The William Webb Ellis Cup, the Rugby World Cup Trophy, has reached new heights as it is visiting Nepal.
This is the first appearance for the cup in Nepal, as the trophy was taken to Kala Patthar, 5.5KM above sea level (about 18,000 feet). That's pretty high - there are no mountains, zero, in the Continental United States that high. The highest mountain North America, Denali in Alaska, is only about 2,000 feet higher (Canada's Mt. Logan is 5.96KM high).
On Thursday the trophy was taken to Kala Patthar( meaning ‘Black Rock’ in Nepali) in the Himalayas with England’s former World Rugby International Sevens Player of the Year, Ollie Phillips. With views across the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, this is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular locations to have ever hosted the trophy.
After taking in the scenery, rugby’s most coveted prize returned to Kathmandu, where it will spend the remainder of the visit inspiring the next generation to get into rugby.
Over the next few days, the Trophy Tour will visit sights of interest in Kathmandu, as well as being on display at a huge Get into Rugby event at Tundikhel Park, where 5,000 people will have the chance to see rugby’s greatest prize.
Ahead of Japan 2019, a two-year Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour is underway visiting 20 countries aiming to inspire and engage new and existing rugby players and fans. The Trophy Tour supports World Rugby’s Impact Beyond Programme which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game. Project Asia 1 Million, part of Impact Beyond, which aims to attract one million new rugby participants by 2020, has already reached over 900,000 people across Asia.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said “We couldn’t ask for a more impressive start to the trophy’s first ever visit to Nepal than scaling the heights of the Himalayas. The Trophy Tour is now on its final visit of 2018 and there is no doubt it has been a very successful opportunity to engage and excite fans and new players globally over the past year.
“The countdown to the first ever Rugby World Cup in Asia, to be held in Japan next year, has been instrumental in supporting World Rugby’s mission to grow the game across the region, with over 900,000 new players trying rugby as we get ever closer to achieving the Asia 1 Million target. We look forward to inspiring new players in Kathmandu over the next few days as we look ahead to the start of 2019, and what promises to be a groundbreaking Rugby World Cup year.’
Nepal is the tenth leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour and follows a recent visit to France, where the twentieth and final team, Canada, qualified for Rugby World Cup 2019. Since the Tour launched in 2017, the Rugby World Cup has visited both established and emerging rugby nations including: England, Uruguay, Spain, Fiji, Hong Kong, China, The Philippines, India and France. The Rugby World Cup is in Nepal for the first time and will also visit countries including Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil and Chile in the lead up to the tournament.