Hong Kong celebrates Rugby with a visit from the Webb Ellis Cup

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Hong Kong’s Rugby community were out in force last week to welcome the Webb Ellis Cup. Rugby’s most prestigious prize was in the city for a two day visit as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

The first day saw the famous Trophy visit some of the city’s most iconic locations including the Tian Tan Buddha and Victoria Harbour. This was followed by a visit to the home of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, Kings Park, where the local community came together for a celebration of Rugby and have their moment with the Webb Ellis Cup.

Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “I would like to thank everyone in Hong Kong who hosted us during our visit and for making it a real celebration of Rugby. I hope our visit has helped to spread some of the excitement that is building towards the Tournament next year.”

On the second day the Trophy dropped into King George V School where former England 7s captain, Ollie Phillips, took pupils 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. Guests were entertained by the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir.

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 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, 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.

Land Rover Ambassador Lawrence Dallaglio OBE said; “Being reunited with the Webb Ellis Cup never fails to bring back some amazing memories and it makes the experience even more pertinent when you get to share that with others. We have visited some of the iconic sights in Hong Kong as well as King George V School, where, if the skills of the local children were anything to go by, the future of Hong Kong Rugby is in safe hands! This region may be developing in Rugby terms but it doesn’t stop the people being hugely passionate for the game and hopefully giving them the chance to see this prestigious Trophy will inspire them to continue on their Rugby journey as the sport grows in the area.”

Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director of Jaguar Land Rover, added: “Land Rover is proud to have helped England Rugby 2015 deliver the Webb Ellis Cup to another destination on the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour as excitement continues to grow for next year’s Tournament. Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to be a truly global event and the Trophy Tour is an excellent opportunity for Land Rover to build on our commitment to all levels of the game.”

After an early morning arrival on day one, the Webb Ellis Cup took centre stage in the most intriguing DHL Rugby vs the World Challenge to date – Rugby Vs Rope Skipping. Fiji’s captain from the 2011 World Cup, Deacon Manu, tested his skills against Timothy Ho Chu-ting, the World Record holder in speed skipping. The two contenders went toe-to-toe in three challenges that tested their sporting prowess to the max under the watchful eyes of the Tian Tan Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping 360.

Executive Vice President Commercial, Asia Pacific and Managing Director, Hong Kong and Macau, DHL Express, Ken Lee, said: “DHL is proud to celebrate the success of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour in Hong Kong in delivering Rugby excitement to the city. We see strong synergies between our business and the world of Rugby, since both embrace speed, passion and teamwork. These same values inspire our endeavor to be the logistics company for the world.”

Following the visit to Hong Kong the Webb Ellis Cup spent two days in Shanghai.

Next year will see the Webb Ellis Cup visit the following locations as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour: Italy, Romania, Canada, Germany and France.

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