Jonny drops a clanger during Cup promotion.
BUTTERFINGERS Jonny Wilkinson dropped a clanger as he promoted next year's Rugby World Cup.
The star, one of the sport's greatest players, dropped the trophy and damaged its base!
It was quickly repaired and Wilkinson promised the North East to expect a "phenomenal atmosphere" when the competition arrives in a year's time Wilkinson, who helped England win the trophy in 2003 while he was at Newcastle Falcons, visited Newcastle Racecourse to launch the countdown and meet hundreds of volunteers looking to help out at the event.
Newcastle United's St James's Park will host three fixtures, while the region will be home to Tonga, T Scotland, South Africa, Samoa and New Zealand.
Wilkinson, who scored the crucial drop goal in the Sydney final, said: "It is amazing that St James's Park is getting some games. I have been to football matches there and when you walk into the ground, it's like a different world. I have often wondered what it would be like to see rugby played there in front of 52,000 fans. It will be a phenomenal atmosphere.
"For me, it is not just 'What will the Rugby World Cup bring to Newcastle?' but 'What will Newcastle bring to the Rugby World Cup?' "It is a bit of a football homeland but I think you will see that passion for sport come through and it will combine with Rugby World Cup's own special atmosphere to create something special.
"It is great that national sides will be based up here and I'm sure they will integrate with the local community and learn about the region and our way of life.
"The players will have a look around and see what happens here day in, day out. You will be able to see them out in Newcastle - but more likely during the day than at night!" More than 400 rugby fans attended the volunteer 'try outs',' in the hope of being selected for the 6,000-strong team of volunteers known as 'the pack' in time for the first Newcastle fixture on October 3 when Scotland face South Africa.
Coun Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "The Rugby World Cup games in Newcastle will be a fantastic opportunity for us to host visitors from across the world and give them a massive Geordie welcome, hopefully encouraging them to come back in the future.
"It is a once-in-a-generation chance to create a sporting legacy which will engage youngsters and introduce them to rugby. Having Jonny here marks the countdown as excitement builds.
"I am delighted we will have hundreds of people from our local communities volunteering to make sure we put on a warm welcome for our visitors and ensure everybody is able to enjoy the games comfortably and safely.
"Without these volunteers it would certainly not be the success I know it will be."
Consett's John Glendinning hopes to make 'the pack.' .' The 49-year-old financial advisor said: "I have been involved with rugby since I was 11. It's a great sport with a huge family friendly atmosphere, and I still play for Ryton.
"I decided it was time to give something back at such an exciting event. It is a great opportunity to promote what rugby is all about."
"It will hopefully show of the region to tourists and bring in some money, but from a sporting point of view I think it will be inspiring for children to see the top players."
" Meanwhile, the event came with a hiccup when Wilkinson dropped the base of the golden Webbrophy, presented to the tournament winner, on the floor - but it was quickly repaired.
dropped the base of the golden Webb Ellis Trophy, presented to the tournament winner, on the floor - but it w a s quickly repaired.
Jonny Wilkinson marks one year to go until the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off in Newcastle by playing |rugby with youngsters - and below with the Webb Ellis trophy which he accidentally dropped