The Rugby World Cup has started. It’s a long ‘un too – 44 days of oval-shaped action taking place across England and Wales. That means rugby fans are going to need every tool possible at their disposal so they don’t miss a moment; and for those not so interested in the sport it might be a good time to brush up on some of its finer points.
We’ve pulled together 15 apps that can help you through the Rugby World Cup in different ways. In rugby points that would be three tries worth of apps!
The Rugby Squad
ITV Rugby World Cup 2015 Here in the UK, broadcaster ITV has been doing a pretty commendable job of shouting from the rooftops about this major event coming to home turf, and it seems they’re pretty app savvy too. Available on iOS and Android, the app has sections on news and fixtures as well as a “Kick It!” game and polling mechanism designed to involve users in discussion of the tournament.
Irish Rugby The rugby unions of the ‘Home Nations’ appear to have embraced app technology to different degrees – fairly comprehensive efforts from Ireland and Wales; a token presence from England and sadly nothing official from Scotland. The official Irish Rugby app features up to date news, fixtures and results, player profiles and more – including handy links to other important outlets like YouTube and Where its Live.
The Official WRU App The Welsh Rugby Union’s app also offers – unsurprisingly – news, team details and fixtures. It’s a little bit flat compared to its Irish counterpart however – more like maneuvering around a fairly basic mobile version of a website than a standalone app. It also seems like making money comes first here, with the top links being those to tickets, hospitality and the WRU store.
Ruckley’s Tryfest As mentioned above, neither the English or Scottish rugby unions have invested in anything like their British Isles counterparts. You can download apps to view match day programmes for both, and England have also opted for the “if in doubt, do something for the kids” approach to marketing. This is where Ruckley’s Tryfest comes in. Ruckley is the canine mascot of the Rugby Football Union and this game sees the player lead the bulldog and a team of humans through 40 levels, picking up skills and abilities as they go.
Official Rugby World Cup 2015 App Last but not least we come to the tournament’s own app. Not meaning this in a cynical way, but it’s everything that an app which has had lots of sponsors’ money thrown at it should be – bright, colourful, easy to use and with lots of content. It’s available on iOS and Android and in a variety of languages. There are quizzes, news and fixtures, as well as a social buzz giving the user a live feed of the social media content from all competing teams.
London Official City Guide 12 cities will welcome out of town visitors to Rugby World Cup matches they are hosting… we were able to find official guide apps for less than half of those. We’ll not dwell too much on London as it gets a lot of focus on here, and it shouldn’t surprise us too much that the capital has its own app for tourists. Considering tourists are likely to turn to their smartphones and tablets when visiting new cities, the likes of Birmingham and Cardiff – which present themselves as destinations not just when the rugby is in town – should be asking themselves why they haven’t joined London and the cities below on app stores.
Brighton Official City Guide Brighton’s a cool place, so as we expected the people at VisitBrighton have produced an app. Alongside the usual sections on where to stay, what’s on etc there’s a decent amount of interactivity in the form of itineraries to follow in Brighton & Hove’s various “city villages” and a favourites function to help you build your own itinerary.
Manchester Walking Tours Marketing Manchester has come up with a pretty slick app for helping visitors explore this northern powerhouse. Developed with local digital design company magneticNorth using their Under the Paving Stones platform the app employs GPS to trigger audio and visual content for the user as they explore Manchester at their own pace.
Amazing MK Hats off to Milton Keynes, the new town with vision. Last year a city-wide Internet of Things network was trialled here and, yes, Destination Milton Keynes have produced a handy app for visitors. What else would you expect from a town that doubled for utopian Metropolis in Superman IV? The app – like the town – is functional. Not so much cause for the walking tours of Brighton and Manchester, but plenty of information on shopping, nightlife etc for visiting rugby fans.
Official NewcastleGateshead City Guide Newcastle is a proud city, so it’s only natural that the powers that be there would want to promote Tyneside in app format. As well as helping rugby fans with the important matter at hand, the What’s On guide will also keep them up to date on Newcastle and Gateshead’s packed cultural calendars should they have any spare time. Maps and a search function for hotels, restaurants and so on make it a pretty user friendly experience.
The Best of the Rest
Trainline We’ll finish with a couple more practical apps for the travelling fans, before we look at a couple for those who don’t have tickets. First up it’s trusty old Trainline. If you find yourself stranded anywhere in the UK and needing to catch a train, this is the go to app. That you can purchase tickets on the app and download them to your device is a welcome bonus. Above all else, it’s much easier to get train time info here than it is on any of the rail operators’ own outlets. Oh, and Trainline is available on Apple Watch too.
Premier Inn Hotels Most rugby fans will have their accommodation booked and, to be honest, it might be a struggle to find a room if you’re needing one. But, plans change and if you do need to look for lodgings then you could do worse than turning to Premier Inn. They’ve got a pretty easy to use app which is clear on pricing and gives good prominence to TripAdvisor ratings on your search results. If nothing else that soothing image of the sleeping moon on their logo might calm you down in a moment of accommodation crisis.
MatchPint Okay, so we’ve established how to find when the games are on, and how to navigate the host cities – but if you’re not a ticketholder WHERE are you going to watch the matches? Check out MatchPint – the perfect companion to the British pastime of watching sport with a drink in hand. It’s a really handy app that shows you which bars are showing which matches, providing maps for finding them with and in many cases even offers on food and drink at said establishments.
Paddy Power Sports Betting There are a lot of betting apps out there. We choose this one as an example partly because of their cheeky advertising that sometimes appeals to us, but more so as they are reputable like the big high street names. If you fancy a flutter on the rugby (or the football, or the horse racing, or the golf…) then you shouldn’t have any problem doing so here. Look out for special offers when you sign up for the first time. There are also side games like roulette that you can play when you’re placing your main bet. Just be responsible, eh?
Haka 360 We think we’ve saved the best til last here – something truly unique and inspired by New Zealand’s might All Blacks team. Even if you don’t know your rugby you’ll be aware of the Maori ritual that the All Blacks do at the start of every game. To put rugby fans in the spirit, All Blacks sponsor AIG has come up with Haka 360 – a virtual reality app that gives the user a 360 degree experience of a powerful haka. They suggest immersing yourself by plugging in earphones and pumping up the volume; not only that but they’ve released a limited supply of Haka 360 viewers and even tell you how to make your own…