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Top Rugby Movies of All Time

by Carlton Whitfield. Published Fri 21 Jul 2017 12:19

It’s probably safe to say that there haven’t been many sporting films about rugby that have been released, it’s an underrepresented sport in the cinematic industry and could well do with a few more releases in the future.

With the finale of the Lions vs the All Blacks drawing to a dramatic conclusion, there’s definitely going to be an appetite for a bit of scrum-laden drama in our cinemas.

So, with that in mind, we’ve drummed up a list of what we think are the best films featuring the sport of rugby that are sure to have you eying up a set of rugby posts for your own garden – though the neighbours probably won’t thank you!

Salam Rugby

Kicking off this list with an international documentary, Salam Rugby is the story of an Iranian women’s rugby team. Laden with controversy in a region where women have few rights, it analyses would could be a pivotal moment in history for women in Iran to gain the right to play sports. The documentary takes place coinciding with the election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life

This film may not be about rugby, but it certainly possesses one of the funniest scenes to do with the sport that you’re ever likely to see. In an all-boys public boarding school, one of the boys is caught drifting off in a sex education class and his punishment is having to play a game against the teachers of the school. Preferable to detention, right? Wrong. The next few minutes is a display of utter carnage as the staff run riot against the team of young children. Who knew that something bordering on child abuse could be so funny?

Invictus

Clint Eastwood’s fitting tribute to the 1995 World Cup winning South African Springbok team is one of the best rugby films you’re ever likely to see. Starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the captain of the Spingboks, Invictus delves into South African identity after the country prepares to rebuild itself following the elimination of apartheid – managing to ride the coat tails of a superb performance at the world cup by the South African side.

Murderball

Another documentary on our list, Murderball is the story of the US wheelchair rugby team as they prepare for the 2004 Paralympics. If you’re looking for a mopey, sentimental flick about the horrors of disability then look elsewhere – this film is a real kick to the teeth to those who think life ends when you’re stuck in a wheelchair. It’s a heartening watch that proves just what the sport means to so many people, bursting with passion and aggression that’ll make you appreciate what people can achieve despite their limitations.

This Sporting Life

Featuring the blindingly good Richard Burton, This Sporting Life was released in the early 1960’s and seemed to really capture the theme of angry young men at the time. Burton’s character. Burton’s character Frank Machin is one such angry young man, who joins his local Yorkshire rugby club to find an outlet for this. Featuring several scenes of palpable rugby action and a lot of aggression both on and off the pitch, you’ll find it hard to take your eyes off the screen in this true-to-life flick.



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