Haileybury celebrated the arrival of Rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, today (Wednesday 19 August) as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour. The Trophy, which was in Hertfordshire for a day as part of the Trophy Tour, made its first stop in the region at Haileybury.
Haileybury will be a Team Base for the Argentina and USA rugby teams during Rugby World Cup 2015, which starts on 18 September. Both teams will train on our world-class 1st XV rugby pitch and use our sports facilities, including a team room, sports centre and swimming pool.
The visit of the Webb Ellis Cup was an opportunity for pupils, parents and staff to see the renowned Trophy and take pictures. The Trophy was proudly displayed in our historic Memorial Dining Hall, which contains one of the largest unsupported domes in Europe. The hall was opened in 1932 by HRH The Duke of York, later King George VI, and acts as a monument to former pupils who gave their lives in the First World War.
One of the pupils who had their photo taken with the Trophy was Seb Brownhill (K U6). Seb is Prop for Haileybury’s 1st XV rugby team and also plays for the Saracens Academy Sqaud. He said, “This is the first time I have seen the Trophy and it is very exciting. It is not the thing you would usually expect to see in the Dining Hall! Rugby is my passion and I am very excited about Rugby World Cup. It will be great to have Argentina and USA training here at Haileybury.”
Fellow pupil Matthew Cook (Tr M) said, “I have always dreamt of seeing the Webb Ellis Cup and to have it here at the College is great. I am captain for the A Team here and also play for the county. I love rugby and train as much as I can. I am particularly excited about Argentina coming to Haileybury as we have family members who live there.”
Master, Joe Davies said: “We are proud to have been able to host the world-famous Webb Ellis Cup at Haileybury; it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Trophy up close. We have a rich Rugby heritage and are delighted to have been given the opportunity to join in with the nationwide celebration of the sport. We are exceptionally proud of our Rugby-playing alumni, which includes USA captain Chris Wyles and Jamie George, who has been training with England. It is extremely exciting that Haileybury will be part of Rugby World Cup 2015 and we look forward to welcoming the Argentina and USA teams very soon.”
After leaving Haileybury, the Trophy Tour, which began on 10 June to mark the 100 days countdown until the opening match, then travelled to Hertford Rugby Football Club and Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Football Club to take part in a number of events and activities.
The Trophy Tour is travelling through Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England before arriving at Twickenham Stadium on 18 September ahead of the Opening Ceremony of Rugby World Cup 2015.