“Special” Defender transports iconic rugby trophy

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss –

Last year Land Rover took part  in the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour – a global adventure that saw the spirit of rugby being taken to all corners of the globe. South Africa formed part of this journey and rugby heroes took the sport’s highest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, from Pretoria to Cape Town. In addition to stopping off at schools and villages to inspire people, the trophy also visited Africa’s southern-most tip – Cape Agulhas – with the help of Land Rover.

Spectacular unveiling at Tower Bridge London
Spectacular unveiling at Tower Bridge London

The journey continues with a  modified 110 Station Wagon which has been built  to transport the Webb Ellis Cup on the 100-day Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour across the UK and Ireland, delivered by England Rugby 2015.

The “special” Defender and the Webb-Ellis Rugby World Cup Trophy. Pictures: Land Rover
The “special” Defender and the Webb-Ellis Rugby World Cup Trophy. Pictures: Land Rover

Land Rover is a Worldwide Partner of this year’s international Rugby World Cup and has created a very special Defender worthy of rugby’s most instantly recognisable icon – the Webb Ellis Cup.

The specially-modified 110 Defender Station Wagon was developed and built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division at its headquarters at Oxford Road HQ in Ryton, UK. The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender has been designed to safely and securely display the Webb Ellis Cup, while it travels across the UK and Ireland during the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender made waves recently when Land Rover unveiled the vehicle at Tower Bridge in London where it emerged, from a giant rugby ball, driven by Land Rover Ambassador and Rugby World Cup 2003 winner, Lewis Moody. The 8.2m high ball floated 40km up the River Thames from Tilbury Dock on Thursday, passing London landmarks such as the Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf along the way.

The focal point of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender is the bespoke Trophy cabinet to the rear of the vehicle. A one-of-a-kind Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender App has been developed specifically for the purpose of controlling the high-specification technology within the Trophy cabinet – making sure that conditions are just right. Lighting and the locking mechanism that secures the Webb Ellis Cup and a 40-inch Toshiba TD-E display are all controlled through the App on a 10-inch Toshiba Encore 2 tablet which acts as the interface. Canon LEGRIA mini X camcorders have been embedded into the vehicle for the purposes of capturing the Trophy’s journey in full HD quality. The Trophy cabinet is also protected with toughened security glazing.

To add a touch of theatre, three different lighting modes have been incorporated, whilst the Toshiba screen will display a host of memorable moments from Rugby’s  history.

The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour in the UK and Ireland kicks off on  June 10 and will culminate on  September 18 at the Rugby World Cup 2015 Opening Ceremony at Twickenham Stadium.

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