With two days to go until the start of Rugby World Cup 2015, the broadcasting of the tournament will be key to the majority of fans’ enjoyment so who will we be listening to and watching?
ITV Sport will be the host broadcaster on television and have already revealed their team. On the presenting front John Inverdale will lead match day coverage with BT Sport’s Craig Doyle and ITV’s Mark Durden-Smith also fronting matches.
Lead commentary will be provided by BT Sport’s Nick Mullins and Sky Sports’ Miles Harrison along with regular voices from ITV’s Aviva Premiership highlights programme Simon Ward and Martin Gillingham along with Jon Champion.
Their co-commentators should provide plenty of astute insight and the line-up offers an impressive array of former players and coaches covering the various nations taking part. These include Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Jason Robinson, Sir Clive Woodward, Brian O’Driscoll, Gareth Thomas, Sir Ian McGeechan, Francois Pienaar, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh, George Gregan, Maggie Alphonsi, David Flatman, Geordan Murphy, Scott Hastings, Shane Williams and one of the game’s best analysts in recent years, Ben Kay.
Reporting duties will come from Jill Douglas, Fran Donovan, Gabriel Clarke and Hagrid’s body double, Martin Bayfield.
On radio, the BBC are the UK’s host broadcaster and will offer live commentaries from every match in the tournament. Mark Pougatch and Sonja McLaughlan will present while Ian Robertson, Alastair Eykyn, Sara Orchard, Chris Jones, Andrew Cotter, Gareth Lewis and Iain Carter will commentate.
Their punditry team will feature former All-Black fly-half Andrew Mehrtens along with Justin Marshall, Matt Burke, Matt Dawson, Jonathan Davies, Paul Grayson, Gavin Hastings, Dennis Hickie, Rob Jones, John Kirwan and Ugo Monye.
Internationally, IMG will once again manage a world radio feed for those countries unable to send or staff commentators of their own to matches. This feed will also be available on the official Rugby World Cup smartphone app and a World Rugby station on the popular Tune-In Radio platform. It will also feature in-stadia on devices on sale at games where channel 1 will feature the referee’s mic, channel 2 will be the world feed commentary and channel 3 will feature audio to accompany big screen coverage and a beginners commentary designed to appeal to new fans of the game.
The commentary team for the world feed will include talkSPORT’s lead man for the Lions tour in 2013 Andrew McKenna, ITV and Rugby Media’s own Nick Heath, BBC Radio’s James Burridge, Eurosport’s Jonathan Harris-Bass and more. Second voice remarks will come from the likes of former Ireland international Kevin Maggs, Tom May, Florent Rossigneux, David Humpreys, Sir John Kirwan, former England coach Dick Best and other ex-players.
To hear Nick Heath’s commentary during the tournament, tune in via the Rugby World Cup app or Tune-In radio for South Africa v Japan, Samoa v USA, South Africa v Samoa, Australia v Uruguay or Argentina v Namibia or on the in-stadia device if you’re at any of the games.