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Vodafone Launches “Irish Rugby: What We Did Last Summer”

Vodafone Launches “Irish Rugby: What We Did Last Summer”

A behind the scenes look at Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa will air on RTE One on Thursday, November 10.

Vodafone, Ireland’s leading communications provider, in its inaugural year as official sponsor of the Ireland rugby team, has today revealed details of an hour-long documentary it has commissioned as part of the #TeamOfUs campaign.

“Irish Rugby: What We Did Last Summer” chronicles the Ireland rugby team’s historic summer tour to South Africa where, despite missing several key players and being reduced to just 14 men, they claimed the first ever Irish victory over the Springboks on South African soil.

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The programme captures the highs, lows and emotional reactions of not only the players and management team, but of their families, friends and support network back home too.

Centred on the historic first Test win, the programme features never before seen footage from the sidelines, stands and dressing rooms in Newlands Stadium, Cape Town. While back home, the documentary provides a unique perspective on the match from those closest to the players.

The families of Ulster’s Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Iain Henderson and Luke Marshall, who have been firm friends since their fathers played rugby together, are filmed watching the match in Belfast Harlequins Rugby Club.

The fly on the wall documentary aims to get fans closer to the team than ever before with unprecedented access to the Ireland set-up, including footage filmed by the players themselves.

Exclusive interviews with players and management, including Rory Best, Jamie Heaslip, Joe Schmidt and Andy Farrell, provide a unique perspective on the diverse characters that make up the Ireland rugby team.

There is also a focus on the off-pitch experiences of the squad in South Africa, including a visit to the Missionvale township and team excursions on their days off from rugby duties.

Commenting on the documentary, Anne Mulcahy, Head of Brand & Communications with Vodafone Ireland, said: “Vodafone is all about connecting people and our ambition is to help Ireland’s sports fans get closer to the team and build the most interconnected fan base on the planet through the #TeamOfUs platform. 

“This documentary offers a unique insight into the Ireland rugby team, taking viewers beyond the 80 minutes on the rugby pitch and into the dressing room, training ground and, in some cases, family homes. It shows the people behind the players, as seen through the eyes of their family, friends and the people who have helped them become the team they are today.”

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Head, RTÉ Sport, added: “Ahead of RTÉ Sport’s coverage of the GUINNESS Series this autumn, we are delighted to partner with Vodafone to bring viewers this fascinating taster which takes us behind the scenes of Ireland’s historic South African tour this summer.”

Padraig Power, IRFU Director of Commercial and Marketing, commented: “Vodafone has produced a fantastic, engaging and insightful documentary. This marks the beginning of our four year partnership reinforcing our collaborative efforts to bring Irish rugby supporters closer to the team. I’m sure viewers will really enjoy it.”

“Irish Rugby: What We Did Last Summer” will air on RTÉ One on Thursday, November 10 at 10.15pm and will be repeated on RTÉ Two on Saturday, November 19 at 3.30pm.

Updates and short videos will air in advance of the show on www.rugby.vodafone.ie.