Webb Ellis Cup visits Rugby School

Written by: SecEd Reporter | Published:
Home of rugby: Former England international Will Greenwood, who won the world cup with England in 2003, with Jonathan Pitt, head of the geography department at Rugby School (right) and the Webb Ellis Cup on the field where the game was first invented (Pho

The Webb Ellis Cup has paid a visit to the birthplace of the game of rugby ahead of the 2015 World Cup later this month.
The famous trophy arrived at Rugby School last month as part of its pre-tournament tour of the UK.

Named after William Webb Ellis, the Rugby School pupil credited with starting the game in 1823, the trophy is one of sport's most recognisable icons.

The trophy was taken to the exact playing field where Webb Ellis famously broke the rules of football by taking the ball in his arms and running forward with it.

In 1820, the game of rugby was played rather like football, but players were allowed to catch the ball and kick it out of their hands.

In 1823, Webb Ellis changed all that, initiating the distinctive feature of what we now know as rugby. By 1830, running with the ball was an accepted play, although the first rules of the game, written by the boys of Rugby School, did not appear until 1845.

There were no limits to the number of players on each side, and sometimes matches would last up to five days.
Rugby School continues its strong association with the game today, having produced 67 international players – 49 for England, 11 for Scotland, five for Ireland, and one for Wales. Five of the 67 players have gone on to captain their countries.

Furthermore, many of the words associated with today's game originated at Rugby School, including "try", "offside" and "knock-on", which are all from the original school's football rules.

Today, Rugby is a co-educational independent school with 806 pupils from the ages of 11 to 18. It will celebrate its 450th anniversary in 2017.

The World Cup is due to start on September 18 and the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour has travelled through Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales. It will arrive at Twickenham Stadium in London on September 18 ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

Further Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour information can be found at www.rugbyworldcup.com/trophy-tour


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