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Rise for the Rugby World Cup on ITV

15/08/2019

Published: Thu 15 Aug 2019

A stellar line-up of rugby's biggest names is emerging from the horizon in anticipation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup as ITV invites viewers to rise for the tournament in Japan starting next month.

Beginning its build-up, the channel has unveiled plans for its free to air, exclusive comprehensive coverage and launched an on-air trailer featuring Japanese anime inspired original animation anticipating UK breakfast time viewings of matches kicking-off in the land of the rising sun from Friday 20 September [NOTE TO EDITORS: MORE DETAILS AND A LINK TO VIEW AND EMBED FURTHER DOWN RELEASE].

With teams both on the ground in Japan and in the UK, led by presenters Mark Pougatch and Jill Douglas, every game of the tournament through to the Final in Yokohama on 2 November will be broadcast live and in evening highlights shows on ITV and ITV4, both featuring expert analysis from a formidable pundit line-up including Jonny Wilkinson, Sam Warburton, Brian ODriscoll, Bryan Habana, Sir Clive Woodward, Paul OConnell, Gareth Thomas, George Gregan, Sir Ian McGeechan, Lawrence Dallaglio, Maggie Alphonsi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Jim Hamilton, Mike Phillips and Michael Lynagh.

For the tournament, ITV have designed an interactive studio set that allows the pundits to demonstrate physical analysis in the programmes, creating the platform for some of rugby's biggest names to bring viewers fresh perspectives and insights into the sport.

Co-commentators include rugby figures with a wealth of experience, including Jamie Roberts, Ugo Monye, Shane Williams, Scott Hastings, Danielle Waterman, Ben Kay and Alan Quinlan.

Craig Doyle and Martin Bayfield will also present shows during the tournament, while Gabriel Clarke will report from Japan along with David Flatman, who will also be a co-commentator. Match commentary comes from Nick Mullins, Miles Harrison, Martin Gillingham and Simon Ward.

ITV's coverage will also feature the iconic Rugby World Cup anthem, World In Union, sung in a new, specially-recorded version by Emeli Sande as its theme music, which will also feature Japanese star, Sarah Alainn.

Viewers will be able to watch and engage with Rugby World Cup coverage at any time with ITV Sport's digital offer, which is bigger and better than ever before.

Fans can watch all games live and on the go with our ITV Hub app with short highlights of every match, exclusive interviews, top moments of the day and much more on our dedicated Rugby World Cup site: itv.com/rugbyworldcup2019.

Twitter account @ITVRugby will feature all the tries and key moments of live broadcast games just seconds after they happen and our Instagram and Facebook accounts will take you behind the scenes in Japan with regular takeovers from our talent.

Following the success of the ITV Rugby Six Nations Podcast, Flats and Shanks (former England and Wales internationals David Flatman and Tom Shanklin) will return to host the ITV Rugby World Cup podcasts throughout our time in Japan. Episodes will begin on 9 September and continue every Monday and Thursday throughout the tournament, featuring interviews with the stars of the Rugby World Cup and input from our talent. The dynamic duo will also host special six-episode series Flats and Shanks in Japan on the ITV Hub ahead of the tournament.

If you missed anything from any day at the World Cup then the ITV Hub has you covered with a short-round up video on every match day, including all the tries, funny moments, comments from our pundits and classic moments from previous tournaments.

And to ensure big moments bring fans together and are not missed by people on the move, in partnership with Ocean Outdoor, ITV will be bringing highlights from all the big games at the Rugby World Cup to outdoor screens up and down the country. As part of this, the England versus France game will be shown live on the large full motion screen in Westfield Square, London on Saturday, October 12 (kick off 9.15am)

With the opening group phase peppered with standout clashes including England v France, Australia v Wales, Ireland v Scotland and New Zealand v South Africa, the ITV team is already predicting the most open tournament in history as they look forward to bringing viewers the experience and spectacle of the Rugby World Cup taking place in Asia for the first time.

Mark Pougatch said: There's always excitement surrounding a World Cup but this time that's heightened even more because it looks like being the most open World Cup there's ever been. The All Blacks remain favourites but they've shown signs of fragility, Wales come in as Grand Slam Champions, Ireland will be looking to find their form of 2018, England are more than capable if not consistent at the moment and South Africa are improving all the time.

That prospect whets the appetite and it's against the backdrop of the most fascinating, intriguing country in Japan. It should be six weeks to remember.

Jonny Wilkinson said: This autumn Japan will be the central focus of the rugby world as we build up to a very evenly balanced and exciting World Cup. On the field I cant wait to see the hosts Japan in the opening game and see how the Northern hemisphere fair against their Southern counterparts throughout. I know Japan will bring a unique flavour to a brilliant competition and I am looking forward to seeing what rugby and its spirit can do for Japan and its fans in return.

Sam Warburton said: All eyes should be on Japan 2019 as I believe it will be the most competitive Rugby World Cup that I've ever seen as a fan or player. I believe the strength of the Tier 2 and 3 nations is the strongest we would have seen and I cannot wait to see how they perform. Japan will undoubtedly put on a fantastic show and with their many passionate supporters and all from around the world, this World Cup will
LINK: https://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/rise-rugby-world-cup-it...
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