Rugby’s World Cup celebrations – including an official Fanzone, a family festival celebrating the town’s heritage, and a visit from the sport’s greatest prize – have been announced in detail by council bosses to mark 100 days until the tournament kicks off.
The 1,000-capacity Fanzone, a temporary building to be built at Old Market Square at the end of August, will show 17 matches on its giant five metre wide screen during the six week tournament.
The Fanzone will also host the Enjoy Rugby Festival throughout the competition, featuring performances, events and activities covering music, science and technology, film, comedy, stories from the game of rugby, arts and crafts, and food and drink.
And fans will be able to get up close and personal with the Webb Ellis Cup at the Fanzone on Sunday August 16 (9am-12pm) when the coveted trophy will be on display.
Rugby band Speak, Brother performed their World Cup-inspired track Lions Roar during a special event at the town’s William Webb Ellis statue to mark the 100 days to go milestone.
Coun Michael Stokes, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “With just 100 days to go until kick-off of Rugby World Cup 2015 we’re pleased to announce these details about our celebrations here at the Proud Home and birthplace of the game.
“Rugby fans across the world will want to visit the birthplace of the game between matches or to watch matches in the Fanzone, and we’re looking forward to giving them a warm welcome.
“For the first time our town and borough will play a significant part in the Rugby World Cup with all of the opportunities that this brings. One of those is the arrival of the Trophy Tour on August 16, when the Webb Ellis Cup will return to its spiritual home here in the place where Webb Ellis first took the ball and ran with it.”
Council culture spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “While Rugby World Cup 2015 will bring a significant economic boost to England as host nation, and to Rugby as one of the Host Cities, the Enjoy Rugby Festival will give an extra boost from fans, residents and visitors between matches, some of whom may not be so interested in sport.
“Besides our sporting heritage, we’re proud of Rugby’s contributions to science and to culture, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the best of Rugby alongside the big match experience during the tournament.”
James Herring, lead singer with Speak, Brother, said: “I am honoured that Speak, Brother were invited to be part of the 100 days to go event. To me, Lions Roar reflects so many aspects of the sport… team spirit, courage and unity.
“I really wanted to produce something to reflect the values of rugby, and it’s so exciting to support the tournament through this song.”
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 is a tournament that will have the fans and teams at heart and we are excited about the unprecedented opportunity that the Trophy Tour and Fanzones will provide for fans to really engage with the tournament no matter where they are.
“World Rugby is confident of a very special and record-breaking celebration of rugby that will inspire new fans and participants around the world.”
The Enjoy Rugby Festival will run from September 13 to November 6. The Fanzone will feature food and drink including a licensed bar, along with entertainment and rugby related activities.
The Fanzone match screening times are as follows: