Rugby-World Cup trophy tour gets royal send-off

Prince Harry and Jonny Wilkinson mark 100 days before the start of the 2015 England Rugby World Cup as the Webb Ellis Cup trophy tour starts at Twickenham, the home of English rugby.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JUNE 10, 2015) (REUTERS) – Rugby royalty met the real thing at Twickenham on Wednesday (June 10) when Jonny Wilkinson and Britain’s Prince Harry sent the Webb Ellis Cup on its tour of Britain to mark 100 days until the start of the rugby World Cup.

Wilkinson, the drop-goal hero of England’s 2003-winning team and a veteran of four World Cups, and Prince Harry, Honorary President of organisers England 2015, took part in a ceremony flanked by delighted local school children, with massed ranks of employees of the Rugby Football Union looking down from the stadium’s mighty West Stand.

“This is a very, very exciting day just 100 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup. We are here to send the Web Ellis Cup off on its journey around the UK and Ireland. This tour will enable rugby fans across the country to play their part in the build up to the tournament,” said Prince Harry.

“As we have shown with the Olympics, Commonwealth and Invictus Games, we are a nation of great hosts; a nation that seizes the moment. The world will be expecting us to deliver and I know that we won’t disappoint. I have no doubt the British public will make every nation feel at home and we will provide the best possible welcome to the 20 teams and hundreds of thousands of fans coming to the UK. This tournament — the most significant moment in English Rugby since that night in Sydney in 2003 — has the ability to broaden the reach of the game and deliver a long lasting legacy for the sport,” he added.

Organisers said that ticket sales for the Sept. 18-Oct.31 tournament have now passed the two million mark and that with revenues already at 200 million pounds the RFU was already safely over the line in terms of the 80 million pounds guarantee they have to pay World Rugby, the sport’s governing body.