Young rugby fans book a date with the Webb Ellis Cup at Leeds Central Library
The prestigious Webb Ellis Cup kicked off the latest chapter in Leeds’s Rugby World Cup 2015 story at the city’s central library today.
The trophy was making its first stop in Leeds as part of its 100-day journey across the UK and Ireland which will take in hundreds of rugby clubs, rugby festivals and organisations.
The sport's top prize was greeted by local youngsters and Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council.
They were also joined by children’s author Tom Palmer, who had organised a special drop kick activity for young people to have a go at.
Councillor Blake said:
“Seeing the Webb Ellis Cup here in Leeds really brings home how close we’re getting to Rugby World Cup 2015 and just what a prestigious global event it is.
“Giving these young people a chance to get up close to a piece of sporting history encapsulates what’s so exciting about being part of the tournament.
“Not only will we be hosting two fantastic matches, we’ll also have to chance to create some memories with our young people, clubs and communities that will last a lifetime.”
Rugby World Cup 2015 takes place from September 18 to October 31, with Leeds set to host two matches at Elland Road on September 26-27.
Italy will be playing against Canada on Saturday September 26 at 2.30pm and Scotland will be playing the USA on Sunday September 27 at 2.30pm at Elland Road, one of 13 match venues for Rugby World Cup 2015 and the only one in Yorkshire.
Millennium Square will also host Leeds’s designated Fanzone for the tournament.
Matches will be shown on the big screen, activity sessions for schools and clubs will be held during the day along with food and beverage stalls and rugby challenges which will be open to the public.
Upwards of 4,000 people are expected in the Fanzone following the Italy v Canada match to watch England take on Wales at Twickenham streamed live.
After leaving Leeds Central Library, the Webb Ellis Cup went on to West Park Rugby Club for the opening of Slung Low, a rugby-themed touring theatre production.
Tomorrow, the trophy will also be at the Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre from 12pm-2pm and then at the Breeze event at Armley Park from 3pm-4pm before finishing the day at a rugby-themed festival at Leeds Dock from 5pm.
The event will include pop-up bars and a big screen and the trophy arriving on a water taxi.
After leaving Leeds continue its tour, arriving at Twickenham Stadium on September 18 ahead of the opening ceremony.
For more information about Rugby World Cup 2015 in Leeds visit http://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Rugby-WC-2015.aspx or follow us on twitter @RWC2015Leeds