Eighty-one years before the first Rugby World Cup match was played, the Webb Ellis Cup was crafted by Garrard Jewellers in London – and from this Saturday [October 15] until the end of the tournament it will be on display at Auckland Museum.
The Cup, which takes its name from Victorian schoolboy William Webb Ellis who is said to have picked up the ball and run with it during a football game, will be on show in the museum’s event centre against a backdrop of 360° views of Auckland.
Visitors can visit the Cup as part of their tour of Auckland Museum or make their way directly to the display in the event centre on Level 3.
In addition to the Cup, which stands at just under half a metre and weighs in at 4.5kg, the display also includes images of victorious team captains holding rugby’s greatest trophy and a selection of rugby photos and objects from the museum’s collections.
Auckland Museum’s collections include items awarded to the members of the All Black team dubbed “The Invincibles” during the 1924 tour of Britain and France. Ponsonby Rugby Club member Freddy Lucas played in the 1924 tour, was part of the 1928 side which toured South Africa and captained a winning Auckland side against the Lions in 1930.
Lucas’ granddaughter Liane Lucas has shared a handful of items with the museum’s collections including an Auckland Rugby Union Cap, 1924, an Auckland Rugby Union Representatives Jersey, circa 1920s, a Gold Medallion from a 1923 fundraiser match for the Auckland War Memorial Museum which attracted over 15,000 people, and a miniature souvenir rugby ball and pair of boots given to Lucas and other members of the 1924 Invincibles team.
After taking in the rugby history and snapping a photo with the highly-prized gilded Cup, visitors are invited to grab a drink from our coffee cart and relax in front of the spectacular panoramic views of Auckland or explore the city’s volcanic cones from the perfect vantage point.
New labels installed on the windows of the museum’s event centre on Level 3 will help visitors identify the volcanoes in the Auckland landscape including Mount Victoria, North Head, Rangitoto, Brown’s Bay, Mount Wellington, Mount Hobson, One Tree Hill, Mount Eden and The Domain’s own volcanic site Pukekaroro.
When the museum closes on October 23 the Webb Ellis Cup will be taken to Auckland’s Eden Park to be handed to the winning team after the final World Cup match being played that evening.
Webb Ellis Cup on show
October 15 – October 23
Daily between 10am – 5pm
IMAGE CREDIT: TM © Rugby World Cup Limited 1986.
For more information please contact:
021 899 062