• Research from O2 highlights that three in four Brits believe their sport superstition has resulted in their team winning 
  • Jonny Wilkinson’s tournament winning drop goal in 2003 is named top rugby moment, as he’s also voted Brits’ favourite rugby player of all time 
  • The news comes as thousands of rugby fans from around the world flock to France to watch their teams battle it out for the tournament title 
  • O2 customers can benefit from free EU Roaming throughout the competition in France as well as access to exclusive deals such as discounted England shirts and hotel offers via Priority 

New research from O2 reveals sports fans’ unusual pre-match rituals, as rugby fans get behind their team throughout the current tournament in France.   

A huge three in four Brits believe that their pre-match ritual has successfully resulted in their team winning, with the most common sport related rituals being crossing fingers (14%), singing the national anthem (12%), wearing the team shirt (12%), watching games in the same place (11%) and always watching games with certain people (11%).  

When it comes to Brits choosing their favourite ever rugby player, Jonny Wilkinson (16%) came out on top followed by followed by Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll (10%), Wales’ Gareth Edwards (9%) and the late Jonah Lomu (8%). 

Despite England fans’ pride for their national teams, nearly half (48%) admit they don’t sing along to the national anthem, while 37% are happy to sing it out loud. Of those choosing to sing loud and proud, 53% are aged 35-55 while it seems older fans are more reluctant, with just 27% of 55+ choosing to sing. When voting for their favourite national anthem, Scotland, Wales and USA were voted the best aside from England’s. 

With thousands of England fans travelling to France, they’ll be taking in the local culture, cuisine and sights. However, more than two thirds (67%) have said that they prefer English food to French food. Those travelling to France should also be mindful of roaming fees as nearly half (45%) are unaware that extra costs to use your phone while away in Europe may now apply.  So, in a bid to give back to the fans, O2 has launched its ‘Wear la Rose’ campaign, which centres around a unique piece of art commissioned to immortalise the role that fans play in rugby. O2 customers heading to France can also use their texts, minutes and data as they would at home without fear of unexpected roaming charges, as O2 is the only major UK provider to offer inclusive EU roaming at no extra cost, up to 25GB.  

Gareth Griffiths, Director, Partnerships and Sponsorships at Virgin Media O2, said: “As sports fans, we all have our own superstitions and it’s incredible to see so many people believe their good luck rituals have helped their team to victory. 

“With the England squad in France right now, whether fans are watching from home or are lucky enough to be in the stands, with free roaming from O2 they’ll be able to share all the action with family and friends.” 

O2 reveals Brits’ top five sporting moments: 





Sporting moment 

% of Brits admitting their favourite England sporting moment 
1st   England winning the World Cup in 1966   31% 
2nd  England Lionesses winning Euro 2022  25% 


Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon Tennis in 2013  19% 
Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal to secure England the tournament in Australia in 2003 
4th  England cricket team beating New Zealand to win their first ever World Cup in 2019  13% 
5th    Leicester City’s Premier League title win in 2016  11% 
England win the Rugby World Cup in 2003 


Customers on O2, proud partner of England Rugby, can grab themselves a bargain via Priority, with a host of deals and discounts including 30% off a new England rugby shirt. And for those lucky enough to go to France, O2 is the only major UK mobile network to offer inclusive EU roaming, so they can continue to use their phone as they would at home without any hidden roaming fees. 


Notes to Editor 

  • Survey of 2,000 UK adults. 
  • O2 is the only major network provider to offer all customers inclusive EU roaming at no additional cost as standard, up to 25GB. This means O2 customers can enjoy their inclusive texts, minutes, and data while in Europe as they would at home. 
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