10 September 2011

World In Union

Last night was the opening ceremony (and first match) of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which is actually the world's third biggest sporting event after the Olympics and the Football World Cup :) This, the eighth Rugby World Cup, is being held here, in New Zealand.

The winners are awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup. William Webb Ellis was the Rugby School pupil who – according to popular myth – invented the game by picking up the ball during a game akin to one of the many codes of medieval football.

Now I know you're probably all thinking that rugby is one weird game....played by (compared with football) few countries. But...you may would be surprised which nations are competing, including Australia, England, South Africa, France, Canada and the United States. (And New Zealand of course - rugby is our national game and the country has wholeheartedly embraced the World Cup....in a very enthusiastic way - there are flags everywhere!)

One of the opening events was a concert by Neil and Tim Finn, two stalwarts of the New Zealand music industry. So...I thought you might like a listen - enjoy!

Edited to add: The post refers to the theme song of the Rugby World Cup, sung most recently by New Zealander Hayley Westenra...


  1. I'm more surprised that the US has a national rugby team than by anything else! :)

    I actually have a couple songs by Neil Finn, including a wonderful cover of There Is a Light that Never Goes Out by the Smiths.

  2. IIRC they are called the Eagles :) Acutally, towns throughout NZ have selected 'second teams' and my local...town centre (not sure if that translates?) has the US! Lots of little US flags everywhere when I go to the library :)

    I adore Neil Finn! I didn't know he covered There is a Light - YouTube here I come :)

  3. I'm with Chris - the US has a rugby team? Who knew? Of course I'm not that into sports so I'm sure there's a lot that goes on in sports that I'm not aware of. lol

    Glad your country is enjoying the Cup - how long does it run?

  4. Tracy - the US does indeed have a rugby team...and lots of fans here. New Zealanders are kind of cheering for everyone...except when our own team is playing :) I was cheering (read screaming) for Wales last night!

    Oh, and the tournament runs for ~6 weeks :)

  5. I'm pretty stoked about this RWC. So far, the games have been pretty fantastic and my only gripe is that I can't get all of the games to show here in the States unless I pay $150.


    There's a whole lot of eye candy playing rugby, that's for sure. Most of my favorites are playing on the NZ squad. My number one being Dan Carter (the reason I started watching rugby all those many years ago). I miss watching Doug Howlett and Carlos Spencer playing though. I miss watching Los leading the haka too.

    *sigh again*

    Yes, I'm kind of shallow like that. =)

    That first game against Ireland, the US ended the game on a big note. My teams are US, Manu Samoa and New Zealand. Gotta support my parents native country and mine. =) But I do love me some All Blacks.