Canterbury Rugby Supporters' Club

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Rugby Trophy Tour coming to Christchurch - Rugby World Cup to join unique road show

Rugby’s most treasured spoils are coming to Christchurch as part of an extraordinary road show aimed at promoting the game in the Canterbury province.

The New Zealand Rugby Union has emptied out the trophy cabinet and is taking five of their special rugby treasures on a nationwide tour that takes in 31 towns over five weeks.

The New Zealand Rugby Trophy Tour will be at Rugby Park, Malvern Street, Christchurch
on Saturday, February 19 from 10am-4pm.

Canterbury RFU Chief Executive Hamish Riach said the Trophy Tour is an exceptional opportunity for locals to get up close with some of rugby’s greatest treasures.

“This is truly a unique opportunity for Canterbury people to get this close to these amazing trophies that have been the prizes of so many gruelling battles on the field. “We’re delighted the Trophy Tour is coming to Christchurch and that locals will be able to see the Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations Trophy, Hillary Shield, Women’s Rugby World Cup, and the Junior World Championship Trophy, and on special loan for this leg of the tour, the Webb Ellis Cup all in one place,” Mr Riach said.

Included at Rugby Park will be the Ranfurly Shield and the ITM Cup, which are both held by Canterbury. The display of trophies in Canterbury coincides with the union’s provincial registration day, in which players, coaches, referees and administrators will be encouraged to support rugby in 2011. A Canterbury Rugby Clubs have been invited to attend.

The trophies going on tour include:

· The Bledisloe Cup – the traditional prize of Trans-Tasman rivalry won by the All Blacks in 2010

· The Tri Nations Trophy – honours taken off South Africa by the All Blacks in a solid 2010 season

· The Hillary Shield – for matches against England, was won by the All Blacks on the Backing Black Tour in November 2010

· The IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup – the Black Ferns’ claimed their fourth consecutive World Cup win in September 2010

· The IRB Junior World Championship Trophy – won for a third straight year by the New Zealand Under 20s last year Canterbury Rugby Football Union

· The Webb Ellis Cup – the biggest prize in rugby – it will be played for in this year Rugby World Cup starting in September.

· Ratana Cup

· Tirikatene Shield

NZRU General Manager of Community Rugby and Provincial Unions Brent Anderson said the Trophy Tour is the first of six initiatives the NZRU is undertaking this year,with the aim of leveraging the Rugby World Cup event to develop a strong and continuing legacy for grassroots rugby. “This is the first time we’ve embarked on an ambitious project of this nature but these trophies shouldn’t always be locked away in a cabinet. Taking these prizes to New Zealand communities is an important part of ensuring people feel part of the game and also fulfils the ‘stadium of four million’ concept which was part of our World Cup hosting bid,” Anderson said.

Mr Riach urged locals bring their family and friends down to Rugby Park on Saturday to have their photos taken with the trophies, test their rugby skills, and enjoy a great community day. “We have organised a fantastic day of fun and skill-based activities and entertainment and the kids will love hanging out with the children’s rugby mascot Rugger and the Ruggerbees and playing on the Ruggerland Bouncy Castle.

The Rugby Park gates will be open to the public between 10am and 4pm on Saturday.

The Trophy Tour was launched in Nelson on Saturday, February 12.

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Free photos available:

Images of All Blacks Jerome Kaino, Under 20 player Angus Ta’avao Matau, and Black Fern Huriana Manuel pictured together with the Bledisloe Cup, Junior World Championship Trophy and the Women’s Rugby World Cup are available for download free of charge at ww.gettyimages.com/publicity.