The Webb Ellis Cup has completed the fourth leg of its international Trophy Tour, taking in the sights of Madagascar and coinciding with the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier for Africa 1. Namibia emerged the winner of the Africa Cup for the right to join New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, and Georgia in Pool C in next year’s showpiece tournament in England.
During a three day visit to the island, where the locals have a fierce passion for the sport, Land Rover’s ‘Least Driven Path’ took the Webb Ellis Cup to places it has never been, continuing the commitment to help build excitement for Rugby World Cup 2015 around the world. The Cup journeyed out of Antananarivo to Lemurs Park where it was inquisitively watched by the country’s indigenous ring-tailed lemurs. Land Rover continued deeper into the wild Madagascan terrain to the rural community of Antongona, where the local children played Rugby in the picturesque setting and stood in awe of Rugby’s most coveted prize.
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Timothy Smart, British Ambassador to Madagascar, said: “I remember back in 1991 in the run up to the last Rugby World Cup in England, the Webb Ellis Cup came round to my school and what a great privilege it was. For it to come to Madagascar and show that Madagascar is making its mark on the world scene is incredible.”
Oregan Hoskins, Vice-Chairman of the IRB, commented: “I think when all these children grow up one day and look back on it and tell stories about how they stood next to the Webb Ellis Cup, the real Webb Ellis Cup that is going to be played for in England next year, it’s just a dream come true for them and to have the Webb Ellis Cup on this wonderful world tour is a fantastic gesture.”
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Brand Experience Director, added: “We at Land Rover are delighted that as part of the Least Driven Path activity the iconic Webb Ellis Cup has been transported somewhere it has never been before, particularly in a country like Madagascar which is fast developing as a Rugby playing nation. The passion shown for the game, even in the most remote areas, is remarkable and we aim to continue to build on that passion around the world over the next 12 months.”