Hundreds of school children from Jedburgh and the surrounding area welcomed rugby’s most prestigious prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, to Scotland last Thursday.
Marking the start of a 100 day Rugby World Cup tour across the UK and Ireland the trophy was brought to the Carter Bar at 7am in the morning where it was given into the possession of Rugby World Cup 2003 winner, Will Greenwood, former Scotland and Lions Scrum Half, Roy Laidlaw and Gala’s Chris Paterson, the most-capped Scottish international.
They were joined by representatives from cross border rivals Jed-Forest RFC and Ponteland RFC who took part in a scrum across the border.
A first time visitor to the Borders Greenwood revealed to The Southern that, although It had been an absolutely superb start to the tour, the arrival of the Cup had showed “my ignorance as an Englishman in Scotland” a bit.
“I actually thought Hadrian’s Wall would be on the Border but have been told it’s about 30 miles south,” he said.
After firmly finding his bearings Greenwood brought the trophy to Jedburgh where he was met at The Glebe by a guard of honour comprising of local primary school children proudly waving the flags of the Rugby World Cup nations.
The official party were then hosted at a Festival of Sport, with both adult and junior participants enjoying a variety of activities in the Borders sunshine.
“Today has played a really significant part in understanding the kind of contribution that Scotland can make to the forthcoming World Cup,” added Greenwood.
“This tournament has to have all the home nations behind it. It’s the third biggest sporting event on the planet and it is our responsibility, as the organising committee, to let all these people know just what is going on.
“What I have loved about this event in Jedburgh today is the amount of fun everyone is having and how they have embraced the whole spirit of the World Cup.”
The Borders was the first stop on the Trophy Tour’s journey around UK & Ireland following a 12 month journey around the world as part of a celebration of Rugby and marks the countdown to the Rugby World Cup 2015 Opening Ceremony at Twickenham on September 18.
Chris Paterson was taking over the role of caretaker of the Cup for the remainder of the Scottish leg of the tour, along with Melrose back row legend Kelly Brown, and told us: “Ultimately we are looking to inspire both adults and children on this tour and I hope everyone catches the rugby bug and follows the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“The key to rugby is enjoyment and I have seen that in abundance today, for me it was a perfect start having it in the Borders.”
The Trophy Tour spent five days in Scotland and is currently in Northern Ireland before moving onto the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England before arriving at the Opening Ceremony.