Statue marks Rugby’s role in 2015 world cup

Rugby Borough Council leader Michael Stokes (left) accepts the sculpture from England Rugby 2015's Neil Snowball. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-160937001
Rugby Borough Council leader Michael Stokes (left) accepts the sculpture from England Rugby 2015's Neil Snowball. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-160937001
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There is a new addition to the visitor’s centre with a bronze sculpture commemorating the town’s role in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The sculpture, depicting two rugby players mid-tackle, was presented to council leader Michael Stokes by England 2015 chief Neil Snowball on Thursday, April 6.

The commemorative sculpture will be displayed at the Rugby visitor centre. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-161007001

The commemorative sculpture will be displayed at the Rugby visitor centre. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-161007001

“I was proud to accept this magnificent sculpture on behalf of the town where the game began, and all Rugbeians. Our status as an official host city for Rugby World Cup 2015 was graciously given us by England 2015 even though Rugby is not a city and didn’t host any matches, and it put us well and truly in the global spotlight,” Cllr Stokes said.

“Since the tournament our relationship with World Rugby has gone from strength to strength, and I know that there will be further opportunities to promote Rugby as a visitor destination.”

The sculptures were commissioned by England 2015, the organisation behind the world cup, and presented to each host city on the day of their final match.

As Rugby hosted an official Fanzone but no matches, there was no obvious opportunity for the presentation ceremony.

The screening for the documentary telling the story of the 2015 Rugby World Cup was hosted by the film's director, Pierre Deschamps. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-160953001

The screening for the documentary telling the story of the 2015 Rugby World Cup was hosted by the film's director, Pierre Deschamps. Photo by Jamie Gray NNL-170704-160953001

That chance came at a screening of the documentary XV Beyond the Tryline, which tells the story of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Director Pierre Deschamps hosted the screening at the World Rugby Hall of Fame, attended by representatives from the council, World Rugby, England 2015, local rugby clubs and other invited guests.

The cast bronze sculpture, with the inscription, ‘Presented to Rugby Borough Council. Thank you for your contribution to RWC2015’, will be displayed at the visitor centre.