Land Rover Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender revealed

Published: 22 May 2015

► Another one-off Defender unveiled
► This one’s to celebrate Rugby World Cup
► Spearheads 100-day Webb Ellis Cup tour

Land Rover has built a one-off Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender to transport the Webb Ellis Cup on a nationwide tour ahead of this autumn’s championship in Great Britain.

The bespoke Defender has an illuminated, temperature-controlled trophy cabinet in the boot to showcase the diminutive rugby trophy, last won by England in 2003’s memorable final against Australia. It will tour the UK and Ireland in a 100-day roadshow in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup.

It was created by Jaguar Land Rover’s nascent Special Vehicle Operations team, the specialists who make go-faster products such as the Range Rover SVR tested here and go-faster F-types. The company is pushing the Defender hard in its last year on sale – designer Paul Smith has already penned his unique one-off Defender.

Another Thames-side publicity stunt: the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender is based on a long-wheelbase 110 Station Wagon 2.2 diesel, wrapped in promotional livery, rugby colours and stadium-style auxiliary lights for the night-match experience; it was unveiled this morning in a publicity stunt in central London, as Land Rover floated a giant 8.2m-high rugby ball 25 miles down the Thames from Tilbury Dock to the middle of town.

Land Rover floats a giant rugby ball down the Thames

Former England veteran Lewis Moody drove the Defender to the event. It should keep the Webb Ellis Cup safe – it’s shrouded in protective security glass and special climate control is designed to prevent fogging (often a problem in the ageing Defender).

Land Rover is a major sponsor of this autumn’s Rugby World Cup. The nationwide tour starts on 10 June 2015, in the run-up to the championship’s opening ceremony in Twickenham on 18 September.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet