The new look World Rugby Museum was officially re-opened last night at an exclusive event.
RFU President Bob Reeves joined rugby enthusiasts and collectors from around the world for an exclusive tour of the revamped galleries which house the world?s finest collection of rugby memorabilia ? over 25,000 iconic object dating back to the start of the game.
Located under the East Stand of Twickenham Stadium, the World Rugby Museum was given a wholesale makeover this summer in preparation for the hotly anticipated home World Cup in 2015. ?
As well as a contemporary re-brand for the world?s finest collection of rugby artefacts and even more films and iconic footage of rugby?s most memorable moments, a brand new ?Play Rugby? interactive zone has been created. This zone allows visitors to test their own skills including speed, jumping ability, strength and kicking prowess and poses the question: ?What Kind of Rugby Player Are You? The museum?s award-winning educational facilities are now also integrated into its permanent galleries.
Museum Curator Michael Rowe said: ?The World Rugby Museum gives a unique insight into rugby. It?s a great way for people to learn about the history of the game from its origins in Rugby School to the present day ? regardless of which team or nation they support. It?s great that we now have a Museum fit to welcome the rugby world when it arrives in England for RWC 2015.
?I think the new Play Rugby zone is going to be extremely popular with our visitors ? it?s already gone down a storm at our opening. We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors through our doors to put their skills to the test and get the stories behind some of the game?s greatest players, matches and tries - with a little humour thrown in?.
Lawrence Dallaglio, whose Foundation supported the development of the Museum added: ?I?ve had a privileged career in rugby, and through my foundation it?s been humbling to extend the privilege of rugby to young people who are unfamiliar with the culture and the values of the game. As we can see in this exhibition there?s a long tradition of our core values ? of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship ? and watching our young people develop through the positive effect of the game has been inspiring. A few of them even got to play a part in the exhibit, and I look forward to hearing what they think about being part of the history of the rugby!?
As well as the exciting new features, old favourites return in a refreshed setting including:
A glittering array of trophies including the Calcutta Cup, the intricately engraved trophy made of 270 silver rupees that England and Scotland have been competing for since 1879.
The only surviving jersey from rugby?s first-ever international in 1871.
The real story of William Webb Ellis and how he didn?t invent the game.
Film and video footage, including the Rugby World Cup film, which allows visitors to re-live some of the most memorable rugby moments as they journey through the ages.