- Hollywood stars Gerard Butler, Thor, James Bond and Taylor Swift welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup to Los Angeles during the fifteenth leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour
- Webb Ellis Cup earned its LA stripes visiting some of the city’s most iconic sports stadia including the home of the LA Lakers, LA Galaxy and the new LA Rams Stadium development
- Former USA captain Todd Clever joined the tour to help inspire the next generation of players visiting Emerson Middle School and a beach rugby training session
- Local LA junior rugby player selected to become a USA match-day mascot at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan through Worldwide Partner Land Rover
- There are over one million registered rugby union players and more than 33 million rugby fans in the USA and the sport is inspiring people from all backgrounds and abilities
- USA will face England, Argentina, France and Tonga at Rugby World Cup 2019 - tickets on sale now www.tickets.rugbyworldcup.com
The Webb Ellis Cup received a star studded welcome to Hollywood as it embarked on the 15th leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in Los Angeles.
The great and the good of tinsel town were pictured with the Webb Ellis Cup as the Trophy Tour visited Madame Tussauds Hollywood and was pictured alongside rugby fans Daniel Craig aka James Bond, Chris Hemsworth aka Thor, Taylor Swift and some of the silver screen’s finest including Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman. Away from the wax works a real-life Gerard Butler, a huge Scotland rugby fan, also got up close and personal with the iconic silverware and even rehearsed his own version of a Rugby World Cup 2019 acceptance speech.
Back in the world of sport, the Trophy Tour visited some of Los Angeles most iconic stadiums including The Staples Centre, home of the LA Lakers, and Dignity Health Sports Park, home of NFL side LA Chargers and soccer team LA Galaxy. The Dignity Health Sports Park recently unveiled a statue of former LA Galaxy player and England football great, David Beckham – a rugby fan and regular visitor to Twickenham – and will be the host venue for rugby sevens at the upcoming Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. The Trophy Tour also got a sneak peak of the new LA Stadium and Entertainment District, future home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams while in town.
Former USA Eagles captain and most capped player Todd Clever joined fellow former Eagle Dallen Stanford for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour visit to LA helping to inspire local rugby teams and schools. The pair took part in a beach rugby session with local clubs alongside the iconic Santa Monica Pier before visiting Emerson Middle School where more than 100 children aged between 11-13 took part in a rugby tournament in front of the Webb Ellis Cup.
It was here that Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner DHL delivered a Get Into Rugby kit including ball, bibs and cones for the school rugby team. Official Vehicle Partner Land Rover also made one pupil’s Rugby World Cup 2019 dreams come true, selecting seventh grader Sabrina to be the official mascot who will run out with USA Eagles captain Blane Scully at the Argentina v USA match at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Japan at Rugby World Cup 2019 in October.
Clever was on hand to help choose the winning mascot, selected as the pupil and player who truly embodies the values of the game. He said: “Having the Rugby World Cup here in the USA is a huge boost for us and seeing the reaction of the pupils at Emerson Middle School and all the tour stops just cements the opportunity – people want to know more, get involved and start playing or even just find out where to go and watch a game.
“The Land Rover Rugby World Cup 2019 mascot promotion gives kids such a phenomenal prize – to be in seventh grade and know you are going to Japan to run out with the captain in front of millions of fans is just amazing. Rugby is a values-based game, that is one of the things that makes is so special and so accessible to anyone that ones to have a go. Sabrina was a rightful winner at Emerson Middle School – a true team player who respects and supports her team-mates and whose passion for rugby was on show throughout the whole tournament. It’s been an amazing week seeing the power that the Webb Ellis Cup brings to new conversations around the game and I can’t wait for Japan 2019 – go USA!”
With LA2028 on the horizon, the Trophy Tour also got to look back at LA84 visiting the LA84 Foundation where the Webb Ellis Cup was pictured alongside the Olympic Flame. The growth of rugby is high on the agenda at all levels. Sevens, now an Olympic sport, has enjoyed increasing success in the USA with more than 100,000 fans attending the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco last year and the USA sevens team currently top of the men's series standings.
In 15s, there are now more than one million registered rugby union players in the USA and rugby is inspiring people from all backgrounds and abilities to come together. Nowhere was this more apparent than at Los Angeles Rebellion, who welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup to a training session as part of the LA Trophy Tour. The Division IV team compete at the amateur level in the Southern California Rugby Football Union and International Gay Rugby, and welcome all players regardless of age, ethnicity, religion, fitness level or sexual identity.
Speaking on the success of the tour in LA, USA Rugby CEO Ross Young said: “USA Rugby has been delighted to host the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in Los Angeles. The lead into Japan 2019 is a really exciting time for the team and the fans and to give them access to the Webb Ellis Cup has been great. The Tour gives us a huge opportunity to engage more fans and more players using the story and intrigue of this very special trophy. We have a strong ambition to grow the game in the USA and a Rugby World Cup is the perfect opportunity to do that.”
LA completes the 15th leg of the 20-nation Trophy Tour. The next stop will be Canada as excitement grows ahead of the first Rugby World Cup in Asia. Later this year the Webb Ellis Cup will visit Brazil, Chile and Argentina before embarking on a 100-day tour of Japan before the start of the tournament on 20 September. To view the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour schedule, visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/trophy-tour.