The William Web Ellis Cup
I'm from South Africa, so rugby over here is pretty big, and one of the biggest tournaments for rugby is kicking of tomorrow.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, I'll be posting bits and bobs about it on my blog untill the end of the world cup, so keep your eyes peeled.
First lets start with the William Web Ellis cup... yes the cup that the winning team will receive. Yes, the cup currently being held by SOUTH AFRICA!
The Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup. The Cup is named after William Webb Ellis, who is often credited as the inventor of rugby football. The trophy is silver gilt and has been presented to the winner of the Rugby World Cup since the first competition in 1987. It has been held by Australia (twice, in 1991 and 1999), South Africa (twice, in 1995 and 2007), New Zealand (1987) and England (2003).
The 38 centimetre trophy is gilded silver and is supported by two cast scroll handles. On one handle there is a head of a satyr, on the other there is head of a nymph. On the face of the trophy, the words International Rugby Football Board and below that arch The Webb Ellis Cup are engraved. The Webb Ellis Cup is also referred to (incorrectly) as the "Webb Ellis Trophy" or colloquially as "Bill", a nickname coined by the 1991 Rugby World Cup winners, the Wallabies.
There are two official Webb Ellis Cups, which are used interchangeability. One cup is a 1906 trophy made by Carrington and Co. of London, which was a Victorian design of a 1740 cup by Paul de Lamerie.
John Kendall-Carpenter, former England forward and the organiser of the first Rugby World Cup and Bob Weighill, the secretary of the International Rugby Board also a former England forward, visited Garrard's, the crown jeweler in Regent Street, London. Director Richard Jarvis, brought the particular cup down from the vault and showed it to both of them.
It was chosen for use in February 1987, Ronnie Dawson of Ireland, Keith Rowlands of Wales, Bob Stuart and Dick Littlejohn of New Zealand and the Australians Nick Shehadie and Ross Turnbull approved of the choice of the trophy.
It was soon named "The Webb Ellis Cup". New Zealand become the first nation to win the Webb Ellis Cup when they won the 1987 Rugby World Cup. The Webb Ellis Cup has been held by four nations; New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England.
The current holders are South Africa after beating England 15-6 in the 2007 Final in Paris. The trophy was until recently on display in Newlands, South Africa, where it had stayed for two years following the victory. Last year it was returned to the home of the IRB, Ireland. One cup recently went on tour around the New Zealand Provinces along with the Tri Nations, Bledisloe Cup, Hillary Shield, Womens World Cup and the Junior World Cup trophies .