New Zealand and England will compete for the shield to honour the first man to scale Mount Everest.
Edmund Hillary honoured with rugby trophy
WELLINGTON // A new trophy honouring Edmund Hillary, the first man to scale Mount Everest, will be contested whenever the All Blacks and England play each other. The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) announced that the trophy will be known as the Hillary Shield and will be played for the first time when the teams face each other at Twickenham on Nov 29. Hillary's widow, June, will be at the match to present the winning team with the shield.
"Ed was a real rugby fan who was always enthusiastic about the game and the All Blacks," she said. "He really enjoyed his rugby when he had the time to watch it so I am very pleased that his name will be linked to New Zealand and England in this way." Hillary, unrivalled as the most famous New Zealander, conquered Everest as part of a British expedition in 1953 and always retained close links with both countries. He died in January this year, aged 88.
"It will be an honour for both squads to compete for the Hillary Shield," the England coach and former World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson said. "Having spent a lot of time in New Zealand myself I fully appreciate the high esteem in which Sir Edmund is held by everyone not only in his home country but also in Great Britain." Meanwhile, the England coach has also revealed that they will be once again using their training camp that they used in preparation for the 2003 World Cup.
Johnson said that he will be using the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey because it 'ticks all the right boxes'. The squad has trained at various locations since, including Loughborough University. They will stay at this base until 2012. *Reuters