The European Rugby Champions Cup is the most prestigious prize in European club rugby, and Thomas Lyte are privileged to have produced a trophy which continues to dazzle year-after-year.
Thomas Lyte, a Royal Warrant holder, as the silversmiths and goldsmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, and world-class custom trophy designers and makers, we’re proud to have designed and made the trophy for the EPCR Champions Cup. Formerly the European Cup, the EPCR Champions Cup was first awarded in 2015, with Toulon the inaugural winners in an all French final at Twickenham.
In collaboration with The Works, and operating in partnership with Rugby Europe, the EPCR Champions Cup was handcrafted at Thomas Lyte’s London workshop, with our Master Craftsmen overseeing the manufacture of a trophy which has already established itself as an icon of modern club rugby.
While this is a very modern piece of silverware, the trophy itself is a fusion of past and present, with the previous winners of the European Cup – played for between 1996 and 2014 – receiving equal billing to the holders of the trophy in its current incarnation. The European Rugby Champions Cup was unveiled alongside another Thomas Lyte creation, the European Rugby Challenge Cup, in October 2014.
The star forms the basis of a trophy which crowns the Kings of European club rugby on an annual basis. This runs like a theme throughout the Cup itself, with each handle on this hand-crafted trophy coming together at the top to form the Star Crown. One of the major ambitions at the start of the process was to create a trophy which honoured the previous 19 winners of the tournament before it became known as the European Rugby Champions Cup and the formation of this Star Crown, when viewed from above, by the trophy’s five handles was fundamental to that aim. The star is also a symbol of the tournament’s all-European representation.
Those previous 19 winners, starting with Toulouse back in 1995, are all engraved as stars along the back handle of a trophy which although distinctively modern in design, was crafted using traditional silversmith’s skills and techniques, and many tools which were first used over a century before.
The trophy is a bespoke symbol of club rugby’s new and exciting era, with the Champions Cup representing the pinnacle of European domestic rugby for the 24 teams who qualify from France’s Top 14, the English Premiership and the Pro14. The high quality of rugby on the field is directly reflected in the excellence of our silversmiths and goldsmiths, who worked tirelessly to produce a trophy which will stand the test of time. Our polishers and engravers also made a huge contribution to a finished article which then went through a meticulous quality control process before leaving our London workshop to be presented for the first time.
A new European cup was a revolutionary step for club rugby on the continent when it was first devised and introduced in 1995. Now, the tournament has evolved into one of the most competitive and widely-followed events in the rugby world – an annual event that brings together some of the best teams on the planet.
Originally the brainchild of the Five Nations Committee, the European Cup aimed to increase competition across the European club game, with clubs from Ireland, France, Wales, Italy and Romania taking part in the inaugural competition. Scottish and English clubs watched on until becoming involved the following season. From those humblest of beginnings, the tournament now attracts the best Northern Hemisphere teams year-after-year, and enjoys crowds to match, with almost 82,000 people watching the 2011/12 all-Ireland final between Leinster and Ulster at Twickenham.
Since 2015, the Thomas Lyte-made trophy has been presented to the winners of the tournament in some of the world’s most iconic and atmospheric sporting venues, including Newcastle’s St James’ Park and Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium.
The European Rugby Champions Cup is just one example of Thomas Lyte’s work within rugby. As a long-established partner of both World Rugby and Rugby Europe, the company has designed, made and restored some of the sport’s most prestigious prizes, including the European Rugby Challenge Cup, the Men’s Guinness Six Nations Trophy and Women’s Six Nations Trophy. We are also immensely proud to be the official restorers of both the Rugby World Cup and the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Our team make the conceivable possible, while preserving traditional skills, pioneering modern methods, and promoting authentic British craft across the globe. Combining the latest technologies with centuries of knowledge, Thomas Lyte’s silver workshops in London, England house world-class facilities for an elite team of designers and makers, masters of their craft. Learn about 3D printing, electroforming and other new technologies that our team have introduced to our sustainable handcrafting process.
Materials. Sterling Silver + 24 Carat Gold Plate
Workshop Processes. Cleaning, Filing, Sanding, Chasing, Polishing, Plating And Hand-Engraving
Thomas Lyte are proud to be the entrusted restorers of the Webb Ellis Cup.
Take a glance at these fast facts about one of the oldest trophies in use in the sporting world.
What is the Webb Ellis Cup made from?
Hallmarked sterling silver with 24 carat gold-plating.
How old is the Webb Ellis Cup?
Over 100 years old, dating back to 1906.
Who designed the Webb Ellis Cup?
The trophy is based on designs by world-famous silversmith and goldsmith, Paul de Lamerie in 1736.
Who is the Webb Ellis Cup named after?
According to legend, William Webb Ellis – a pupil at Rugby School – picked up the ball and ran with it during a school football match in 1823, thus creating the “rugby” style of play.
What does it say on the front of the Rugby World Cup?
The gold-plated body of the trophy is adorned with the words ‘The International Rugby Football Board’ and ‘The Webb Ellis Cup’, expertly hand-engraved in perfect detail.
What are the features on the Webb Ellis Cup?
The Webb Ellis Cup has two cast scroll handles. The head of a satyr (a faun-like creature) sits atop one handle while the head of a nymph (a spirit of nature) graces the other. The decorative pieces include a bearded mask, lion mask and vine.
Which team has won the Rugby World Cup the most?
There have been only four different winners of the competition. New Zealand and South Africa are the most successful nations, each winning the trophy three times. No country has ever successfully defended the title.