Agency: VCCP
Date: Sep 2019
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As the England prepares for the first match in the Rugby World Cup this weekend in Japan, its veteran shirt sponsor O2 has launched a call to arms campaign to rile support for the squad.

Eager to submerge the England’s squad into Japanese culture, the ad campaign portrays the English ‘knights’ as samurai warriors with the traditional armour modified to reflect the England rugby shirt.

Created by VCCP, the spot opens with mysterious riders busting into a remote forest settlement to rouse shadowy inhabitants into action - signalling O2’s support for the team.

They help them forge and fit the rose-bearing armour of the England team, including England captain Owen Farrell alongside teammates Maro Itoje, Jonny May, Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Elliot Daly. The 'fans' work to dye the traditional iron plates white and painting a red rose on the front, topped with a white kabuki helmet with a bristling moustache that was designed to strike fear into the enemy.

The England team are then seen being suited in the modified samurai armour before they march through the town, as hooded figures take off their cloaks to reveal other members of the team.

Armed with the uniquely customised English samurai armour the fans have made, the players ride off to take on the tournament. The spot is heightened by Claire Wyndham's whispery 'My Love Will Never Die.'