In the run-up to this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, where men’s rugby will dominate the headlines, Guinness last night unveiled the latest ad in its ‘Made of More’ series. Liberty Fields took two years to make and recounts the inspirational story of a Japanese women’s rugby team who stood together in the face of societal pressure in the late ‘80s to pursue their passion for the game.
The minute-long ad tells the remarkable tale of these women who defied the social conventions of 80s Japan by forming an ultimately indomitable rugby team.
In 1989 Tokyo, women’s rugby was almost unheard of and the team faced ridicule and hostility from all angles. Despite their humble beginnings, they soon became one of the strongest sides around and many of them were selected to represent their country in the Women’s World Cup.
Liberty Fields RFC played at this level despite having no coach, no doctor and very little support instead, relying on what they did have – a team.
Balancing training with jobs and families, they set a new level for women’s sport in Japan, showing what you can achieve with grit, determination and an unbreakable spirit.
The new campaign was launched at a reception in the Open Gate Brewery last night where a discussion panel comprising Irish rugby international Jamie Heaslip, former women’s rugby star Lynn Cantwell and RTE Sports Producer Elaine Buckley discussed with MC Paddy McKenna the increasing attention being paid to the role of women in sport.
The ‘Liberty Fields’ story is told in more detail through a five-minute documentary.
Previous Guinness outings have included ‘Sisters’, which told the story of two sisters who rose through rugby to eventually play for opposing England and Scotland national teams and ‘Never Alone’, which recounted the poignant story of Gareth Thomas who through the strength he received from his team had the courage to become the first openly gay professional rugby union player.