• Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour announced
  • Webb Ellis Cup to visit 18 countries over two years
  • Tour visits five countries that have never hosted the Webb Ellis Cup
  • Tour set to start in England and end in Japan

World Rugby has announced details of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour, which will see the Webb Ellis Cup travel to 18 nations as part of an international celebration of rugby.

With rugby participation and interest on the rise, the tour will visit a blend of established and developing rugby nations in the build-up to Japan 2019 in line with World Rugby’s strategic mission to grow the global rugby family.  

On 10 November, the Webb Ellis Cup will depart from the World Rugby Hall of Fame in Rugby, England, the birthplace of the sport. The trophy will visit 18 nations across all World Rugby regions before arriving in Japan in June 2019, adding to the excitement ahead of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby’s strategic mission is to grow the global rugby family and the core objective of the tour is to inspire new audiences and participants through a programme of community, education and rugby activities through a dedicated values-driven celebration of the sport.

Each Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour visit will typically last between three and five days. In Asia, the tour will support the dedicated IMPACT Beyond 2019 legacy programme, a roadmap to inspire, attract and retain one million new participants within the world’s most populous region, home to 60 per cent of the world’s youth.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to be launching the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in Rugby, the birthplace of the game and home of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

“This tour gives us a superb opportunity to celebrate rugby around the world, engaging and exciting new and existing participants as we count down to the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

“Visiting 18 nations, the tour will focus on emerging rugby markets, those with great potential as well as some of the unions competing at Rugby World Cup 2019, and gives us an opportunity to showcase the growing global nature of our sport and its character-building values.

“We are extremely fortunate to be supported by six longstanding Worldwide Partners of Rugby World Cup 2019, each of whom will play a role in the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour and the important task of growing the fanbase ahead of the first Asian Rugby World Cup.

”The England leg of the tour is a celebration of the previous hosts and the strong legacy that has been driven within a nation that saw new attendance, viewership, engagement and legacy programme records set. 

The Webb Ellis Cup will visit the World Rugby Hall of Fame, a Japanese Garden, an iconic sporting venue and be present at the Rugby World Cup 2023 host decision, ending the trip with a visit to the Japanese Embassy in London, where the team are gearing up to celebrate hosting the tournament in 2019. 

The Webb Ellis Cup will also visit a community rugby club, which is part of England Rugby’s Rugby 365 programme, highlighting the extensive legacy driven by Rugby World Cup before, during and after England 2015. 

Steve Brown, England Rugby Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Rugby 365 artificial grass pitch (AGP) programme is part of our Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy to deliver more than £50 million investment over four years into the development of 100 AGPs across England. 

“It’s great to be celebrating the tournament’s ongoing legacy in England as the Webb Ellis Cup returns to our most recently completed Rugby 365 pitch in the West Midlands as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour. The new pitch enables rugby to take place year-round and we encourage the entire community to take advantage of the fantastic facility at host club Stourbridge RFC.”

For more details on the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour and to register interest in purchasing tickets, click here.

The announcement of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour follows the match schedule and ticketing announcement on 2 November, completing an exciting year of operational planning for rugby’s showcase event. 

Fans across the world are now able to register their interest in tickets via www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets and the phased sales process will begin in January 2018.