How the film industry has (laughably) depicted rugby union

Louis Dor
Saturday 19 September 2015 11:50

The Rugby World Cup has officially started, with England beating Fiji 35-11 at Twickenham in the opening fixture.

It was an entertaining game and a decent advert for the sport, with both sides enjoying exciting spells of attack.

Many films have tried to emulate the sort of excitement the sport can inspire when beautiful phases of running rugby occur, such as Jonny May’s try against New Zealand last year.

There’s your benchmark – now let’s have a look at how the (very few!) films about rugby have portrayed the game over time..

Sye (2004)

There are no words to describe how hilariously inaccurate this movie is when it comes to depicting the sport.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

If you haven’t seen the full scene already, this is just astonishing and laughable.

Forever Strong (2008)

This film about a troubled young player who has to go against the team his father coaches received mixed reviews from critics, and the rugby scenes were actually pretty convincing…

…with one or two moments of theatre.

Invictus (2009)

The Hollywood retelling of the Springboks’ 1995 World Cup Win, featuring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman as Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela respectively, wasn’t actually terrible when it came to depicting the game.

The sport scenes are pretty stilted and there were quite a few inaccuracies, but they do still resemble something close to rugby.

For the budget this film had, you’d expect a bit better than this though…

Keep trying film industry, you're getting closer.

More: Even if you don’t like rugby union, here’s why the World Cup is great for the UK

More: These are the all time top points scorers at the Rugby World Cup