Rugby World Cup Trophy Kicks Off England Tour In Scilly

Jason Leonard at the Five Islands School

Jason Leonard at the Five Islands School

Island children, and their mums, dads, and teachers, had a chance to pose for photographs with the famous Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup trophy as it kicked off its tour of England at the Five Islands School.

The cup, which is awarded to the winners of the four-yearly competition, was displayed at yesterday’s school assembly in the amphitheatre.

Former England prop forward and incoming RFU President Jason Leonard, who was a member of England’s 2003 winning team and who once held the world record for winning the most international caps, told the children about the history of the World Cup.

And he encouraged any girls and boys who are interested in the game to get involved.

The youngsters then spent the morning training with the 49-strong team from the Cornish Pirates who are on the islands for a four-day visit.

Jason Leonard told Radio Scilly that the islands are one of the most remote places that the cup will visit and the first stop on its tour of England. The cup has already been to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

And while the logistics of getting here have been tricky, he says it’s well worth the effort, especially seeing the big smiles on the faces of the children.

rugby panorama

Jason says he often gets asked if it’s the real trophy.

It is, and he says he gets nervous when people are jostling to have their photos taken, in case it gets knocked off its plinth.

It’s the second time that Jason has been to Scilly. He visited on holiday with his family a few years ago and feels it’s an honour to be asked to come back for the tour.

He said it was important to include the islands and hopes the visit will create some fantastic memories for the children of the upcoming event in September.

Hopefully out there are girls and boys who could be playing for the Women’s or Men’s England teams in twenty years time, says Jason.

you can see more photos from the event here.