Former Wales and Lions Captain Sam Warburton will join Channel 4 for its live coverage of international rugby this month (August).
Warburton will join Channel 4 to give his expert insight when Wales play England and Ireland at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in the Under Armour Summer Series.
The reigning Six Nations Champions play England on Saturday, 17th August and then go on to face Ireland on Saturday 31st August in Warren Gatland’s last game in charge on Welsh soil.
Warburton, the most capped Welsh captain ever, will feature in coverage of Wales’ home games and will be joined by former England and Harlequins back Ugo Monye when Gatland’s side take on England. And former Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer will join Warburton for the Wales and Ireland clash.
Other former internationals who will form part of Channel 4’s live rugby coverage , which is being produced by Sunset+Vine, include: former Ireland Number 8 Jamie Heaslip; Wales’ record try scorer Shane Williams; and former England prop David Flatman.
Heaslip will co-commentate when Ireland play Italy on 10th August and when Wales take on Ireland (31st August). And Williams will feature in both of Wales’ matches against England and Ireland. Flatman will join the Channel 4 team for its coverage of Wales vs England.
Joe Blake-Turner, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, Sport, said: “Following on from England’s dramatic Cricket World Cup win, Channel 4 is again offering viewers world class live sport with these World Cup warm-up matches between Wales, Ireland and England.
“We’ve got a fantastic line up of former internationals with over 400 international caps between them offering viewers their unique insight into an intriguing summer of rugby before the teams set their sights on the Rugby World Cup.”
Ayo Akinwolere and Lee Mackenzie will present and Ed Jackson will the reporter for all the games which includes Ireland’s match up against Wales live from Dublin on 7th September as well as live coverage of Ireland vs Italy on 10th August. Channel 4 will also broadcast Wales’ post-World Cup fixture against the Barbarians on November 30th.
Today Channel 4 also announced that all of these live international rugby matches will be sponsored by Lexus thanks to a deal negotiated by 4Sales and The&Partnership.
The live coverage is the latest commitment from Channel 4 to offer free to air live coverage of world class rugby following on from its announcements that it will broadcast selected live matches from The Heineken Champions Cup and Ireland’s autumn rugby international until 2022.