Rugby World Cup 2011
IRB: Two RWC trophies
The William Webb Ellis Cup (File)
Cape Town - The organisers of the 2011 Rugby World Cup have confirmed that there are two official World Cup trophies.
Rugby New Zealand 2011, the organising committee, and Rugby World Cup Limited, the IRB subsidiary which owns the tournament, made the announcement after a New Zealand television station reported that the trophy presently in the country was not the original.
In a statement released on the official World Cup website, tournament director Kit McConnel confirmed that there are two Webb Ellis Cups, but said that both are genuine.
“As is common with other major sports tournaments, we have two trophies, however only one is ever used at any given point in time,” said McConnell.
“Both cups are equal in stature. There is no original cup as such, they are interchangeable and we don’t distinguish between the two. They were both acquired before the first tournament so share the same Rugby World Cup history.
“Both have been used at past tournaments and both have been in the hands of winning captains and teams. They both represent the spirit of the game.”
TV3 reported that the real Webb Ellis Cup was in Ireland being repaired and that a replica had been used during a four-week long promotional tour of New Zealand.
Martin Snedden, CEO of Rugby New Zealand 2011, attempted to assure the New Zealand public that the trophy they had seen was real and that they had not been fooled during the tour.
“The trophy that New Zealanders saw and had their photos taken with is the Webb Ellis Cup that will be presented to the winning team at the final of RWC 2011 on October 23 at Eden Park,” said Snedden.
“We are pleased to be able to reassure all those fans who turned up early in the morning around the country that the experience they had was genuine.”