Russell Crowe turned down the chance to present a prize at the 2015 Academy Awards on Sunday because he wanted to watch his beloved Australian rugby team play in a crucial match.

The Gladiator star snubbed the glamorous Oscars ceremony to see the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the club he co-owns, defeat Britain’s St Helens team in the rugby league’s World Club Challenge.

Crowe told the BBC, “I’m actually supposed to be presenting tonight (at the Academy Awards) with Ryan Gosling, but when they told me the date, I was like ‘Oh sorry I (have) got a previous engagement’.”

The New Zealander has supported the team since he was a child and became co-owner in 2006

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