Creating the Trophy
Our goal was to honor the spirit, sportsmanship and passion of the man it commemorates. Phil Rogers was a dear son and brother, a loving, caring and devoted husband and father, dear and faithful friend to so many, and last but certainly not least, devoted and passionate rugby player.
We also wanted to reflect the themes captured in Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”.
The poem inspired the criteria for evaluating and selecting each year’s prize recipient. Because our concept was complex, uncommon and would require frequent review in its development, we hoped to find a local artist. In December 2006 we selected a Pennsylvania-based and nationally known sculptor, Virginia Abbott, to render our vision in bronze. But not knowing anything about the process of creating a cast bronze , we had not left ourselves much time.
Our hope was to have the piece ready for its inaugural presentation on June 1st, 2007 at the Princeton Rugby Club Annual Dinner held during Reunions at Tiger Inn. In less than 6 months a design had to emerge, a full size model had to be sculpted in clay and wax molds made before the challenging process of casting this unusual piece was attempted.
Two people deserve all the credit for making it possible and we will be forever grateful for their exceptional response to our requirements. Virginia Abbott, whose talent transformed an idea into reality and who strove to ensure the project's success as though inspired by Kipling's words and Tom Considine, whose foundry cast the piece. Tom's firm met the all the challenges of fabrication with genuine ingenuity and aplomb. It was truly a pleasure to work with both of them.