Irish sports fans who stopped by a bar in Dublin to watch a game got the shock of their lives when they came face to face with an iconic sporting legend.
It was part of a quiz machine prank set up by beer giant Heineken as part of their ‘It’s Your Call’ campaign.
Before opening hours Heineken installed a new sports based quiz machine in the Harry Byrnes pub. It was no ordinary machine as they managed to squeeze New Zealand rugby great Jonah Lomu inside.
Lomu sat behind the screen and waited patiently for the first player. As the pub filled up to watch the Ireland team on the screens it wasn’t long before people started to try out the machine.
The prizes, while better than the players might have expected, seemed a little confusing and unrealistic.
The screen flashed up the words ‘CONGRATULATIONS YOU’VE JUST WON A BALL SIGNED BY RUGBY LEGEND JONAH LOMU’.
The ball then dropped out of the vending slot at the bottom of the machine.
People became even more confused when Lomu started personalising the messages with comments such as ‘like the beard’ and ‘love the top’.
The prizes started to cause a stir in the bar, with people unsure exactly what to make of it all.
Eventually Irish rugby star Shane Horgan walked in with a bag full of rugby balls and banged on the side of the machine. He said: “Jonah your shift’s over.”
When the pub goers saw the New Zealand legend emerge from the machine the bar erupted in cheers.
Lomu is one of the greatest rugby players of all time and holds the record for number of tries scored at the World Cup.
He said: “The Irish are known for their sense of humour across the world, so I was delighted to put that to the test. Seeing peoples’ faces as they tried to figure out what was going on was a real highlight.”
One of the fans in the bar, Mark Crosbie said: “Everything was perfectly normal until people started receiving personalised merchandise from Jonah Lomu.
“A few people in the pub began questioning whether he was in fact in the building, but we all still got a huge surprise when Shane Horgan walked over and let him out of the box. He’s a big man, I’ve no idea how he fitted into it.”
Heineken’s ‘It’s Your Call’ campaign gives fans a chance to be there at the coin toss ahead of one of Ireland’s World Cup matches this autumn.
Take a look at the video below.