Wednesday, 20 November 2013

When Jonny Wilkinson kicked the drop goal which won England the 2003 Rugby World Cup title, Twitter didn’t even exist.

A decade on, Twitter has become the place fans flock to share the drama of major televised sport with other fans around the globe. So to mark the 10th anniversary of England’s victory, @ITV will bring fans and players together in a brand new initiative: #RWC10YearsOn.

#RWC10YearsOn will help fans re-live England’s 2003 triumph by watching it on TV, but also through Twitter.

From 10.35pm this Friday November 22nd - ten years to the day since England’s victory - highlights from the 2003 match will be broadcast on ITV. As well as re-living the moment in their own living rooms, fans will also get a brand new perspective on the game thanks to a live Twitter commentary from Matt Dawson (@Matt9Dawson), Lawrence Dallaglio (@Dallaglio8), Will Greenwood (@WillGreenwood), Phil Vickery (@Phil_Vickery) , Ben Kay (@BenKay5) and Richard Hill (@RHillRugby), all of whom played in the 2003 game.

The former players’ Twitter commentary will give followers a unique insight into their thoughts and emotions during the historic clash. Some Tweets will be used on screen, and you can keep up with the rest by following them on Twitter.

The players will all be tweeting live from ITV’s studios, and another former England rugby player, @MartinBayfield will host the show. Make sure to also follow the @ITVSport account, which will tweet along with the highlights.

Matt Dawson (@Matt9Dawson) said: “As a long-time Twitter user, I know Twitter is the perfect accompaniment to live sport — it has transformed the way that rugby fans connect with each other and with the game. I can only imagine the excitement that England fans would have shared on Twitter had it been around when we won the title in 2003.

“I’m really excited to be taking part in #RWC10YearsOn, re-living the game through TV highlights and through Tweets. It’ll be interesting to hear what the other lads and the fans have to say about the game.”

Fans can join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the event #RWC10YearsOn in their Tweets and following along on Twitter. Twitter has become the social soundtrack for TV with 95% of the online public conversation around television happens on the platform.

Twitter and rugby

When big sporting events happen in the real world, they happen on Twitter. In fact, seven out of the UK’s top 10 most-Tweeted about moments from 2012 were sport-related.

Twitter brings together many elements of being a rugby fan: the roar of the crowd, the opinions of pundits and commentators, the latest news, updates and rumours, plus it gives you the chance to get closer to the players themselves.

Earlier this year former England captain @WillCarling tweeted along with England’s Six Nations matches and took part in a Q&A with Twitter followers. England captain @ChrisRobshaw has been tweeting along throughout the season, and we’ve even seen All Blacks legend @DanCarter chatting to a host of sporting stars including England cricketer Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) in great only-on-Twitter moments.

#RWC10YearsOn will take place on Twitter and on ITV from 10.35pm this Friday November 22nd.