A ‘GOOD luck’ message has been sent out by the Mayor of the birthplace of the game to the 20 teams competing in the Rugby World Cup as the tournament kicks off in Japan.
Coun Bill Lewis sent a card featuring a photograph of the statue outside Rugby School which celebrates the moment William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it during a game of football in 1823.
Inside, Coun Lewis writes: “Best wishes for the Rugby World Cup – Japan 2019 from The Rugby Town, the birthplace of the game and home of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
“Together, we celebrate the values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline which bind the global rugby family.”
A lifelong rugby fan, Coun Lewis was born and raised in the rugby heartlands of Wales, playing for Neath Grammar School and while studying at University College Swansea.
He moved to the birthplace of the game 50 years ago and, in 2015, was one of the many volunteers who supported Rugby’s World Cup celebrations.
He said: “The Rugby World Cup brings the world’s greatest players together to perform on a global stage, and promises to showcase all the skills and talent which make rugby a truly global game.
“The tournament also promises to promote rugby’s core values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect, values which underpin the game and have a vital role to play in all our everyday lives.”
The tournament kicks-off at 11.45 this morning (Friday September 20) when the host nation take on Russia in the capital’s Tokyo Stadium.
Celebrate Rugby, a packed programme of entertainment, takes place in the birthplace of the game throughout the World Cup.
Featuring cinema, theatre, comedy and music, Celebrate Rugby also includes details on where to watch all the action from Japan – including the chance to watch the final at Rugby School’s Macready Theatre on Saturday November 2.
Visit www.therugbytown.co.uk/celebraterugby for more information.