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Bradfield College welcomes a surprise visitor

11 April 2014

  • Webb Ellis Cup takes pride of place at the Berkshire School Games
  • Blessed Hugh Faringdon School proves value of the All Schools programme
The Webb Ellis trophy with pupils from Bradfield School

Photo: RFU Archive

Students and staff from Berkshire schools had a nice surprise when the Webb Ellis Cup, rugby's most prized asset, appeared at the Berkshire School Games last Wednesday, April 2. The trophy's visit was part of the on-going regional build up to Rugby World Cup 2015, which is due to be hosted in England in just over a year’s time.

The iconic trophy was seen by around 1,000 competitors at Bradfield College, who were taking part in the Berkshire Schools Games, part of the national programme of Schools Games. Around 500 players competed across four rugby competitions with another 500 competing in other sports.

Rugby World Cup 2015 will be hosted across England and at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium from September 18 until October 31 2015. Eleven host cities and 13 match venues will make this a truly regional six week celebration of rugby. The local community’s enthusiasm for the tournament was clear as the visit of the Webb Ellis Cup created a lot of excitement.

Dan Whiteman, the RFU’s Rugby Development Officer, said: “We want Rugby World Cup 2015 to be a huge success, not just with record crowds watching the matches, but also by leaving a legacy for  many more children playing the game and enjoying its values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.

“The foundation for that legacy will be the many activities we have planned in the lead up to the Tournament to inspire children and adults to try rugby.”

The Berkshire School Games included some thrilling rugby with the highlight being Blessed Hugh Faringdon School, which is part of the RFU’s All Schools programme, winning the girls’ under 13 and under 15 contact events.

The All Schools programme is one of the ways in which the RFU is aiming to get many more schoolchildren actively involved in sport. All Schools was launched in 2012 by the RFU to create a step-change in the number of state secondary schools playing rugby union and give more young people opportunities to play.

It forms one of the RFU’s seven legacy strands of the Rugby World Cup 2015 to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game. Competitive rugby union is currently played in around 1,500 state secondary schools. Through All Schools, the RFU aims to introduce the game into 400 non-rugby playing secondary schools by 2015 and up to 750 by 2019.

To find out more on Rugby World Cup 2015, including news, views, tickets and much more, join The Front Row at www.rugbyworldcup.com/frontrow