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BBC Radio scoops Rugby World Cup rights

BBC Radio has secured the rights to the 2015 Rugby World Cup - the biggest sports event to take place in the UK since the London Olympics.

The deal means BBC Radio will be the only place to hear radio match commentary in full between 18th September and 31st October, 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.

Where to listen
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 Radio Scotland will feature live commentary of all Scotland games.

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 digital platforms with live commentary to UK users.

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.”

TV coverage is on ITV. (STV in central and northern Scotland; UTV in Northern Ireland.)


  1. Although it wasn't too surprising ITV opted for John Inverdale to front their coverage I did think they might have used Mark Pougatch for this in an effort to make him the face of ITV Sport considering they'll be much less football on the channel next year.


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