United Rugby Championship: Take a look at trophy unveiling - and why being able to drink from it was key

The United Rugby Championship trophy has been revealed in a digital unveiling on YouTube.

The new United Rugby Championship trophy is called the Array.
The new United Rugby Championship trophy is called the Array.

It is called ‘the Array’ and will be presented to the inaugural champions after the first URC Grand Final on June 18.

Organisers say they reached out to league-winning former coaches and players to canvas their opinions about what makes a great trophy.

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“The points of emphasis from those who had earn the silverware were: weight, size and the ability to drink from it,” the URC said in a statement.

The trophy is made up of four U-shaped arms in a nod to the four regional shields while also matching the URC’s arcing logo.

“This creates eight robust handles and invites the trophy to be held by a group so that the message of teamwork is placed at the heart of the on-field celebrations,” said the URC.

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 crown which appears to levitate above the rim of the trophy and will have a bespoke design that changes each season,” the URC added in a statement.

The silverware is the result of a collaboration between the Bath-based design agency Matter silversmiths Thomas Lyte, makers of the FA Cup, the Rugby World Cup and the Ryder Cup.

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According to the URC, other design features include: “Imaginative engineering [which] 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.

“Finally, 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 truly enjoy the taste of victory.”

Initial reaction to the unveiling on YouTube was mixed.

“I like it. Very modern. Very unique,” posted one viewer. Another said: “I swear if this lights up I’m done with this competition.”

The URC replaced the Guinness Pro14 last summer and includes teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy and South Africa.

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