As part of its world tour in anticipation of the World Cup this autumn, the William Webb Ellis trophy made a stop at University Square on Sunday. The free event was aimed at local schools and rugby enthusiasts and gave them the opportunity to take photos with the famous silverware. 

The iconic setting at the heart of the University provided a picturesque backdrop for photos but also served as an excellent opportunity for local children and members of the public to visit our constantly developing campus.

The audience at the event were provided with a dose of star quality with the attendance of Mike Umaga, former Samoan rugby international and head coach of the University of Birmingham’s men’s rugby squads, as well as Rugby World Cup winner and Birmingham alumna Laura Keates.

Coaches and players from local clubs Bournville RFC and Harborne RFC had the chance to play some touch rugby on the grass on University Square, and posed for some photos with the trophy as well as famous faces Keates and Umaga. Also in attendance were pupils from local schools including intake pupils for the new University of Birmingham School.

After the University’s guests had finished with the iconic piece of silverware, the Webb Ellis Trophy moved on to Moseley Rugby Club before closing its journey around Birmingham with a visit to Victoria Square in the city centre.

However, the trophy’s departure is far from the last Birmingham or indeed the University will have to do with the World Cup before proceeds begin in the autumn. The University of Birmingham was selected recently to host the South Africa national team, who will use the University’s facilities as their base camp in the lead up to the tournament. The Springboks will arrive on campus in time for the start of the 2015/16 autumn semester.

In addition, Birmingham’s Villa Park will host two World Cup group stage matches on the last weekend of September, one of which features honorary Brummies South Africa, and the other of which sees southern hemisphere heavyweights Australia take on Uruguay.