- Road Trip to visit 41 towns and cities and 100 schools across NZ
- World Cup trophies and other rugby silverware on display
- Fun activities for the whole family
A massive nationwide rugby tour to say 'thank you New Zealand’, and featuring the coveted Webb Ellis Cup will call on 41 New Zealand towns and cities over the next two months starting in Kerikeri next Wednesday (8 February).
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) today released the full itinerary for the tour, dubbed The Great Rugby Road Trip, which will see a custom-built black truck transport rugby’s prized silverware from Northland to Stewart Island.
"The Road Trip is about saying thank you New Zealand for the wonderful support you gave us during Rugby World Cup 2011," said Steve Tew, NZRU Chief Executive.
"We’re hoping the tour rekindles the excitement of those magical six weeks and encourages people to keep backing rugby – whether it’s by playing, refereeing, coaching, volunteering, or simply getting along and enjoying a game."
The Road Trip will showcase New Zealand rugby’s prized trophies, including the Webb Ellis Cup, the Bledisloe Cup and IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup and the IRB Junior World Championship Trophy.
Each day the NZRU and provincial rugby unions from throughout the country will host free public events to provide Kiwis the chance to get up close and personal with these trophies currently held by the All Blacks, Blacks Ferns and the New Zealand Under 20s and Sevens teams.
The Great Rugby Road Trip will also visit 100 schools and host dedicated forums at rugby clubs in each of the 26 Provincial Union regions.
Fans will also be able to enjoy a range of fun rugby activities for the whole family while plenty of prizes will be up for grabs, including Investec Super Rugby jerseys and an all-expenses paid All Blacks Weekend Test experience.
In addition, the Road Trip truck is equipped with state of the art technology to allow fans to have their photo taken alongside virtual images of All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw and other members of the Rugby World Cup winning side. Special rugby guests will also be dropping in on the public events.
“The support for rugby comes from all pockets of New Zealand, so to be able to share the success of, not only our RWC 2011 winning side, but our other successful teams with our stadium of four million is fantastic,” said Steve Tew.
“This is the traditional registration time of year for most rugby clubs, and The Great Rugby Road Trip is the perfect way to support Provincial Unions and their annual drive to get people signed up to play.”
Trophies on display include:
• The Webb Ellis Cup – won by the All Blacks in 1987 and 2011, the trophy was fashioned in 1906 but only selected for use as the Rugby World Cup trophy in February 1987
• The Bledisloe Cup – the traditional prize of trans-Tasman rivalry which the All Blacks retained for the ninth year in a row in 2011
• The Hillary Shield – named in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary and unveiled in 2008, it is contested between the All Blacks and England.
• The IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup – the Black Ferns claimed their fourth consecutive World Cup win in September 2010
• The IRB Junior World Championship Trophy – won for a fourth straight year by the New Zealand Under 20 side in 2011.
• The HSBC Sevens World Series Trophy was introduced for the first time in the 1999-2000 season. New Zealand has secured the trophy nine times in the last 12 tournaments.
For updates on The Great Rugby Road Trip please visit facebook.com/AllBlacks.
Complimentary images of the Blues and young fans with the Webb Ellis Cup at today’s Blue Beard Day at Northland Event Centre in Whangarei are available from Getty Images at:
The Great Rugby Road Trip schedule
Day / Date - Town - Location - Time
Wed 8 Feb - Kerikeri - Kerikeri Domain - 3pm-6pm
Thurs 9 Feb - Whangarei - Kensington Park - 2pm-5.30pm
Sat 11 Feb - Papakura - Massey Park - 10am-2pm
Sun 12 Feb - Pukekohe - Bayer Growers Stadium - 10am-2pm
Mon 13 Feb - Papatoetoe - Papatoetoe Rec Grounds - 3pm -6pm
Tues 14 Feb - Auckland - Central The Cloud - 3pm – 7pm
Sat 18 Feb - Takapuna - Takapuna Primary School - 10am-2pm
Mon 20 Feb - Thames - Rhodes Park - 3pm -6pm
Tues 21 Feb - Rotorua - Village Green - 3pm – 6pm
Wed 22 Feb - Tauranga - Wharepai Domain - 3pm - 6pm
Thurs 23 Feb - Taupo - Tongariro Domain - 3pm – 6pm
Fri 24 Feb - Tokoroa - Tokoroa Centre - 3-6pm
Sat 25 Feb - Hamilton - Willoughby Park - 10-2pm
Sun 26 Feb - Whakatane - Rex Morpeth Park - 10am-3pm
Tues 28 Feb - Gisborne - Rectory Grounds - GBHS - 3pm – 6pm
Thurs 1 March - Napier - Marine Parade - 3pm – 6pm
Sun 4 March - Te Kuiti - Rugby Park - 10am -2pm
Mon 5 March - Hawera - TSB Hub Hawera - 3pm – 6pm
Wed 7 March - New Plymouth - Te Puke Ariki Landing - 3pm – 6pm
Thurs 8 March - Wanganui - Springvale Park - 3pm – 6pm
Sat 10 March - Palmerston North - The Square - 10am– 2pm
Sun 11 March - Feilding - Victoria Park - 10am - 2pm
Mon 12 March - Dannevirke - Dannevirke Domain - 3pm – 6pm
Tues 13 March - Masterton - QEII Park Green - 3pm – 6pm
Wed 14 March - Paraparaumu - Coastlands - 3pm – 6pm
Fri 16 March - Porirua - Te Rauparaha Arena - 3pm – 6pm
Sat 17 March - Wellington - Queens Wharf - 2pm – 6pm
Sun 18 March - Hutt Valley - Venue tbc - 11am– 3pm
Mon 19 March - Blenheim - Venue tbc - 3pm – 6pm
Wed 21 March - Nelson - Venue tbc - 3pm – 6pm
Thurs 22 March - Westport - Victoria Square - 3pm – 6pm
Fri 23 March - Greymouth - Greymouth High School - 3pm – 6pm
Sat 24 March - Christchurch - City North Hagley Park - 11am –3pm
Mon 26 March - Kaiapoi - Kaiapoi Rugby Club - 3.30-6.30pm
Wed 28 March - Ashburton - Venue tbc - 3pm – 6pm
Thurs 29 March - Oamaru - Venue tbc - 3pm – 6pm
Fri 30 March - Invercargill - Elles Road Reserve - 3pm/7.30pm
Sat 31 March - Queenstown - Queenstown Events Centre - 10am - 2pm
Sun 1 April - Dunedin - Kensington Oval - 10am – 2pm
Mon 2 April - Timaru - Anzac Square - 3pm – 6pm
Thurs 5 April - Stewart Island - Venue tbc - Time tbc