- The seventh leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour arrives in the Philippines
- Webb Ellis Cup to climb active volcano for touch rugby session with local junior players
- Activities joined by members of the Philippine Volcanoes team that won the Asia Rugby Championship Division I title earlier this year
- The Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour continues to inspire new audiences and participants through a programme of community, education and rugby activities in the lead up to the first Rugby World Cup in Asia
- Strong growth in rugby participation across Asia with more than 500,000 new participants already involved in Rugby World Cup 2019 Impact Beyond legacy programme
Members of the Philippine Volcanoes rugby team joined the seventh leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour for a spectacular start to the action in Manila with a climb up Taal Volcano. Accompanied by children from local rugby development programmes, the Volcanoes used the arrival of the Webb Ellis Cup to inspire the next generation of players in a uniquely Filipino location – the world’s smallest active volcano.
Engaging young players forms a central theme of the Tour programme, with youth development players in the Philippines getting the opportunity to get up close and personal with rugby’s greatest prize. The coveted piece of silverware is on an 18-month tour in the lead up to Asia’s first ever Rugby World Cup, to be held in Japan in 2019.
While in Manila, the Trophy Tour will visit the opening day of a local Rugby Sevens Festival at Southern Plains. Boasting a number of national players, the festival is a hotbed of local and national talent.
On Sunday the trophy will be guest of honour at a training session at McKinley Hill Stadium before it heads to a central shopping mall, where local junior development teams will be invited to attend sessions with the Webb Ellis Cup and national team players.
The Trophy Tour will attend a Get Into Rugby session on Monday run by the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU). The Get Into Rugby programme is part of World Rugby’s strategy to grow the game globally in partnership with member regions and unions, aiming to encourage players of all ages to Try, Play and Stay in rugby.
As of the end of November 2017, Asia Rugby boasted over 680,000 Get Into Rugby participants, the most of any region, with 36 per cent of participants female, reaffirming the strong potential for rugby’s growth in this youthful region of the world.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “This is an exciting time for the growth of rugby in the Philippines and across Asia. The game continues to attract new participants and fans in record numbers as we approach one year to go to Rugby World Cup 2019, the first to be held in Asia.
“Bringing the tournament to Asia for the first time in 2019 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase participation across the continent and initiatives like the Trophy Tour help to spread the inspiration of Rugby World Cup 2019 far and wide. We have already seen the positive benefits of the Impact Beyond legacy programme to the region, with well over 500,000 participants already getting their first taste of rugby as part of our ambitious ‘Asia 1 Million’ project and look forward to continued growth of the game in the Philippines.”
Jake Letts, PRFU General Manager, spoke on the first day of the activities, saying: “It is a great honour to host the Webb Ellis Cup here in the Philippines as part of the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. We are seeing steady growth in rugby and the recent success of the national side in the Asia Rugby Division 1 along with the Trophy Tour helps us to continue to work towards a bright future for rugby in the Philippines.”
From Manila the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour will continue to India in August before heading to Japan for Rugby World Cup 2019 one year to go celebrations. The tour will excite the global rugby family and drive fan engagement ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019. Click here to view the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour schedule.
Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place from 20 September-2 November, 2019. There has been strong demand for Rugby World Cup 2019 with more than 1.5 million ticket applications already received. Further information on how to purchase tickets can be found at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.