As a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015, Land Rover is building on the success of its association with the Tournament in New Zealand in 2011.
The pinnacle of the sport, Rugby World Cup, is the third largest sporting event in the world, Rugby’s showpiece global event, and one that Land Rover is hugely proud to have in its sponsorship portfolio whilst also maintaining its support for the game at grassroots level.
From Fiji to France, Australia to Africa, to America, the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour is set to bring thousands of fans around the world closer than ever before to Rugby’s biggest prize. From May 2014 to May 2015, the Webb Ellis Cup will be taken to 15 different destinations as part of an initiative by England Rugby 2015, the organising committee of Rugby World Cup 2015.
The Tour is being delivered in partnership with Land Rover, who have committed to take the Trophy to places it has never been before on the Least Driven Path, giving those who would otherwise never get to see the iconic Trophy the chance to do so. In each destination Land Rover will help England Rugby 2015 further grow the excitement for Rugby’s most prestigious Tournament in the build up to the game’s showpiece event in England and Cardiff in 2015.
Japan - May 2014
In a bid to take the trophy to places it has never been before, Land Rover stopped in the foothills of Mount Fuji before visiting the remote Nenba village, where amongst traditional Japanese thatched roof houses, ambassadors Shane Williams, former Welsh international, and Daisuke Ohata, former Japanese winger and the all-time leading international try-scorer, conducted a Rugby training session for local school children.
Rugby World Cup Tour, Japan May 2014.
Australia – June 2014
Rugby World Cup winner George Gregan was reunited with the Trophy he won in 1999 when the Tour went Down Under in June, driving into the scenic Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney.
Rugby World Cup Trophy TourWatch the highlights from the first day of the Trophy Tour down under
Fiji – June 2014
The third leg saw the Tour land in Fiji, where it was greeted by Rugby World Cup legends Viliame Satala and Alifereti Doviverata. The pair drove the Trophy right through the middle of the island of Viti Levu, stopping at schools, clubs and communities across the island, including remote locations Naivucini and Nadarivatu, to conduct training sessions with the local children. The passion for the game was evident, as each community greeted the Trophy with a ceremonial welcome.
Rugby World Cup Tour, FijiJune 2014.
Madagascar – July 2014
Land Rover continued their promise to take the Webb Ellis Cup to places it has never been before, visiting the indigenous ring-tailed lemurs at Lemurs Park and the small community of Imertsiatosika, before a drive up to the ancient and picturesque archaeological site of Antongona, where the local children stood in awe of Rugby’s most celebrated prize.
Rugby World Cup Tour, MadagascarJuly 2014.
South Africa – August 2014
Rugby World Cup winners from two different generations took part in the Tour, as John Smit, who led the South Africans to victory in 2007, and Chester Williams, star winger of the victorious 1995 side, joined Land Rover on the Least Driven Path. The Rugby legends accompanied the drive from Cape Town to the remote agricultural community of Protem, where they were assisted by Land Rover Ambassador and world-leading referee Craig Joubert and a number of players from the DHL Stormers, the local Super Rugby side, in distributing Rugby balls and goodie bags to the excited children. The Trophy then proceeded to the most southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas.
Rugby World Cup Tour, South AfricaAugust 2014
South America – October 2014
Former Argentinean Rugby captain and Rugby World Cup legend, Felipe Contepomi, joined the tour as Land Rover drove the Trophy into the suburbs of northern Buenos Aires to San Pedro School and Virreyes Rugby Club. A Land Rover ambassador and the leading points-scorer for his country, Contepomi helped Premiership Rugby launch HITZ Argentina by conducting training sessions for the local children. An extension of the UK’s award-winning HITZ programme, which uses the core values of Rugby to overcome some of the great challenges facing young people today, HITZ Argentina will continue this work by helping tackle the problems faced by children in some of Buenos Aires' toughest inner city areas. The programme will be supported in the region by Land Rover, who will fund three coaches who will be responsible for training young people on a day-to-day basis.
The trip culminated in Land Rover’s sixth instalment of the Least Driven Path, which saw the Trophy driven 80 miles to the east of Montevideo to Punta del Este. With the picturesque backdrop of the Atlantic coastline, the local residents were given the chance to get close to Rugby’s most coveted prize.
Rugby world cup tour, south americaOctober 2014
Dubai – November 2014
The latest leg of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour saw the Trophy land in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where it was met by former Scotland Rugby captain Rory Lawson, who represented his country at Rugby World Cup 2007 & 2011, as well as Cyrus Homayoun, UAE National 7s captain and regular member of the National XVs side. The pair took a scenic drive out of the city to Al Ain in the district of Zakher, where the Trophy visited one of the area’s most iconic sand dunes, Devil’s Plunge, on the western outskirts of Al Ain. Rory and Cyrus enjoyed a drive on the dunes before proceeding to the nearby Emirates National School where they conducted a Rugby training session with the local children.
China - December 2014
The Tour then headed to Shanghai where Dallaglio escorted the Trophy to Shanghai Rugby Football Club. Here Dallaglio helped run a training session for 70 children from a number of local schools, whilst sharing some Rugby tips and insights with local coaches.
“The children here at Shanghai RFC have shown some great skills and hopefully the presence of the Trophy will inspire a new generation of the sport’s stars.”
As part of the visit to Shanghai RFC, Jaguar Land Rover China also launched a ground-breaking initiative, which will use the values that Rugby teaches to help three to four thousand Chinese children in Shanghai’s inner city areas. The Land Rover China Youth Rugby Development Programme, established under the ‘Sports for All’ pillar of The Jaguar Land Rover China Children & Youth Dream Fund, will work with local partners, including teachers and coaches, to access vulnerable young people and deliver improved access to educational resources, sports training, English instruction and personal and life skills training.
Rugby World Cup Tour, China December 2014
Italy - January 2015
Continuing the support of the inaugural Tour, which is celebrating Rugby around the world in the build up to Rugby World Cup 2015, Land Rover has helped transport the Webb Ellis Cup to iconic locations around Milan, Treviso and Rome this week as part of a two day visit to Italy.
Italian Rugby legend and Land Rover Ambassador Andrea Lo Cicero accompanied the Least Driven Path as the latest instalment travelled north of Verona to the scenic region of Lessinia. Whilst enjoying the stunning views in the foothills of the Alps, Lo Cicero, a veteran of three Rugby World Cups, took the Webb Ellis Cup on an off-road drive. From here, the Trophy continued to the heartland of Rugby in Italy, visiting the Gidauto Land Rover dealership in Treviso, where Lo Cicero met players from Benetton Treviso Rugby and children from local grassroots clubs.
Rugby World Cup Tour, Italy January 2015
Lo Cicero, who clocked up a staggering 103 international Caps over a 13-year career said: “It has been a wonderful experience to take the Webb Ellis Cup somewhere it has never been before and extremely rewarding to meet passionate young Rugby fans in the Treviso area. Excitement is already building for Rugby World Cup 2015 in Italy and Land Rover bringing the Trophy here has stirred an even greater passion in this huge year for the game.”
The following day the Trophy did a spot of sight-seeing, visiting iconic landmarks around Rome such as the Colosseum and the day concluded with the Webb Ellis Cup as guest of honour at an event hosted by the British Embassy at the MAXXI Museum, and a number of high-profile Land Rover guests in attendance.
Before the end of the year the Rugby World Cup 2015 Trophy Tour will land in the USA, United Arab Emirates and China, before visiting several European countries and Canada in the new year.