The Webb Ellis Cup has begun its international trophy tour – the first of its kind, in partnership with DHL and Land Rover – in Japan, with the iconic piece of silverware set to visit 15 countries over the next 12 months as it makes its way to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which will be held in England and Cardiff.
The trophy touches down in Tokyo on Thursday where it will spend five days in and around the city, while also coinciding with the crucial qualifier between Japan and Hong Kong to decide who will secure the Asia 1 spot at Rugby World Cup 2015.
It will then go on to visit Australia, Fiji, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, China, USA, UAE, Italy, Germany, Romania and France.
Rugby World Cup 2015 ambassador Will Greenwood said: “Having witnessed the excitement when we brought the Webb Ellis Cup back to England after winning Rugby World Cup 2003, it is now a great honour to send the Trophy off on its journey as we start to build the excitement for Rugby World Cup 2015. I have got no doubt that the Trophy will capture the imagination of loyal fans and people that are new to the Game as it travels around the world.”