Images of the Telecom Virtual Rugby Trophy
Detail with Telecom logo and SANZAR countries
Detail showing Rugby Ball Mouse
Trophy for virtual rugby winner
April 22nd, 2006
By Daniel Nielsen, Copyright The Nelson Mail,
MAIL PHOTO / Copyright PATRICK HAMILTON 130680
REAL PRIZE: Jeweller Halfdan Hansen with the trophy created in his Nelson shop for the Telecom Virtual Super 14 rugby competition.
Virtual rugby has become so popular in New Zealand that the best player will get a $10,000 trophy made in Nelson.
More than 143,000 people are playing Telecom's online Virtual Super 14 game, in which rugby fans compete by picking winners and point margins of Super 14 rugby games.
Telecom asked Nelson's Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith to make a smaller version of the real Super 14 trophy, which has been crafted by the local business.
Telecom sponsorship manager Peter Parussini said the trophy was made because of the popularity and prestige associated with the virtual competition.
"We heard that last year's competition winner was being asked for his autograph wherever he went. Given
that there's a trophy for the team which wins the Super 14, we thought it only appropriate that New Zealand's cleverest rugby fan be awarded a trophy for their efforts."
In its first year, 2002, 37,000 played Virtual Super 12 (now Super 14). The next year, 75,000 people participated and in 2004, 105,000 played. Last year 137,000 people took part.
Thirty percent of virtual rugby players are Hurricanes fans and after 10 rounds, two Hurricanes fans - "Forsyth" and "Hutt Demons" - are tied for the competition lead with 392 points each.
Crusaders fans make up 21 percent, Blues fans 19 percent, Chiefs fans 12 percent and Highlanders fans 11 percent.
More than 35,000 players (26 percent) are based outside New Zealand's major cities and towns, while 10 percent of players live overseas.
As well as winning the trophy, the winner receives a car.
Jens Hansen business manager Halfdan Hansen was amazed by the popularity of virtual rugby. It had been a "special thrill" to design the actual Super 14 trophy, but being asked to make a trophy competed for by more than 140,000 people was "something else", he said.
The $10,000 trophy is silver-plated, cast in sculptor's bronze and has a rugby ball shaped like a computer mouse in the logo. It stands 33cm tall and weighs 2.1kg. The actual Super 14 trophy is 49cm tall and weighs 2.7kg.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Jens Hansen Handcrafts Sterling Silver
Super 14 Trophy
Nelson’s celebrated jeweller and silversmith, Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold and Silversmith, has proudly designed and handcrafted the new Rebel Sport Super 14 Trophy, unveiled in Wellington today.
Since 1968, Jens Hansen has impressed its New Zealand and international customers with its leading edge Scandinavian designs. The bespoke jewellers are also famed for creating the Ring for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Chief Jeweller Thorkild Hansen worked continuously over two months to handcraft the stunning half metre tall solid sterling silver Super 14 trophy out of 2.5 kg of sterling silver.
“We were thrilled that a New Zealand design team was able to be involved in the creation of the new trophy,” says Hansen. “We aimed to create a trophy of simple beauty that represented the high standard of the Super 14 competition.
Hansen notes that it was a challenging but rewarding project, with many technical obstacles to be overcome.
“The dynamic twist in the base of the trophy gives the work a sense of motion without compromising its appearance of strength,” says Hansen. “Achieving the smooth lines and perfect meeting joints in the base was especially challenging, but we are very pleased with the end result.”
The globe was created from two flat circles of silver, individually and gradually hammered by hand until each was raised into an exact hemisphere. The two pieces were then joined and polished until they formed a perfectly round globe. It features raised map pieces representing New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The work is detailed down to the miniature rugby ball’s laces, which appears with the Super 14 emblazoned comet flare encircling the globe.
The Super 14 lettering was pierced and cut by hand from the comet flare and black resin used to create the lettering with maximum impact.
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7 February 2006
New trophy unveiled for Rebel Sport Super 14
The players and coaches competing in the first Rebel Sport Super 14 will have their eyes on a new prize – with the unveiling of a stunning, new trophy for the competition.
The new Super 14 trophy, unveiled in Wellington, New Zealand, today, is made of sterling silver and features a globe incorporating the new Super 14 logo sitting atop a four-sided twisting spire.
The trophy was handmade by one of New Zealand’s leading gold and silversmith workshops, Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith from Nelson, New Zealand, who achieved fame when they designed and made the famous gold ring for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
New Zealand Rugby Union Sponsorship and Marketing Manager Fraser Holland, who oversaw the production of the trophy, said the three SANZAR countries were keen to have a bold new trophy to launch the revamped Super 14 competition.
“We also wanted to move away from the traditional cup-style trophy and have a dynamic trophy to reflect the spirit of the Super 14. I think the designers have certainly achieved that – it’s a superbly crafted, iconic trophy with a definite international look about it,” Mr Holland said.
The winner of the Rebel Sport Super 14 competition will be engraved on the new trophy each year.
The trophy will go on public display for the first time this Friday night at the opening match of the Rebel Sport Super 14 competition between the Blues and the Hurricanes at Eden Park.
New Super 14 trophy – key facts
The Super 14 trophy is made of sterling silver (92.5 percent pure silver) and was made by Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith from Nelson, New Zealand.
Three silversmiths were involved in the construction of the trophy which involved soldering together and working a number of sheets of silver, sanding, buffing and polishing. The trophy took 200 hours to complete over a two-month period. It stands 49 centimetres high and weighs 2.7 kilograms.
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A Nelson jeweller keeps making things that powerful forces will do anything to get their hands on.
First Thorkild Hansen of Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith's helped his late father Jens craft the rings for the blockbuster movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Now Mr Hansen has just finished making a trophy for the inaugural Super 14 rugby competition starting on Friday.
And like the evil wizard Saron and Gollum in Lord of the Rings, the players in the Super 14 desperately want to get their hands on Mr Hansen's creation. The sterling silver trophy symbolises rugby supremacy in the southern hemisphere and will be contested by five teams from New Zealand and South Africa and four from Australia.
Mr Hansen said they had been commissioned to make the trophy by the New Zealand Rugby Union last November. After about 200 hours of hammering, cutting, soldering and polishing later, the 49cm high, 2.5kg trophy was last week sent to rugby headquarters in Wellington. ``It was a cool thing to be able to do,'' Mr Hansen said. ``We are such a small place and we've shown that Nelson has the goods - we are proud of that.''
Although Mr Hansen would not reveal how much the trophy cost to make, he said there was "more labour in it than metal.'' It was a real team effort with his brother Halfdan and staff Heath Neilson all helping out, he said.