LONDON – As the world eagerly awaits the start of Rugby World Cup 2015, a new report from MasterCard has unveiled what rugby fans across 13 leading rugby nations believe are the most Priceless moments throughout the history of the Tournament.
According to the report, Nelson Mandela handing South Africa captain Francois Pienaar the Webb Ellis Cup after South Africa’s victory over New Zealand in 1995 (23%) was voted one of the most priceless moments in the history of Rugby World Cup. Jonny Wilkinson’s winning drop goal in 2003 was the only moment to narrowly top this with 24% of the votes, whilst Ireland’s shock victory against Australia in 2011 (13%) made up the top three.
The “Priceless Moments Report” from MasterCard, Official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015, also revealed the best tries ever scored throughout the Tournament’s history. New Zealand winger Jonah Lomu’s second try against England in the 1995 semi-final, renowned for its display of physical dominance over English backs Mike Catt, Will Carling and Tony Underwood took the crown with over 27% of the votes. Fellow New Zealander John Kirwan’s length of the field try against Italy in 1987 (15%) ran a close second, only narrowly surpassing Stephen Jones’ outstanding team try for Wales against England in 2003 (14%).
The Southern hemisphere domination continued when the report revealed that over a quarter of respondents (27%) voted New Zealand’s 2011 squad as the best team to ever compete at a Rugby World Cup. Martin Johnson’s winning 2003 England Rugby World Cup squad (18%) was the only Northern hemisphere team to make the top five, as the 1987 New Zealand climbed above Australia’s 1999 line-up to round-off the top three.
The survey also uncovered which nations rugby fans would like to see lift the Webb Ellis Cup if not their own. New Zealand proved the most popular nation with 27% of the votes, a trend backed by Japan where almost half (44%) of respondents opted for New Zealand. Surprisingly over a quarter of English rugby fans would actually like to see their old rivals Wales lift the Trophy.
With just over one month to go until Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks-off, rugby fans around the globe have tipped MasterCard ambassador Dan Carter to be the stand-out player at this year’s Tournament in England. Other players expected to make an impact include Welsh speedster George North (14%) and Ireland’s talisman Jonny Sexton (13%). Meanwhile, Canadian rugby fans have tipped Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg to steal the headlines.
“Rugby World Cup 2015 is the biggest sporting event of the year and MasterCard is delighted to be a true partner in an event that will truly deliver priceless moments and surprises for fans around the world. Every four years the Rugby World Cup creates unforgettable moments that will forever live in the memory of rugby fans around the world. This year, MasterCard will be helping fans create and celebrate their own memories by connecting them to Priceless experiences ahead of and during Rugby World Cup 2015,” said Ann Cairns, President, International Markets at MasterCard.
The Priceless Moments Report was carried out for MasterCard by Motar London. There were over 4,000 respondents across 13 countries worldwide – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, USA, Canada and Japan.