emirates’ Ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2015 and offer Sydneysiders and rugby fans the chance to see the Trophy up close. Emirates has a long history with rugby and I’m thrilled that they are connecting fans with their passion. I’m looking forward to meeting with students from New South Wales, witnessing the young talent this country has to offer and providing some insight into playing at an international level,” said Gregan.
Tomorrow, Sydneysiders and rugby fans will have the opportunity to see the Trophy up close and take photos with the Cup at West Circular Quay Lawn Sydney from 12pm-2pm and also at The Rugby Club, Sydney from 3pm-8pm.
The Webb Ellis Cup, made of gilt silver, is the Holy Grail for the rugby world. It is named after a student of England’s Rugby School, William Webb Ellis, who English authorities claim picked up a soccer ball and ran with it in 1823. The International Rugby Board commissioned the Webb Ellis Cup for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.
Emirates is a Worldwide Partner and the Official Airline for the Tournament, which will be held in England, the birthplace of rugby, from 18 September – 31 October 2015. The eighth edition of Rugby’s finest spectacle follows hot on the heels of New Zealand’s 2011 triumph after defeating France by a single point in a nail-biting final. Australia, South Africa and New Zealand have won the Trophy twice, and at Rugby World Cup 2003, England added it to its cabinet.
The Tournament will be played in venues across England (as well as in Cardiff) in late 2015 and will comprise 20 countries competing in four pools of five teams, followed by an eight match knock-out phase, totalling 48 matches. The opening match (18 September) and closing fixtures of the Tournament will feature at the magnificent Twickenham Stadium, London, culminating in the Final on 31 October.
Emirates flies to five destinations in the United Kingdom, including London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, via one convenient stop in Dubai.