Five rugby movies to watch in isolation

Brighton Miracle

Sure, you could watch Breaking Bad for the tenth time or try to figure out what really happened in the season finale of Stranger Things, or you could get ultra-adventurous and check out our list of five rugby movies to watch while social distancing.


The Kick (2014)

Hey, this is you’re reading, you’re dreaming if you didn’t think this would appear on the list! The Kick is a 2014 film which re-tells the story of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, with a focus on the exploits of white baiter turned Rugby World Cup hero Stephen ‘Beaver’ Donald. If you grew up in New Zealand during the early to mid-2000s, you will also take extra pleasure in spotting the ex-Shortland Street and Outrageous Fortune actors who turn up as All Blacks and other supporting roles throughout the film – including Xavier Horan as Sonny Bill Williams. Watch on TVNZ on Demand.



The Brighton Miracle (2019)

Temuera Morrison playing Eddie Jones? Say no more, I’m sold! The Brighton Miracle is a Japanese made-for-tv film which chronicles the Brave Blossoms remarkable win over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The movie begins with Japanese officials lamenting their 145-17 loss to the All Blacks at the 1995 World Cup and ends with the miracle win over the Springboks. The film has been well received upon its release with an 8.2 rating on IMDB, higher other high-profile films of 2019 like Jojo Rabbit and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.



Old Scores (1991)

A New Zealand and Wales co-production, Old Scores is a delightful film which sees the All Blacks and Wales replay a match from 25-years earlier following the death-bed confession of a touch judge who failed to disallow the winning Welsh try. The Welsh Rugby Union orders the game to be replayed and hilarity ensues as both teams bring back their original players to contest the re-match. Among the ex-All Blacks featured in the film are Ian Kirkpatrick, Waka Nathan, Alex ‘Grizz’ Wyllie and Grahame Thorne. On the Welsh side, legends Phil Bennett, Gerald Davies, Mervyn Davies and Gareth Edwards return for one last game in the red jersey. The film also has genuine star power with famed thespians John Bach and Windsor Davies both playing key roles in the film.

Forever Strong (2008)

Based on a true story, Forever Strong is an American film which follows a troubled youth (Rick) as he turns his life around through playing rugby. Headed towards a life trouble and drug-taking, Rick finds brotherhood, purpose and peace through his new rugby team. Like all good high school sports film, this one finishes at the National Championships with Rick given the chance to save the day. Will he do it? You’ll have to watch to find out! The film also stars Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings and Rudy fame.



Invictus (2009)

It hurts to include this one on the list but any rugby film starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and directed by Clint Eastwood cannot miss out. Invictus follows South Africa’s incredible Rugby World Cup campaign in 1995 and how President Nelson Mandela used it to help unite the Rainbow nation. In their first World Cup appearance since the end of apartheid, the Francois Pienaar-captained Springboks captured the imagination of the South African public by going unbeaten throughout the tournament before beating the All Blacks 15-12 in the final at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park. Many New Zealand viewers were confused that Suzy did not make an appearance in the film but that didn’t stop it from achieving global success with a solid 7.3 rating on IMDB and pulling in over $120 million USD at the box office.  



View all