The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Rugby World Cup trophy, the Webb Ellis Cup, will help the USA Men’s National Rugby Team, the Eagles, kickoff their road to the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) campaign at the UN Headquarters at 9:40 a.m. on April 11.
Also in attendance will be Eagles team captains, Todd Clever and Mike Petri; USA Rugby Board Members; USA Rugby CEO, Nigel Melville; USA Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan; International Rugby Board (IRB) Chairman, Bernard Lapasset; IRB CEO, Mike Miller; New Zealand Permanent Representative to the UN, Jim McLay; and UN Development Programme Administrator (and former New Zealand Prime Minister), Helen Clark.
Rugby is a sport that promotes sportsmanship, respect, and a sense of community. The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) is a program that epitomizes the rugby ethos will be highlighted at the event as well.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the humanitarian partner of the International Rugby Board and the Rugby World Cup. The UNWFP has been the humanitarian partner of the IRB for seven years and the Tackle Hunger program has played a significant role in assisting the UNWFP to communicate its important work to the global community.
Tackle Hunger was a resounding success at RWC in 2003 and 2007, achieving its triple objectives of raising awareness of the UNWFP, drawing attention to the plight of the world's hungry and connecting the global Rugby community with the program.
Several cultural events are planned as well, including a Maori Haka and a performance by renowned New Zealand singer, Marie Te Hapuku, who will sing the RWC theme song, “The World in Union.”