Eyes on the prize as rugby union’s Webb Ellis Cup visits Leeds

Brothers Benjamin and Toby Hopes with the Webb Ellis Cup at Leeds Central Library.

Brothers Benjamin and Toby Hopes with the Webb Ellis Cup at Leeds Central Library.

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Scrum on down – that was the invite to kids in Leeds as rugby union’s most famous piece of silverware paid a visit to the city.

The Webb Ellis Cup was on show at Leeds Central Library today as part of a 100-day tour of the UK and Ireland ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

And plenty of local youngsters turned out to support the event, which was held just over a month before the start of a tournament that will see Leeds hosting two games.

Also in attendance at the library was children’s author Tom Palmer and Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council.

Coun 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.”

Prior to the library visit, the cup was the star attraction at a morning of fun rugby activity for kids at Leeds Trinity University.

Fans can also get a glimpse of the trophy tomorrow at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre from noon to 2pm, Armley Park from 3pm to 4pm and Leeds Dock from 5pm to 7pm.

Taking place in England and Wales from September 18 to October 31, the Rugby World Cup will be contested by a total of 20 teams hoping to lift its Webb Ellis Cup.

The games in Leeds are being staged at Elland Road, with Italy tackling Canada on September 26 and Scotland playing USA on September 27.

Millennium Square will be the venue for a tie-in Fanzone event featuring big screen action, food and drink stalls and rugby-themed challenges.

For further information about Leeds’s role in the tournament, visit the www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Rugby-WC-2015.aspx web page.

Leeds Trinity University will act as a training base for the USA team during the competition.

University commercial manager Damon Shaw said: “We can’t wait to welcome the USA at the end of September.

“We’ve invested millions into providing world-class sports facilities on our campus for students and the local community, so it’s fantastic that the quality of these facilities has been recognised by one of the world’s top 20 rugby teams.

“The new sports facilities, quality gym equipment – in particular the specialist strength and conditioning lab – will certainly be well-used!”

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