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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rugby ball on Cardiff wall !!

Heard of William Webb Ellis ?

Cardiff, is the capital and largest city in Wales and the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom.  Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales; in 2011 it was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographic's alternative tourist destinations. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a major port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city. Cardiff was made a city in 1905, and proclaimed the capital of Wales in 1955. Since the 1990s, Cardiff has seen significant development.  

Sophia Gardens, known since 2015 as The SSE SWALEC for sponsorship reasons, is the  cricket stadium in Cardiff and is  home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club – it has hosted many International matches.

2015 Rugby World Cup is underway – it is a tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand is the current champion, having defeated France in the final of 2011 tournament in New Zealand.   Since 1999 twenty teams have taken part. Japan will host the next event in 2019.

Wild Creations is the creative team behind the amazing rugby ball feature that has delighted the people of Cardiff.   The people of Cardiff woke up to an awesome creation on Friday morning – there was a  giant rugby ball  embedded in the wall of Cardiff Castle. The “ball in the wall” was to mark the start of the Rugby World Cup - but how did it get there?

It was the work of Matt Wild and his company Wild Creations and was all done overnight on Thursday, the culmination of a top secret project.  Installation at the castle began at 11pm but the life of the ball actually began about five weeks ago.  The concept was first developed with a computer sketch. “Everything is drawn up on the computer first just to get Cardiff council, who were commissioning the ball, the right sort of angles, the right look, and just check that everybody was happy,” said the developer.

The  ball was cut by a computer aided milling machine called 5 axis CNC. The machine cut a quarter of the ball out of polystyrene, which was then smoothed out. A mold was taken of the quarter and then cast into fibreglass to make the four quarters of the ball. Once the casting was completed, the piece was cut, painted and vinyl was applied to make it look like an authentic Rugby World Cup ball. While the ball was being cast, steel workers welded the frame on which the ball would be mounted.  “There’s steelwork throughout the inside of the ball and actually on the other side of the castle as well. That’s what’s holding it up. There’s nothing actually on the castle or affecting the castle,” Wild said.

The bricks that appear to be bursting from the castle are made with a two-part foam and were made out of a cast from actual bricks in Cardiff castle. The entire piece, the ball and the bricks, were assembled on the ground. Then it was lifted by a 40-ton crane into place.  It is similar to a hook hanging over the castle wall, and a water-balance counterweight keeps it steady.

Project development manager at Cardiff council, Heather Brown, 46, said the city wanted something eye-catching to mark the start of the games. Upon seeing its appearance,  people were  photoshopping the 'ball in the wall' and everyone was delighted.  The ball will be up for three weeks.

The Webb Ellis Cup is the prize presented to winners of the Rugby World Cup, named after William Webb Ellis.  The trophy was chosen in 1987 as an appropriate cup for use in the competition, and was created in 1906 by Garrard's Crown Jewellers.  The trophy is restored after each game by fellow Royal Warrant holder Thomas Lyte.  The words 'The International Rugby Football Board' and 'The Webb Ellis Cup' are engraved on the face of the cup. It stands thirty-eight centimetres high and is silver gilded in gold, and supported by two cast scroll handles, one with the head of a satyr, and the other a head of a nymph. In Australia the trophy is colloquially known as "Bill" — a reference to William Webb Ellis.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Sept. 2015.

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