Sports Reporter
1 minute read
3 Jun 2022
4:05 pm

URC trophy on display at Loftus — What you need to know about ‘The Array’

Sports Reporter

The trophy will be on display when the Bulls host the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Players from the Bulls and Sharks eye-ball each other, with the URC trophy in between, ahead of Saturday's quarterfinal match. Picture: Supplied

The newly-designed United Rugby Championship trophy arrived in South Africa this week and will be on display at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday when the Bulls host the Sharks in one of four quarterfinals matches this weekend.

Named “The Array” the trophy stands 680mm tall and weighs almost 20kg. It is made of brass, copper and aluminium, and manufactured by Thomas Lyte, and designed by Matter.

These are the interesting facts about ‘The Array’:

  • Thomas Lyte silversmiths have created some of the most iconic trophies in world sport including the FA Cup, the William Webb Ellis trophy and the Ryder Cup. They even do work for the Royal Family.
  • Etched on the arms are the logo designs created to represent the Irish, Welsh, South African and Scottish-Italian Shields while the word Champions is engraved in different languages. The Array is capped at the top by a removable crown which will have a bespoke design that changes from season to season.
  • Imaginative engineering allows for coloured light to illuminate the centre of the U-shaped arms and up to the top of the trophy to produce a glowing effect around the crown.
  • When the crown is removed it uncovers a central cup which allows the URC champions to indulge in one of sport’s most cherished traditions and enjoy a drink and the taste of victory.
  • The scale of the Stanley Cup in the NHL and the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the NFL inspired the creators of the United Rugby Championship trophy to produce something equally robust and big.
  • The specific feedback from rugby players was that the trophy needed something they could pour a celebratory drink into, hence the creation of the vessel at its centre.