Rugby World Cup pundits, commentators and presenters for ITV

The broadcaster has the television rights in the United Kingdom for every game from the tournament in France

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 08 September 2023 18:55 BST
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(Getty Images)

Every match from the Rugby World Cup will again be shown on ITV.

The terrestrial channel are the television rights holders for every game in the United Kingdom, continuing an agreement with rugby’s showpiece men’s tournament that stretches back to the second edition in 1991.

The broadcaster has unveiled a roster full of former World Cup winners to provide commentary and expert analysis on the tournament.

The World Cup will be hosted in nine French cities from 8 September until 28 October.

Here is your guide to the presenters, pundits and commentators you will hear during the tournament.

Pundits

Jonny Wilkinson

Wilkinson’s World Cup-winning drop goal in 2003 remains the signature moment in English men’s rugby history. An occasional coaching consultant to the national team, the former fly half won 97 caps and finished his club career forging a dynasty on the French south coast with Toulon.

Maggie Alphonsi

Ex-flanker Alphonsi was a key cog in England’s 2014 World Cup win under Gary Street, and has become a familiar face on ITV and Sky since retirement, as well as working as a regular columnist for The Telegraph. She was the first female winner of Rugby Union Writers’ Club’s prestigious Pat Marshall Memorial Award.

Sam Warburton

Warburton led Wales to a World Cup semi final in 2011 having been installed as a young skipper by Warren Gatland. Possessor of a sharp rugby mind, Warbuton was forced into an early retirement after a number of injury issues but has become a popular analyst on TV, radio and in print for The Times.

Jamie Roberts

Hulking former Wales centre Roberts’s career took in stops in England, France, South Africa and Australia, and the 36-year-old is well qualified off the pitch, too, earning a degree in medicine at Cardiff University and completing a Master’s in medical science at Cambridge.

Brian O’Driscoll

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Regarded as one of the greatest centres in history and perhaps Irish rugby’s most talented individual player, O’Driscoll is a skillful pundit, too. The three-time Six Nations player of the championship won 133 caps for his country and appeared on four British and Irish Lions tours.

Greig Laidlaw

Scrum half Laidlaw was a regular Scotland captain during his time at international level. He announced his retirement in April after several seasons in Japanese rugby having previously represented Edinburgh, Gloucester and Clermont Auvergne.

Philippa Tuttiett

Tuttiett represented Wales in both the 15-a-side game and in rugby sevens, and has quickly become a prominent voice in both men’s and women’s rugby. The former builder has also run a construction company since retiring after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Bryan Habana

The joint-leading try scorer in World Cup history, wing Habana starred in the Springboks’ triumph in 2007. His eight tries during that tournament saw him named world player of the year and has helped to start a successful financial wellness platform since ending his playing career.

Sir Clive Woodward

Woodward guided England to their 2003 win and has since become one of the sport’s most outspoken pundits, both on TV and in his column for the Daily Mail.

Rory Best

The Ulsterman, who captained Ireland at the World Cup in 2019, offers a measured take on proceedings and the expertise that comes with 102 test starts at hooker.

John Barclay

Ex-Scotland skipper Barclay is another recently retired back row who has made quick strides to become an accomplished pundit. Alongside his efforts internationally, Barclay was also part of the Pro12 winning Scarlets side in 2017.

Sergio Parisse

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Italy’s greatest ever player makes his ITV debut having confirmed his retirement after missing out on Kieran Crowley’s squad for this tournament. Parisse had not featured for the Azzurri since the last World Cup but has been in excellent form for Toulon in the French Top 14.

Gareth Thomas

Nicknamed “Alfie”, Thomas won 100 caps in the Welsh backline before retiring in 2011, and returns for a fourth tournament with the ITV team. Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, was awarded a CBE for services to sport and health in 2020.

George Gregan

Australia’s most capped international, former scrum half Gregan was part of the winning Wallabies side in 1999, before leading his nation to a home final in 2003 under Eddie Jones.

Sir Ian McGeechan

One of the most respected coaches in the sport, McGeechan was British & Irish Lions head coach on four tours spanning a 20-year period. Capped 32 times for Scotland as a player, he was knighted in 2010 for services to rugby and continues to offer insight in a column for the Daily Telegraph.

Lawrence Dallaglio

Number eight Dallaglio was a key leader in the World Cup winning England side and is now a regular on ITV and TNT Sports. He recently helped write The Boys of Winter, a retrospective on England’s 2003 triumph, with journalist Owen Slot.

Sean Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick was a talismanic figure for more than a decade in an All Blacks shirt, starting at hooker as New Zealand secured the first World Cup crown in 1987. A regular face on Sky’s southern hemisphere coverage, Fitzpatrick remains an expert on the game and is chairman at Laureus World Sports Academy.

JP Doyle

Former international referee Doyle has been added to ITV’s roster to provide expert input on decisions made by officials during the tournament, and explain the rule changes put in place ahead of the World Cup.

Co-commentators:

Ben Kay

2003 World Cup winner Kay has forged a reputation as one of commentary’s sharpest, calmest communicators on commentary since retirement. A regular feature of club rugby coverage on BT Sport (now TNT Sports), Kay was the second voice on the final four years ago and is a strong contender to take that role again, regardless of England’s involvement.

Ugo Monye

(PA Wire)

The busy Monye will combine his work for ITV with his regular duties as a co-host of the BBC’s Rugby Union Daily podcast, and work for governing body World Rugby. The former England international has forged a successful, varied post-playing career, including a stint as a captain on Question of Sport and an appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.

Shane Williams

Since hanging up his international boots as Wales’ record try scorer in 2011, hot stepper Williams has been a regular fixture on television. The 46-year-old remains a fitness fanatic and recently entered a sixth Ironman triathlon.

Scott Hastings

Hastings won 65 Scotland caps at centre, often in the same backline as brother Gavin. Twice a Lions tourist, Hastings is also occasionally employed as a lead commentary voice.

Tom Shanklin

A 70-cap Welsh international, the quick witted Shanklin has forged something of a double act with David Flatman, co-hosting the “Flats and Shanks” podcast, and is a regular pundit on Viaplay’s coverage of the URC

Gordon D’Arcy

O’Driscoll’s long-time centre partner, D’Arcy announced his retirement in 2015 having won three Champions Cups and 82 Ireland caps. He is a contributor to The Irish Times.

Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman

A try scorer in England’s 2014 World Cup final victory over Canada, Waterman is another former fleet of foot back in ITV’s commentary roster. An Olympian in rugby sevens, the ex-full back is an ambassador for Laureus, Guinness and HSBC.

Presenters

Mark Pougatch

ITV’s chief sports presenter, Pougatch anchors broadcasts of England’s biggest games in men’s football and rugby. The 55-year-old formerly presented flagship BBC Five Live show Sports Report.

Jill Douglas

Scottish presenter Douglas works across a variety of sports but remains best known for her work in rugby union. She is the CEO of the “My Name’5 Doddie” foundation, established by her good friend Doddie Weir, who passed away last year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2016.

David Flatman

Ex-England prop Flatman is among the most popular rugby talkers in the game, adding levity and scrum-time expertise to coverage. The multitalented 43-year-old, known as “Flats”, takes on a different role as a presenter for the World Cup and will also front ITV’s Rugby World Cup podcast.

Hugh Woozencroft

The verstile Woozencroft is probably better known for his work his football, regularly fronting the channel’s EFL highlights alongside regular work for talkSPORT, but has also been a feature of ITV’s Premiership Rugby coverage.

Lead commentators

Nick Mullins

Now firmly established as the voice of English rugby, Mullins is the lead commentator for TNT Sports, Amazon Prime and ITV, and is likely to again call the biggest games of the tournament on ITV.

Miles Harrison

For years, Harrison called Sky Sports his regular home, but the broadcaster’s withdrawal from live rugby coverage has allowed a popular lead voice to again broaden his portfolio. Harrison has been a regular member of the ITV World Cup team since 2007, and returns having undergone surgery for colon cancer in 2021.

Johnnie Hammond

Another experienced member of the commentary line-up, Hammond also spent more than a decade as one of the mainstays of Sky’s coverage. He is the creator and co-host of the Women’s Rugby Pod.

Martin Gillingham

Ex-hurdler Gillingham earned selection for the 1984 Los Anglees Olympics before forging a productive career in journalism and commentary both in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Claire Thomas

A fast-rising new voice, this will be Thomas’s debut in the commentary unit for the men’s tournament, though the former Sky producer was part of ITV’s team during last year’s women’s World Cup.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch the event, you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN round-up is here to help and includes deals on VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are and also with the terms of their service provider. Get all the Rugby World Cup odds here and the latest tips and odds on England vs Argentina here.

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