‘Cinderella’ story in Oz

Rugby players will don jerseys advertising Crowe pic

A rugby team promoting a boxing film?

It’s got to be one of the stranger marketing efforts, but that’s what you get when you mix Russell Crowe and his beloved but beleaguered South Sydney rugby club.

Crowe and BVI’s Down Under topper Alan Finney have inked a deal for players to don jerseys sporting a “Cinderella Man” logo for eight weeks starting July.

The team’s regular sponsor, Real Insurance, even agreed to transfer its logo to the backs of jerseys during the campaign.

“Cinderella Man” was pegged for release in Oz in June but was pushed back to October following the Oscar scoop by that other boxing pic, “Million Dollar Baby.”

As a result, the jersey campaign will precede “Cinderella’s” release by two months. It couldn’t roll out any later because September is primetime for rugby finals.

Crowe has no formal relationship with South Sydney other than being a huge fan. The team — part of the Rupert Murdoch-backed National Rugby League — was dropped from the league during a consolidation in 1999, but a concerted campaign by supporters, including Crowe, got it reinstated in 2002.

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