Sky Sports to show womens' Rugby World Cup this summer
Last Updated: 06/03/14 11:12am
Sky Sports will show the biggest event in women's rugby union this summer, with exclusive live coverage of the Women's Rugby World Cup in the UK.
The top twelve nations will compete in France this August and Sky Sports will show the semi-finals and final plus pool stage matches live. England will be hoping to lift the trophy having finished runners-up in the last three Women's Rugby World Cups and recording their only win twenty years ago in 1994.
The deal also includes live coverage of the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 in New Zealand. The annual competition, which is contested by the top 12 men's under-20 national teams in the world, saw England lift the trophy to be crowned champions last year. Sky Sports will show pool stage matches plus the semi-finals and final.
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: "It's fantastic that this summer we will have the best women's rugby on Sky, adding to our strong year-round portfolio of women's sport. It's also great news we'll get to showcase the stars of the future in the Junior World Championship across our channels. Both tournaments are going to be excellent additions to our unrivalled coverage of the game and our summer of live sport."
"It's brilliant news that the World Cup will be live on Sky Sports. The team and I can't wait to play in the tournament knowing that women's rugby will be taken to a wide audience and all our fans, friends and family can watch us back home."
Bernard Lapasset, IRB Chairman, added: "Sky Sports are renowned for their passion and support for rugby and we are delighted to be extending our partnership with a broadcaster who shares our vision for women's and age grade rugby. It's also further proof of the great leaps made by the women's game. In a Women's Rugby World Cup year and with the growth of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series, it's good to see the game reaching out to new audiences."
Katy McLean, England women's rugby team captain said: "It's brilliant news that the World Cup will be live on Sky Sports. The team and I can't wait to play in the tournament knowing that women's rugby will be taken to a wide audience and all our fans, friends and family can watch us back home."
Sky Sports will be the exclusive UK broadcaster for the Women's Rugby World Cup and IRB Junior World Championship and the only English language broadcaster in Ireland covering the tournaments.
Sky Sports offers an unrivalled choice of women's sport, with a year-round schedule offering live cricket, netball, rugby, golf, tennis, athletics and more. Fans can also catch the latest women's news, views and analysis on Sky Sports News throughout the week, including Sportswomen, the weekly women's sport show every Tuesday.
The coverage of both events strengthens Sky Sports' unrivalled portfolio of live international rugby union coverage. Only on Sky Sports can viewers enjoy international summer tours plus England, Ireland, France and Italy Autumn Internationals and The Rugby Championship from the southern hemisphere. The year-round calendar also includes continued European rugby action, a new deal for live PRO12 matches, women's matches, Sevens and domestic rugby. Plus there is live coverage of Super Rugby and a wealth of programming.
The commentary and studio line up on Sky Sports boasts some of the biggest names in rugby union with eight members having played for or against the Lions and over 550 international caps between them. Expert analysis is provided by Will Greenwood, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ieuan Evans, Scott Quinnell, Michael Lynagh, Scott Hastings, Dewi Morris and Paul Wallace. Coverage is presented by Alex Payne and James Gemmell with commentary from Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison.