Webb Ellis Cup star of corporate lunch

By Michael Dickison

A.J. Whetton (left) and Frank Bruce show off the Webb Ellis Cup at Cibo restaurant in Parnell. Photo / Steven McNicholl
A.J. Whetton (left) and Frank Bruce show off the Webb Ellis Cup at Cibo restaurant in Parnell. Photo / Steven McNicholl

At the showing of the Rugby World Cup trophy in New Zealand ahead of this year's tournament, former All Black Frank Bunce offered reassurance about the event's rocketing costs.

"We knew from the beginning we were going to lose money."

But his wingman, the World Cup champion A.J. Whetton, quickly cut him off.

"Because if we're going to do it, we're going to do it right - otherwise don't bother doing it at all. That's the nature of the whole thing," he said.

Whetton had just finished saying how important it was to be positive and recognise that the cup could become something special for New Zealand.

As the boutique Parnell restaurant Cibo filled up with corporate guests - a pair from Westpac, another from Vector Arena - Whetton pointed out that the Webb Ellis Cup had already drawn a crowd and was causing excitement.

"Look at this bar. How many times will you have the chance to get so close to it?"

The two-hour lunch was a leisurely affair punctuated by entertaining locker room stories from the two former All Blacks.

But when they posed for a photograph, the towering men overwhelmed the trophy with sheer size.

Bunce remarked that he had never seen it before, but he had been told of how it would turn out to be a lot less substantial than you expected.

"It actually looks quite big after hearing people talk about how small it actually is. In this light you get the gold thing coming through."

- NZ Herald

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