RTÉ has revealed the detail of its comprehensive cross-platform coverage of the Rugby World Cup.
Details of programmes, presenters and special features were unveiled in Dublin City centre last night and the broadcaster will be turning Japanese over the next seven weeks.
While eir Sport has the rights to broadcast all 48 of the games live, and will host their own programme launch later today, they reached agreement for a share of the games featuring Ireland and through the knockout stages with RTÉ to satisfy the requirement for free to air broadcasting
Former Irish internationals Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris will provide expert opinion and analysis throughout the tournament alongside World Cup-winning Australian captain Michael Lynagh, Irish 6 Nations-winning captain Fiona Coghlan, and former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan.
Brent Pope, Bernard Jackman, Ian Madigan, Rob Penney and Alastair Kellock complete RTÉ’s line-out.
Daire O’Brien will present coverage of all the live games on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player with Donal Lenihan alongside Hugh Cahill on commentary.
Clare MacNamara will present a total of 16 highlights programmes.
“We are delighted to follow the Irish journey in a hugely anticipated World Cup,” said RTÉ Head of Sport, Declan McBennett.
“Across all of our platforms RTÉ will bring the best coverage, the best analysis and the most comprehensive overview of the Irish performance.”
“Together with total coverage of the knockout phase the tournament promises to deliver amazing moments and stories to match.”
RTÉ Player and 2fm will be turning Japanese with original shows and specially themed segments. Brand new RTÉ Player shows include Trying Japanese, a challenge-based studio show where Ireland’s biggest rugby fans, including a host of familiar faces get a taste for all things Japanese.
Punter V Pundit will see well known faces go head-to-head with RTÉ Sport’s top analysts to give their match predictions.
In The Opposition in 60 Seconds with Greg O’Shea, the Love Island winner and Ireland Rugby 7s International will breakdown all you need to know about the team Ireland next face; and the Game in 60 Seconds will see each 80 minutes of action broken down in just one minute.
2fm will also look to extend Ireland’s role in the tournament beyond a traditional sports audience.
Doireann Garrihy and Eoghan McDermott will challenge some of Ireland’s best known acts to step it out in a Sumo Wrestling tournament, while through the mid morning slot Jennifer Zamparelli has a challenge of her own called Jen’s Yen.
Kicking-off with the Opening Ceremony and Japan v Russia in the tournament’s opening game from Tokyo on Friday 21 September, RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player will have live coverage of 14 games in total including Ireland v Scotland from Yokohama on Sunday 22nd September, Ireland v Japan on Saturday 28th September in Shizuoka, Ireland v Russia on Thursday 3rd October in Kobe and Ireland v Samoa on Saturday 12th October in Fukuoka.
Michael Corcoran will have live commentary of all of Ireland’s games on RTÉ Radio 1 and will be joined on commentary by Bernard Jackman, former Munster head coach Rob Penney and for Ireland v Scotland, former Scottish international Alastair Kellock.
Ian Madigan, Fiona Coghlan and Bernard Jackman will make-up the RTÉ Radio 1 panel.
RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player will also have live coverage of France v Tonga on Sunday 6th October along with all of the knockout stages – quarter-finals, semi-finals, the bronze final and the final itself on Sunday 2 November from Yokohama.
RTÉ.ie will have live blogs, match reports, reaction and analysis from columnists Jonny Holland, Stephen Ferris, Fiona Steed and others.
RTÉ News will feature all the breaking stories from Japan on TV and Radio and there will be twice weekly podcasts featuring the likes of Daire O’Brien, Eddie O’Sullivan, Donal Lenihan and Bernard Jackman.
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Image Credits: David Fitzgerald, Sportsfile