The first of the official Welcome Ceremonies took place at Hampton Court Palace on 10 September, with the venue welcoming the Fijian Rugby Team. The players arrived at the grand Tudor entrance of the palace before being led to The Garden Room, a 1920s Orangery-style building set in the beautiful Tiltyard Gardens, for the official presentation of Tournament Caps and Rugby World Cup 2015 Participation Medals. An official photocall took place outside the West Front.
Hampton Court Palace hosted a further two ceremonies this week, welcoming both the Italian and Namibian Rugby Teams.
The Welcome Ceremony for the New Zealand Rugby Team took place in the New Armouries Banqueting Suite at the Tower of London. Following the official presentations, the team gathered for a photo opportunity with accredited press.
Milan Thakrar, Business Development Manager – Functions & Events, Historic Royal Palaces, said: “We were delighted to play our part in hosting Welcome Ceremonies for Rugby World Cup 2015. Both Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London are well-versed in hosting high profile events and both offered a spectacular backdrop by which to welcome the players and management, and celebrate their achievements.
“Rugby World Cup 2015 promises to be a fantastic Tournament and we are honoured that, alongside 15 other landmark venues, we were able to play our part by extending a warm local welcome to some of the participating Teams.”
The Welcome Ceremonies were a celebration of the team’s achievements and included team friends and family, as well as the local community. Each Welcome Ceremony featured a presentation of Tournament Caps and Rugby World Cup 2015 Participation Medals, as well as a performance of World in Union by a school choir.