Spark Sport and Three’s Rugby World Cup 2021 (RWC2021) coverage will feature an impressive line-up of experienced broadcasters when Aotearoa takes centre stage as host nation in October and November.
The extensive coverage across all 10 match days will be co-hosted by iconic rugby broadcaster Scotty Stevenson and Newshub news and sports presenter Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, alongside expert panellists Kristina Sue and Sene Naoupu, with Newshub Sports reporter and presenter Narelle Sindos also sharing hosting duties as they bring viewers closer to the action.
Popular entertainment personalities, Brodie Kane and Urzila Carlson join the presentation team as roving reporters to shine a spotlight on the heroes from all 12 nations and showcase the fanfare from the stands.
All 26 matches will be available live and on-demand on Spark Sport while eight matches will be carried by free-to-air partner Three, including both semi-finals and the final live, as well as delayed coverage of two quarter-final matches and all three of the Black Ferns’ pool matches against Australia, Wales, and Scotland.
Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch, says: “We’re delighted to announce a line-up of exceptionally talented sports broadcasters who we know will provide a great deal of knowledge and expertise as they delve into the action as it happens.
“Our aim is to make many of these players household names as women’s rugby takes over the nation for six weekends across October and November.
“With World Rugby’s commentary team featuring top Kiwi talent such as Rikki Swannell and Honey Hireme-Smiler, combined with our presentation team which carries a wealth of women’s rugby expertise, I hope Kiwis take advantage of the fantastic RWC2021 coverage we will have available on Spark Sport come 8 October.”
Juliet Peterson, Senior Director Content ANZ, Warner Bros. Discovery says: “We hope that rugby fans around Aotearoa will seize the opportunity to watch rugby’s pinnacle event and support the Black Ferns through the broad range of viewing options available to them, as well as attracting and welcoming new supporters to the game.
“We want to offer all New Zealanders the opportunity to engage with those key sporting moments that have a unique ability to unite people across all communities.”
Spark Sport’s RWC2021 co-hosts Scotty Stevenson and Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, between them, bring over three decades of rugby reporting and commentary experience while former players, Kristina Sue and Sene Naoupu, offer years of recent experience as women’s rugby trailblazers on and off the field.
Four-code New Zealand representative (rugby union, sevens, rugby league and touch), Kristina Sue returns to Spark Sport after beginning her broadcasting career with the sports streaming service during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. She was part of the triumphant 2017 Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns side and is now the familiar face and voice of Farah Palmer Cup coverage.
Former Otago representative and now Ireland-based rugby star, Sene Naoupu, has forged a stellar career playing for Leinster and captaining Ireland, racking up 48 caps, and was awarded 2016 IRUPA Women’s Player of the Year. She’s a member of World Rugby’s Women’s Advisory Council, the International Rugby Players Association and was named by the Irish Examiner as the 10th Most Influential Woman of 2020. Her extensive knowledge of the tournament’s European teams and their talent will prove valuable as she dissects the action on the field.
Spark Sport and Three’s showcase of women’s rugby will be complemented by the World Rugby commentary team, including Rikki Swannell, Honey Hireme-Smiler, Melodie Robinson and Rachael Burford.
For access to all 26 RWC2021 matches, sign up at www.sparksport.co.nz.