RWC 2015: 10 best rugby commentary gaffes including Brian Moore, Murray Mexted and Bill McLaren

Being a rugby commentator is no easy job, as these 10 unforgettable moments prove

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The Independent Online

Sport fans and TV watchers alike simply love a gaffe when it comes to commentating, and with the advancements in social media it's become even harder for presenters and broadcasters to get away with a slip of the tongue.

Six weeks of non-stop rugby in the form of the World Cup begins on Friday night as hosts England take on Fiji, and with ITV naming a stellar line-up of pundits and World Cup winning ex-professionals, the sound waves will be filled with intriguing debate, action and controversy.

However, commentators will be put under the microscope by viewers in the hope that somewhere along the way they’ll slip up. Whether it’s an incorrect fun, an accidental sexual innuendo or something that simply doesn’t make sense, you can guarantee that it won’ go unnoticed by the social media elite.


But what about memorable moments in the years gone by?

BBC commentator Brian Moore

2003 World Cup winners Lawrence Dallaglio, Martin Johnson and Jason Robinson united to compile a shortlist of rugby gaffes from yesteryear which were then put to public vote by the Samsung Rugby School.

With 2,000 British rugby fans asked to select the most embarrassing rugby gaffes from the list, it proved to be a close affair between two of the BBC’s rugby commentators, although the three inclusions from former New Zealand international Murray Mexted certainly do not go unnoticed.

The top ten rugby commentary gaffes in reverse order are:

10. "And there’s Beaumont in that English scrum looking like a man who enjoys his food…" – Bill McLaren (8%)

9. "Either you score or you don’t from that position" – Brian Moore (9%)

8. "He’s seized this game by the scruff of his teeth" – James Burridge (10%)

7. "Don’t touch it you half-wit." – Brian Moore (12%)

6. “Well either side could win it, or it could be a draw” – Murray Mexted (13%)

5. "And he kicks it with his left-handed foot" – Murray Mexted (14%)

4. “Nobody in rugby should be called a genius.  A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” – Jono Gibbes (15%)

3. "Andy Ellis – the 21 year old who turned 22 a few weeks ago" – Murray Mexted (16%)

2. "I won’t ask you to name any highlights from your career… but what was the best moment?" – Sonja McLaughlin (17%)

1. “It’s 50-50 in Wales’s favour” – Ian Robertson (18%)

The problem for Dallaglio and Robinson is that they will be two prominent figures in ITV's coverage this autumn, and given that they've helped select the moments that make up the top 10, the former England duo will be praying they don't feature in the list come 2019.

Samsung’s ‘School of Rugby’ videos are available from



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