From Japan’s seismic victory over South Africa to Argentina’s free-running heroics, Rugby World Cup 2015 will be remembered the world over. But at Land Rover, we know rugby is built from the ground up, and that the grassroots are the core of the game.
As proud Worldwide Partners, we brought local stories to the fore, celebrating the passion and camaraderie at the heart of the sport as we focussed on grassroots clubs, players, and fans across the world. #WeDealInReal.
Rugby icons don’t just play in front of 80,000 vociferous fans. The real stars play on muddy pitches, come rain or shine, surrounded by friends and cheered on by a few hardy locals (and their dogs). At Land Rover, we believe every local club has a unique story. A story we are determined to help them tell.
That's why we’ve given clubs the platform to have their voices heard on the global stage. We searched the world to unearth the grassroots rugby stories that embody the values of passion, camaraderie, fun, and sportsmanship that live at the heart of the sport.
From the intriguing to the inspiring, the heart-warming to the hilarious, these stories showcase the real spirit of the game. #WEDEALINREAL
SOWETO RUGBY CLUB, SOUTH AFRICA
The rugby team in this famous former township distill the game to its very core, pouring their heart into every match. They are proud of both their heritage and their rugby – bringing the two together in what they affectionately call the ‘Soweto Haka’. This old Zulu war dance was historically performed by Zulu warriors before going into battle, an apt precedent for a club full of fighting spirit.
RUGBAÍ CHORCA DHUIBHNE, IRELAND
Welcome to rugby on the edge. Europe’s most Westerly rugby club, Chorca Dhuibhne is a tiny club based seven miles outside the remote town of Dingle, where most of the locals call Gaelic their native tongue. The club lack the funding to level their uneven pitch, so visiting sides must embrace the challenge of playing uphill for half a match. They often struggle to field a fully-fit team due to the size of the community, but they never let that stop them, as players of all ages get stuck in. With the Kerry Cup in their trophy cabinet, they’re proof that glory comes from passion, not postcode.
CUS SIENA, ITALY
CUS Siena probably have the worst pitch in Italy. It’s not much more than a giant sand pit. Other teams hate playing on it, but Siena have come to love their pitch. It’s not only their secret weapon (they won every home game last season), it’s also their identity. Matches end in classically Italian style, with a stirring sing-along before a bowl of pasta and glass of wine.
DINGO CUBS RUGBY UNION, AUSTRALIA
The Dingo Cubs do more than just play rugby in Alice Springs. They endure temperatures that most of us would struggle to even walk around in – the mercury often rising above 40°C. But they are unfazed by the heat, thanks to their secret weapon, their septuagenarian water boy and his unquenchable dedication to keeping his team hydrated.
CLWB RYGBI Y FFLINT, WALES
Flint RFC represent the essence of grassroots rugby. They are a collaborative, player-run club where everyone mucks in and takes turns at everything. Their battered old team bus never starts without a push. Yet everyone gets behind it and, just like club itself, it marches on unstoppably thanks to the power of teamwork.
Halifax RFC was a successful professional side until tragedy befell them. To save the team from extinction, they chose to start again – right at the bottom of the very lowest amateur league. Did it matter? Fuelled by their indomitable Yorkshire spirit and a rousing Shakespearean monologue before every match, it did not.
DAVETA RUGBY CLUB, FIJI
Rugby isn’t just a sport here in Rukurukulevu, it’s a way of life. From the moment they can stand, babies have rugby balls in their hands. Despite having very little, the team thrives, thanks to the support of the whole village – from the women who wash their kits to the priest who blesses them before each game. In Daveta Cuve, the team is the whole community.
UPPER CLUTHA RFC, NEW ZEALAND
“A green paddock, in front of a crystal clear lake, surrounded by ice-capped mountains, under a blazing sun”. That’s how Upper Clutha’s manager describes his rugby ground. And he isn’t joking. Yet, in this expansive paradise, temperatures can plummet to as low as -20°C. Not that these guys let something like the weather get in the way of their greatest passion.
MULL RUGBY CLUB, SCOTLAND
Mull is a remote island of just 3,000 inhabitants, with villages scattered up to 50 miles apart. Rugby is the one thing that brings them together. Boat trips to and from training and matches are all part of life at the club, for home players and especially for visiting teams. Yet, for those hardy enough to brave the elements, the hosts certainly make it worth the journey.
RUGBY WORLD CUP TROPHY TOUR
Having taken 'The Least Driven Path' through 15 countries, the iconic Webb Ellis Cup toured the UK & Ireland in a bespoke Land Rover Defender ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015.
As Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2015, Land Rover selected fans from around the World to be official mascots at the tournament.
THE SMALLEST RUGBY CLUB IN THE WORLD
We wanted to bring the smallest club in the world to the global stage. So we took some of the biggest names in rugby to give the lads at the ultimate grassroots club a hand on match day.