One of the most sought-after pieces of silverware is making its way through various locations around NSW as part of the first-ever Bledisloe Cup Festival ahead of the opening Test of The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup.
After arriving on Australian shores last Thursday 2 August, the Bledisloe Cup was on display for two days at the Rivals in Rugby, Brothers in War exhibition as part of a free two-week Rugby display celebrating the history behind the Bledisloe Cup match and the contribution both Australian and New Zealand made to World War II.
From there the Bledisloe Cup has travelled South to the Illawarra region of NSW on Sunday 5 August, West to Bathurst on Tuesday 7 August and then North to the Central Coast of NSW on Wednesday 8 August.
Fans in these areas have had some great chances to witness the impressive Cup as it made appearances at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Bathurst City Centre and Erina Fair on the Central Coast. Onlookers were delighted at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their photo taken with world Rugby’s largest trophy and get a hold of some great Rugby giveaways.
The Cup has also made its way to local Rugby clubs stopping at the Wollongong University junior home matches on Sunday 5 August and delighting parents and children at Bathurst’s Bulldogs and Woy Woy Junior Rugby Clubs. Local junior Rugby players also had the chance to get their photo taken with the Cup and hone their skills with Rugby activities.
School children haven’t missed out on the chance to see the Cup that represents trans-Tasman Rugby supremecy. The 9kg piece of silverware has visited St Michael’s Catholic Parish Primary, St Columbkille’s Catholic School and Mt Ousley Public School in the Illawarra region, Holy Family Primary School, The Assumption Primary School and St Stanislaus College in Bathurst and St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Berkeley Vale Public School and Kariong Mountains High School on the Central Coast.
Proving a very popular show-and-tell piece at school assemblies, the local school students were delighted to get their hands on Cup. They also participated in Rugby-themed Q & A sessions and skills and drills activities.
Year Advisor at Kariong Mountains High School, David Von Kotze acknowledged the excitement of the visit.
“Kids loved it, and the staff – couldn’t believe it was the real Cup,” Mr Von Kotze said.
Danny Ariel, a teacher at St Mary’s Catholic Primary also reflected on the thrilling visit.
“The kids and staff got a real buzz and I know the parents that were there did too. It needs to stay here now,” Mr Ariel said.
The tour continues with the Bledisloe Cup to visit Newcastle and several metropolitan areas of Sydney next. The trophy will also make appearances at several Bledisloe Cup Festival events being held during the week leading up to the opening blockbuster Bledisloe Cup match at ANZ Stadium Sydney on Saturday 18 August.
The Cup is on loan from current Rugby World Cup Champions, the All Blacks, who have held the Bledisloe since 2002.