Ladbrokes today ‘proved’ that “rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentleman” to celebrate the start of the Rugby World Cup. The bookies announced the results of their ‘Who’s Got the Balls’ experiment to the end the debate around one of the biggest talking points between fans and players of both sports.
With discussion around the virtues of each sport set to reach fever pitch over the next six weeks, Ladbrokes recruited Austin Healey and Jimmy Bullard to prove whether the old adage ‘rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentleman, football is gentleman’s game played by hooligan’s‘ still rings true.
The two legends each lead an amateur team from their respective sports into battle on three challenges. The challenges are available to watch now at LadbrokesRugby.com and were inspired by the following values attributed to being a gentleman:

• Finesse – ‘A gentleman is appropriately characterised by the elegance of his actions, by the refinement of his mannerisms’

• Courage – ‘A true gentleman has about him an air of quiet strength and an ability to tackle any challenge with confidence’

• Aura – ‘A gentlemen must be able to remain calm under pressure, and never more so that when the stakes are at their highest’

The campaign has been developed as part of Ladbrokes social media strategy to be part of the Rugby World Cup conversation. The content was developed to excite both football and rugby digital channels, given the extensive reach of the digital football community

Rugby Captain, Austin Healey, said: “Fair play to the ‘wuss-ballers’, they tried! I think Ladbrokes would have given you quite long odds on beating us at anything related to pain thresholds, we’re the ultimate gentlemen both on and off the field of play. Hopefully this will inspire Stuart’s boys to bring back the World Cup back where it belongs.”

Football Captain, Jimmy Bullard, said: “Although we may have lost, we’re still better looking! Only joking, sport is the real winner at the end of the day and even though the last time I picked up a rugby ball was in Year seven, I’ll be swapping my Three Lions for the Red Rose and am backing England at 4/1 to win the World Cup!”

Jessica Bridge, Ladbrokes PR Manager commented, “This is a debate that has raged between these two great sports for decades and a home Rugby World Cup provides the perfect opportunity to finally settle the argument once and for all. Although some may question the scientific credibility of our experiment, the one certainty is that the home nation fans are backing their boys to do them proud!”