- The 16th leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour spanned Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa as thousands of fans welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup to Canada
- The Honourable Catherine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Central and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, joined the tour and spoke of the power of sport
- World Rugby Hall of Fame inductees and former captains Al Charron and Gareth Rees, along with Canada coach Kingsley Jones, all welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup
- Young players were inspired by the presence of rugby’s most coveted silverware as rugby participation continues to climb with a 15 per cent growth in registered players since 2017
- Canada will face New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia at Rugby World Cup 2019
Canada welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup with open arms last week as the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan continues to gather pace.
School children, Canadian rugby royalty and rugby-loving government ministers joined the celebrations during a busy schedule that spanned Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and the capital Ottawa with the trophy’s popularity reflecting the 15 per cent growth in registered players since 2017.
Canada are in Pool B at Asia’s first Rugby World Cup, lining-up alongside champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia. They have competed at every Rugby World Cup to date.
Reflecting on the tour in Canada, Chairman of Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors Tim Powers said: “We are thrilled to see the enthusiastic response to the Webb Ellis Cup in four cities across the country, and we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to World Rugby for sharing this iconic trophy with our fans, supporters and partners of the game here in Canada. We are grateful for the support from Canada's passionate rugby community and know that it will serve as a strong motivator for our players as they take on Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Namibia in Japan this year.
“Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and the third largest sporting event in the world. Canada has attended every tournament dating back to 1987, including a quarter-final appearance in 1991, and we are committed to ensuring that we build on that legacy for future generations of players in Canada. Over the last two years we’ve seen a growth of over 15 per cent in registered members in Canada, with a major focus on grassroots and development rugby, and in a Rugby World Cup year we hope to see this grow even further as the nation gets behind the team and the game at large.”
The next stop on the Trophy Tour will be South America as the Webb Ellis Cup visists 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.