Yesterday, New Zealand's mainstream media was up in arms on account of the All Blacks having been snubbed in a World Cup 2015 ad that features Charles Dance—the actor who played Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones—giving a speech to group of fans in a locker room. Notably absent from this group is a fan or player representing the the current holders of the World Cup trophy.
Fortunately, All Blacks Tours has filled this void with a new TVC (produced by Augusto) that depicts 2011 World Cup-winning couch Sir Graham Henry giving a team talk in a plane. But rather than having the aircraft filled with representatives from various rugby playing nations, the ad only features former player Stephen Donald sitting in one of the seats.
After giving the celebrated coach an ironic applause for his rapturous speech, Donald says: "That was brilliant, Ted. Now we just need a team." And All Blacks tours aims to assemble this team by having Henry and Donald accompany two groups of fans on a tour of England during the upcoming tournament.
Henry will be with fans for a 19-night 'All Finals' package, while Donald will live up to his reputation by stepping in during the semi-finals as he hosts a 12-night package, which will include both semi-finals and the final.
"It's something that every New Zealander dreams of going to, and to have the opportunity to head along, on a special fan flight with fellow rugby fanatics will be a trip of a lifetime,” said Donald, who currently plies his trade in the Japanese rugby league.
While the packages differ slightly, both include a special fan flight to England, accommodation, two official All Blacks supporter functions, official All Blacks Tours merchandise, return match transfers, airport transfers and a London hop-on/hop‐off sightseeing pass.
All Blacks Tours previously ran a similar promotion for the recent friendly match in Chicago, and the company's general manager David Caldwell expects the response to be similar, if not greater, this time."
“With limited spots available and the phenomenal amount of interest in RWC 2015, these packages are forecast to sell as quickly as the Chicago Chartered Fan Flight which sold out in just 6 days,” he said in a release.
The two packages will be released on 12 September, but fans can already register their interest via the All Blacks Tours website.