Ben Kay, Jill Douglas & Jon Champion join ITV RWC team



ITV looks ahead to Rugby World Cup 2015 with the announcement of a stellar line-up to bring viewers exclusive coverage of this year’s biggest sporting event.

ITV will provide live coverage of every single match throughout the six weeks of the tournament, hosted by England, and today unveiled a line-up of legends from across the world of rugby who will provide the very best insight and analysis from the opening fixture on 18 September, through to the final on 31 October.

Leading the broadcaster’s team will be presenter John Inverdale, who will be joined by a team of pundits who can draw upon personal experience of competing for the sport’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup.

They include Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jason Robinson, members of England’s victorious 2003 team, along with their coach Sir Clive Woodward, former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, former Scotland coach Sir Ian McGeechan, South Africa’s 1995 World Cup winning captain, Francois Pienaar, former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick, part of the side which won the inaugural tournament in 1987, Australia’s Michael Lynagh, who triumphed in 1991, his countryman George Gregan, who won the trophy in 1999, England Women World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, and former England international, David Flatman.

Mark Durden-Smith and Craig Doyle will also be presenters for the tournament.  Joining them with a wealth of experience in the commentary box will be Nick Mullins, Miles Harrison, Jon Champion, Martin Gillingham and Simon Ward, plus co-commentators Geordan Murphy, Scott Hastings, Shane Williams and Ben Kay. Bringing viewers all the latest developments from in and around the stadia will be reporters Jill Douglas, Fran Donovan, Gabriel Clarke and Martin Bayfield.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “A Rugby World Cup hosted by England is a once in a generation event and it’s our privilege as the exclusive television broadcaster to bring viewers the full impact of all the action and emotion throughout what we hope will be an unforgettable tournament.

“We believe we’ve assembled a world-class line up of rugby talent who, through their own expertise, experience and sheer passion for the game can help deliver the best possible coverage for those watching at home.”

ITV will be announcing more details of its coverage plans for the tournament later in the year.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “World Rugby is excited about ITV’s coverage plans for England 2015, which promises to be the most-viewed Rugby World Cup to date. ITV’s commitment to the highest-standards of production and innovation is great news for existing fans and also rugby’s ability to reach out and inspire new audiences across the UK and around the world.”

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