The British & Irish Lions have announced Thomas Lyte as their new Official Silverware Supplier, and have unveiled a new trophy which will be lifted by the winner of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series.
The new trophy marks the creation of the first perpetual trophy in the history of Lions Tours, which will be created by the London-based silversmith, which is also the maker of the Sport Industry Awards trophies.
The silversmith will also provide silverware for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup meeting with Japan in June.
That fixture at BT Murrayfield will be the first-ever clash between the UK and Irish representative side and the Brave Blossoms, as well as marking the first Lions fixture played on home soil since 2005.
The new Tour trophy was handcrafted by Thomas Lyte’s London-based silver workshops, with more than 150 craft hours put in to making the finished article - which stands at 60cm tall and weighs 6.5 kg.
The main body of the trophy was handspun from a single sheet of sterling silver, while the base is handmade from sapele hardwood. Hot forging was used to bend small rods of sterling silver at over 700 degrees celsius before they were soldered together to create the shape of a chalice with the Lions Series Logo attached.
“This incredible trophy is a symbol of what to expect when two greats come together in a clash as rare and as unique as the Castle Lager Lions Series,” said Kudzi Mathabire, Brand Director, Castle Lager - the Title Sponsor of the series.
“As a quintessentially South African brand, we are backing the Springboks and hope that the trophy stays in South Africa for us to enjoy because rugby is well and truly In Our Blood.”
Specialising in bespoke gold and silverware as well as elite sporting trophies, Thomas Lyte also makes the Guinness Six Nations trophy, as well as The FA Cup. It has also created other international trophies such as the Laver Cup and the Nitto ATP World Tour Singles trophy in tennis, as well as the FIFA eWorld Cup trophy in esports.
The silversmith has also managed a suite of complex restorations for some of the most iconic trophies in sport, restoring the likes of the Ryder Cup, the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup, the British Formula 1 Grand Prix Trophy, and the Davis Cup Trophy.