Briefing: People: Woman tackles rugby tradition head-on

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The Independent Online
Just when you thought the safe, traditional world of rugby union could change no more, the BBC has hired its first woman commentator to work with the "voice of rugby", Bill McLaren.

Jill Douglas (left), a reporter with Border Television, will cover international and local games for the Rugby Special team.

Douglas, 27, hails from Hawick, the same Borders town as McLaren, whose soft burr has provided the commentary to winter Saturday afternoons for the last 38 years. Her appointment will be just one more change to the sport.

After getting professional players last year, the BBC's grip on the Five Nations' championship has been loosened - as ever by Rupert Murdoch's Sky Sports.

Sky has the live rights to England's two matches at Twickenham, and the England versus France game at the Parc Des Princes in Paris. ITV will screen the highlights of these games on terrestrial TV soon after they finish.