Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
Most likely the first American rugby movie ever made “Forever Strong” is based on true stories from the national high school powerhouse Highland Rugby team. The part of legendary Highland Coach Larry Gelwix is played by Gary Cole. Sean Faris stars as a troubled rugby player who is sent to a boy’s home in Salt Lake City and ends up playing for Gelwix against his Father’s team in the National Championship.
The movie boasts a solid cast that also includes Seas Astin and Neal McDonough. Players from both the University of Utah and BYU were used in the filming of the rugby scenes. The movie website just went live and can be found at http://www.foreverstrongmovie.com/. The website has very little to see at this point other than the movie poster and a video of the team doing the Haka.
Click here to see a promotional video montage of interviews with the cast and director mixed in with a decent amount of clips from the film itself. The film has been “in the can” for quite some time and the producers seem to have worked out the distribution rights. Directed by Ryan Little, the film is set to finally hit the big screen this coming Fall.
Scrape away the teenage angst and we have what appears to be a film that actually takes rugby seriously. For years I have worried that when we finally got a rugby movie on the big screen it would be the rugby equivalent of The Waterboy with all of the cliche negative stereotypes. Hopefully this movie will shine a positive light on rugby and will help inspire more people to give rugby at try here in the USA. I’d also like to see it do well at the box office, because someone really needs to do a movie based on the 1924 USA Olympic rugby gold medal squad. If there was ever the potential for a rugby movie to rally support throughout the USA, that would be it. Their story is amazing.