The BBC has confirmed it has secured live radio commentary rights for Rugby World Cup 2015, this year held on home ground in England and Wales, 18 September to 31 October.
The deal means BBC Radio is the only place to hear radio match commentary in full, offering audiences across the UK extensive coverage throughout the tournament, starting with the opening match between England v Fiji on Friday 18 September live on BBC Radio 5 live.
Rugby World Cup 2015 is the biggest sporting event to take place in the UK since the London Olympics. England will be hoping to emulate the success of Sir Clive Woodward’s 2003 World Cup winning side, with Six Nations rivals Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy leading the rest of the European challenge.
Reigning World Champions New Zealand who claimed victory on home soil back in 2011, along with fellow southern hemisphere giants South Africa and Australia, will be bidding to become the first side to lift the trophy three times.
Richard Burgess, Head of Radio Sport at the BBC, says: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer fans extensive commentary and coverage of Rugby World Cup 2015 across BBC radio and mobile output, giving audiences across the UK access to a wealth of content wherever they are. Our radio commentary is second to none and we’re looking forward to what will be a very exciting tournament. ”
World Rugby Chief Executive Officer, Brett Gosper, says: “World Rugby is excited about the appointment of BBC as the rights-holding radio broadcaster for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, which promises to be a very special record-breaking celebration of rugby. BBC’s passion for our sport, combined with their commitment to the highest-standards of production is great news for fans and also rugby’s ability to reach out and inspire new audiences.”
BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra will have extensive coverage of the tournament presented by Mark Pougatch and Sonja McLaughlan. Rugby correspondent Ian Robertson, whose voice is forever remembered for his legendary commentary on England’s win in 2003, will be joined by former England international Matt Dawson to lead the live coverage. A host of expert pundits and commentators will join them to bring the magic of the entire tournament to audiences, though a mix of live commentary and extensive match reports. In addition, Matt Dawson’s Rugby Show will preview and review the action each week throughout the tournament. All live commentary will also be streamed on the BBC Sport website.
BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru will bring all Wales’ matches live. Radio Wales coverage will be presented by Rick O’Shea with live commentary from Gareth Charles and Martyn Williams. Radio Cymru coverage will be presented by Cennydd Davies and Jonathan Davies.
BBC Scotland will feature live commentary of all Scotland games and BBC Radio Ulster will bring audiences in Northern Ireland live commentary on all Ireland’s games.
Throughout the tournament, BBC Local Radio will bring its listeners news, reports and information on all the matches as they take place around England.
There will be full coverage of the tournament on the BBC Sport website and via digital platforms and social media.