Countdown to World Cup begins as trophy set to go nationwide

 
Ross McLean
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THE countdown to the Rugby World Cup enters a new phase today when a nationwide trophy tour is launched to mark 100 days to go before the start of the tournament.

Starting at Twickenham Stadium, the Webb Ellis Cup will travel through Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Wales before returning to England ahead of the World Cup opening ceremony on 18 September.

Today’s launch will also kickstart a series of rugby festivals up and down the country as the nation prepares to host the World Cup this autumn, while the tour will also engage with hundreds of clubs and grassroots organisations.

The trophy will tomorrow cross the border into Scotland and be welcomed at Carter Bar and hosted at the Festival of Sport at Jed Forest Rugby Football Club in the Scottish Borders, before heading to Murrayfield on Friday.

The community-based events will continue throughout the tour before the trophy arrives back in England on 6 July ahead of the final 75-day countdown prior to the rugby extravaganza starting in earnest in September.

KEY DATES

▀ Today: Launch of World Cup Trophy Tour at Twickenham
▀ Tomorrow: Webb Ellis Cup travels north and arrives in Scotland
▀ 16 June: Trophy Tour heads to Northern Ireland
▀ 20 June: Arrives in Ireland before going to Wales on 26 June
▀ 6 July: Trophy returns to England
▀ 18 September: Opening ceremony