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Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony 2015

Nearly 10 million UK viewers watched the RWC 2015 opening ceremony, the most-viewed sports event in the UK to date!  What a fantastic platform for Quantum to showcase our special effects.

Created by Unspun Creative and Kim Gavin who also brought us the London 2012 Olympics ceremonies, the theme of the opening was to tell the story of rugby’s birth. This started with a VT of William Webb Ellis picking up and running with the ball back in 1823, he kicked the ball into the stadium that then brought the viewers to a live theatrical experience in Twickenham.  When the giant rugby ball had “landed” in the centre of the pitch we launched 16 x red 275ft crackle comets firing for 3 seconds.

© Andy Hooper

These were released in tandem with 8 of our custom Spitfire Flames, 4 located on either side of the pitch. In order to protect the pitch from any damage and to ensure a lightening fast turn around before the game kicked off, we developed the mobility of our Spitfires specifically to fit the needs for the event.


As the clumps of cracked earth were pushed up from the ground our SPDs (Spark Producing Device) gave the feeling of the earth erupting as rugby players emerged from underground with our smoke machines adding to the effect.

© Adrian Pennington

As the ball was revealed, we fired 3 hits of 8 positioned 275ft red comet. On the final hit of comets we fired 2 of our signature fireballs – the Harvey – and the same 8 spitfires for a two second duration.


The final, official segment of the ceremony saw stone heads being pulled up from the ground, clouded in smoke (our scotty smoke machines) before a finale of fireworks were launched from the roof of the stadium.


In the words of HRH Prince Harry, Game On!

Effects Used

Find out more about some of the effects we used at this event.

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