Emirates, worldwide partner of Rugby World Cup 2019, has announced the arrival of the Webb Ellis Cup in Tokyo after being transported on flight EK318 from Dubai.
The silver-gilt trophy has been presented since the inaugural Rugby World Cup tournament in 1987.
On touchdown, former world rugby players of the year, Bryan Habana and Shane Williams, stepped out of the Emirates A380 aircraft to present the coveted trophy to Japan’s organising committee.
The handover takes place prior to the 100-day countdown to kick-off of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan on September 20.
To mark the trophy’s arrival, Emirates has announced details of its sponsorship of RWC 2019 in Japan, including the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young fans to join the sport’s showcase event as official flag bearers.
The airline is offering 10 fans from Japan, aged 10 to 16 years old, the opportunity to lead teams out onto the pitch, and participate in the pre-kick-off anthem ceremonies for the pool stage matches as well as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final match, taking place from September 20 to November 2 across 12 host cities in Japan.
Emirates said it will be running similar competitions in international markets to recruit youth to join the matches.
Emirates will also be extending special benefits to the 14,000 volunteers selected to provide a range of crucial services before and during the tournament.
The airline added that it will be screening the competition’s matches live in the air on its dedicated in-flight sports channel, Sport 24.
Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand said: “Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s greatest major sporting events and more than 1.8 million fans are expected to attend the tournament in Japan over a six-week period, with over one third comprised of international fans the largest ever number in the tournament’s history. With such a global audience, we see Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan as a great platform to share the love for rugby and bring communities together.”
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper added: “It is always a special moment when the famous Webb Ellis Cup arrives in the host country ahead of a Rugby World Cup, and today marks a historic moment for rugby as for the first time the tournament will take place in Asia. We thank Emirates for ensuring the smooth arrival of this precious piece of silverware into Tokyo.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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