With the Highest Social Interactions Among Fans

This October saw the majority of the much-awaited Rugby World Cup 2019 played in its stunning host nation – Japan.  The ninth edition of the tournament, the first to be played in Asia, brought rugby to new markets and, importantly, to new fanbases. With Japan’s knockout stage success, England’s run to the final and ultimately South Africa’s historic World Cup triumph came some great activity on social from the players involved – let’s take a look at who did what and ranked where…

It’s Sonny Bill…Still!

Despite his tender 34 years and reduced game time at the Rugby World Cup 2019, Sonny Bill Williams made our Top Three for the month due to his impressive 336.6K Twitter engagements alone. With the perennially popular Sonny Bill announcing his move to Toronto Wolfpack to follow the World Cup – in what is being called ‘a Beckham-MLS’ style deal – it’s hardly surprising that he remains one of rugby’s hottest properties on social. 

Sinckler’s Month of Growth

The south London man who wittily named himself the #TootingTrain in a recent social post certainly arrived into the station in October with impressive performances on the pitch in England’s run to the Rugby World Cup Final – and his social media impact followed suit. Sinckler rose 10 places in the Hookit Rankings amassing 175.9K interactions and posting 18 times in the month, and his cruel injury blow in the final fixture could see his affinity with fans rise still.

All Blacks Topping The Charts

While the tournament didn’t have the end result New Zealand’s All Blacks would have dreamed of, their players’ impact on social is still standout – occupying no less than four spots in the Hookit Top Ten including all Top Three positions! New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara took the ranking’s first and second spots respectively. Perenara’s strong social traction was likely, at least in part, due to a humbling Instagram Story surprise shared by his wife in which he flew members of his family to Japan from New Zealand for a bit of moral support following his country’s World Cup exit, warming the hearts of many. As for first place Beauden Barrett, it’s no wonder his content resonated so well – he showed what rugby stars get up to off the pitch, including golfing with Rory McIlroy, alongside plenty of engaging, more All Blacks focused posts. 

Wrap Up

After a truly inspiring tournament on which Japan can look back proudly, and with France already readying itself to host its version in four years time, rest assured social will continue to be a crucial fan touchpoint with both players and teams in the years between. More interesting still will be how brands maximise the partnerships they have with those players and teams in an authentic way that continues to keep that content relevant to the fans that consume it.


Written by Luke Auty

Based in Europe, Luke joined Hookit after previously working at both SAP and McLaren. Away from work he’s a passionate Fulham Football Club fan (his highlight was the team’s Europa League Final run in 2010), loves to travel and has recently taken up yoga to try and keep his knees working!


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