The BBC has unveiled its most extensive audio and digital offering to date, catering to audiences keen on staying abreast of the unfolding events and narratives in the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.
The tournament commences with the clash between France and New Zealand on Friday, 8th September in Paris. The BBC is set to deliver live commentary and coverage of all 48 matches across BBC Radio 5Live, 5 Sportsextra, BBC Sounds, and the BBC Sport website.
Leading the commentary team are Chris Jones, Sara Orchard, and Andrew Cotter, accompanied by Gareth Lewis, Alastair Eykyn, Conor McNamara, and James Burridge.
Taking the helm of BBC Radio 5Live’s presentation squad is Sonja McLaughlan, who will be stationed in Paris and Marseille for the monumental opening weekend. She will oversee the coverage of key matches, including France vs. New Zealand, England vs. Argentina, and Scotland vs. South Africa.
An impressive lineup of rugby personalities will contribute to our live coverage and podcasts, lending their expert opinions and insights. The team in France will include Matt Dawson, Chris Ashton, Johnnie Beattie, Tommy Bowe, Rocky Clark, Paul Grayson, Andrew Mehrtens, Kat Merchant, Ugo Monye, Stirling Mortlock, Bobby Skinstad, and Philippa Tuttiett.
In addition to the live match broadcasts, the team will produce daily podcasts throughout the tournament as part of the returning Rugby Union Daily podcast. This series will delve into the World Cup stories, featuring significant interviews and the latest updates from the team camps. Meanwhile, the BBC Sport website will offer comprehensive coverage, encompassing news, match analyses, in-depth assessments, and expert punditry for the four home nations.
Adding to the lineup, a special Rugby World Cup Top Ten podcast series is being launched on BBC Sounds. This series will see World Cup champions Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana join forces with Chris Jones to engage in discussions, rankings, and debates surrounding the most significant aspects of the World Cup. Topics will include the best match, best try, biggest upset, World Cup icon, and more.
To commemorate two decades since England’s historic World Cup victory, Matt Dawson will reminisce about the triumph. Additionally, their victorious captain, Martin Johnson, will make special appearances throughout the tournament. The series commences with “All About Martin Johnson” on Wednesday, 6th September, featuring an in-depth interview with Mark Chapman, where Johnson elaborates on his career.
In another distinctive programme, Sara Orchard will explore the repercussions of climate change on rugby union. She will engage in discussions with former Australian star turned activist David Pocock, among other guests.