The story of the men who cycled 20 000km to get the whistle to the Rugby World Cup

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Ron Rutland and James Owens cycled 20 000km to get the opening match whistle to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
  • Their journey took them across 27 countries.
  • Everything In Between is their story and will now screen on Showmax and SuperSport.

Everything In Between documents Ron Rutland and James Owens’ epic 20 000km bicycle trip from London, across Europe and Asia to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The film will screen on Showmax and SuperSport in May.

Some two years in the making, the documentary was co-produced by Andrew King and Greg Fell from Cape Town production house, Fell + Co.

It not only delves deep into the fortitude (both physical and mental) it took to pedal across 27 countries, but also provides an inspirational exploration of human connections that transcend all cultural differences.

An inspiring story

What started as a rather simple, but very ambitious, plan of transporting – by bicycle – the match whistle for the opening game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, turned into an epic saga.

"This film tells one of the great stories of human endeavour and sport for good, and is a fantastic tribute to Ron, James and the people they met during their Race to Rugby World Cup 2019," commented Alan Gilpin, Chief Executive Officer of World Rugby.

Set to the backdrop of some of Eastern Europe and Western Asia’s most spectacular and rarely-seen landscapes and overlaid with music by international composers, Jason Tse (Hong Kong) and Nathaniel Edgar (Canada), as well as tracks from local South African artists Wild Eastern Arches and Alice Phoebe Lou, the endearing tales of Rutland and Owens’ encounters with the local peoples will resonate with a broad audience.

TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 19: Referee Nigel Owens w
Referee Nigel Owens welcomes cyclists Ron Rutland and James Owens who delivered the official Referee whistle for the opening match of the Rugby World Cup after cycling from London. (Photo by Clive Rose - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images,)

More than just an expedition

Indeed, the journey – as with most of Rutland’s epic endeavours – was about far more than ‘just’ delivering the match whistle. The expedition, billed as The Race to the Rugby World Cup helped raise over R2 000 000 for the official RWC charity, Child Fund.

"For World Rugby, being part of this great Rugby World Cup adventure with the support of our friends at DHL was the perfect way to raise awareness of the wonderful work that Child Fund are doing through the Pass It Back program, using rugby and its values to teach life skills in disadvantaged communities," Gilpin added.

For the Fell + Co team, the philosophy on projects such as these is always to keep it as authentic as possible, and this comes through in the raw, un-scripted documentary style of the film.

"Sure, the rugby audience has been starved of content," said Greg Fell, "but we wanted to make a film that didn’t appeal only to them, so having it on a premium network with a VOD platform was always part of the plan for us. We’re excited to have it screen on both Showmax and SuperSport," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.