Thursday, 16 December 2010

Play On the Rugby Movie is released tomorrow - Win a trip to the World Cup 2011

Only a handful of films have been made with a Rugby Union theme and naturally at the top of a very short list is 'Invictus' as the highest profile and most succesful rugby film ever made. Other fairly recent offferings include Forever Strong in which a talented young American rugby player goes off the rails and is sent to a boys' Juvenile Detention Center in Salt Lake City. In terms of international film making, rugby features strongly in the Japanese movie, School War: Heroes and in an Indian film of 2004 titled Sye,which tells the story of two factions in a school who use rugby to resolve their differences. The short list is completed with two films with a strong Welsh element namely Old Scores and the comedy Grand Slam made by BBC Wales in 1978.

The rugby film genre is added to tomorrow with the release of Play On which is set in Scotland and Kansas. Directed and co-written by David Story and starring Australian, Adam Gray-Hayward in his first lead role as the central character Keir Kilgour. The film has already won a number of accolades in the United States including the Best Feature Film Award at the All Sports Film Festival.

The film has the interesting premise of whether a father (played by Chard Hayward and the lead's real life father) and son who in a sense sit on the opposite sides of the idealistic divide between amateur and professional rugby, can ever have a shared understanding of what fundamentally the game of rugby is all about. The elder Kilgour who in his time starred for Scotland while also working in a textile mill, is increasingly at odds with his son who displays every sign of purely playing for money.

After playing for Edinburgh, the younger Kilgour turns his back on his rugby heritage and in what can be only seen as some delusional pursuit of stardom, decides to try his hand and boot in the world of American Football by just turning up at the Kansas City Chiefs demanding a try-out!  Kilgour soon has to eat humble pie and with his big money dream in ruins. Being too proud to return home, he stumbles upon an unlikely group of saviors, the Kansas City Wanderers. A failing second division rugby club, the Wanderers are a motley collection of weekend warriors who are amateurs in every sense of the word. A tour by the Wanderers to Melrose, where much of the film is set, is the next step along the path of young Keir's road to redemption! As the promotional material from the makers of the film suggests:

"But, it's not always what you do that matters. It's what you do next. Get up. Play on."

From the trailer the rugby action looks to be fairly realistic and includes snippets from an Edinburgh - UIster match.

The movie is available to purchase online at and a competition for a trip to New Zealand to see the World Cup Semi Finals is also running on the film's facebook page at

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