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Land Rover gets into the Rugby World Cup spirit with limited edition Defender

Published Sep 5, 2023


Remember four years ago when Sia Kolisi lifted the Rugby World Cup Trophy after soundly beating England in the final in Tokyo?

You may recall too that the Trophy was brought onto the field by the new Land Rover Defender which was then not yet officially launched.

I was privileged to be there, hosted by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and as a lover of the green oval and green and gold, was just as impressed by seeing it in the metal as I was by the Boks hoisting the trophy for a third time.

I lie. It was such a memorable victory especially because we were flanked by our English JLR hosts that included Professor Gerry McGovern JLR’s Chief Creative Officer.

Since then the Defender has been a fantastic success story with the company having launched various iterations of the 90, 110 and 130 with just as many engine, hybrid, plug-ins or EV options.

McGovern has been a staunch supporter of the ethos of the game we love, with JLR continuing to be a partner of the World Cup. And in true rugby and Defender innovation (think 7-1 split) 23 unique Rugby World Cup 2023 Limited Edition Defenders have been introduced into the French Market.

Their choice of powertrain is the P400e plug-in electric powertrain and will be offered to 23 hand picked customers in France and delivered from March 2024.

It takes its cue from the Defender Trophy Car for RWC 2023 which has been touring France showcasing the Webb Ellis Cup that has South Africa’s name on it three times, thank you very much, and will be showcased for the first time at a gala event this week at Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

The exterior is finished in Santorini Black, with 22-inch Satin Gold alloy wheels, matching bumper inserts, Defender script and signature graphic, as well as Rugby World Cup 2023 logos on the fender behind the front wheel. At night, puddle lamp graphics with the Rugby World Cup 2023 logo differentiate the Limited Edition Defender.

The inside is trimmed with Windsor Leather finished in Ebony, with matching Ebony headlining and blue contrast stitching on the seats and mats, as well as an embroidered Rugby World Cup 2023 logo on the front headrests.

There’s a laser-etched fascia end cap on the dashboard, with ‘Rugby World Cup France 2023’ script, and the individual number of each model complemented by illuminated tread plates with the same script and number.

If you’re lucky enough to be in France during RWC 2023 keep an eye out, and please JLR if we clinch number four, can we have a special Rugby World Cup Winner edition?