Poignant celebration of friendly rugby rivalries launched on the day the UK prepares to leave the European Union
In a quirk of timing, one of the best-natured European sporting tournaments is due to kick off on the United Kingdom’s first day out of the European Union.
And so, Guinness has released a poignant – if mildly political - tribute to friendship and camaraderie. The film was launched on January 31st – so-called ‘Brexit Day’ – the UK’s last day in the EU. February 1st also sees the kick off of the Six Nations, an annual rugby tournament that sees England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy face each other. The Irish rugby team is particularly notable as it combines players from the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU) and Northern Ireland (which will be leaving).
The film talks about the camaraderie and unity instilled by the tournament and has been shared online with the line ‘Rivals for 80 minutes, friends forever.’
The campaign was devised by We Are Social Sport and is voiced by Fleabag and Sherlock actor Andrew Scott.
Niall McKee, head of Guinness Europe, explains that the campaign has been designed to draw on the respect and friendliness associated with rugby's fans. “During the Six Nations Championship rivalries are fierce on the pitch, but there's also always an enduring feeling of friendship, camaraderie and respect both during and after a match - this is true of fans as well as players. We wanted to draw on this unique power that sport, and rugby, in particular, has to bring people together.”