Mike Carr

Rugby World Cup coverage (40)

It doesn't seem like four years ago that Jonny Wilkinson was winning the World Cup for England, but here we go again with the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

In fact if you're nostalgic for the moment that Wilkinson sealed the Webb Ellis Trophy for his country, you can watch a re-enactment with John Inverdale, Matt Dawson, Phil Williams, Mark Pougatch, Mark Saggers and Spoony, and also create your own version - but this is just part of the BBC's build-up to the tournament, which starts on Friday 7 September.

Inverdale and company's video is available with out-takes on the BBC Radio 5 live website and also on YouTube, where you will be invited to have a go yourself. And there's more fun available this week as you wait for the action to start, including a game, called DropClick, where you can test your knowledge of rugby union.

And there's also this blog, which amongst other things will feature a journey around France by Tom Fordyce and Ben Dirs, two of the BBC Sport website's most popular writers.

You might know Tom and Ben from their inimitable brand of text commentaries on cricket, golf, tennis and other sports. Some of you might remember the blog that Paul Fletcher and Martin Richardson wrote as they toured Germany during last year's football World Cup. We're hoping Tom and Ben's travel tales will be just as good if not better.

Then on Friday the action will get under way for real, and you can listen to commentaries from all the major games, and all the matches featuring the home nations, on 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra. Those commentaries will also be available on, as well as digital television, while BBC Radio Wales will also broadcast all of Wales's games.

5 live's top rugby commentators will be joined by the likes of Matt Dawson, Gavin Hastings, Hugo McNeil, Rob Jones, Justin Marshall, Robbie Fleck, Zinzan Brooke and Matt Burke.

Inside Sport, due to launch its second series on BBC One on 3 September, will preview the event and feature postcards from the RWC during the tournament.

The BBC doesn't have television rights to the Rugby World Cup. As before, they're with ITV - and international rugby will be back on BBC Television with the Six Nations next Spring.

Elsewhere on, there will be previews, live text commentaries, reports, photo galleries, results and fixtures, team guides, and the chance to get involved via the 606 website or this blog. The blog will contain behind-the-scenes snippets and thoughts from 5 live's reporters who will be with the home nation teams, and from other BBC Sport journalists following the World Cup, as well as Fordyce and Dirs.

The BBC Sport website will have a columnist from each country - Josh Lewsey from England, Scotland's Chris Cussiter, Tom Shanklin of Wales and Ireland's Geordan Murphy - and you will get the chance to put questions to these players, and hear their answers.

And on the 5 live website, there will be a virtual clubhouse, housing podcasts, the DropClick game, the chance to showcase your photos from the RWC using our dedicated Flickr area, and more. The 5live clubhouse becomes rather less virtual when it goes on the road to watch the games from rugby clubs up and down the UK.

In addition, don't forget there will be more coverage from BBC Northern Ireland , BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, on the television, on the radio and online.

So lots to get involved in right across the BBC. Let us know your thoughts (but if you'd rather just get on to Tom and Ben to tell them where they should be visiting in France, I'd understand), and enjoy the tournament.

Mike Carr is Rugby Editor for BBC Radio Sport and will be in France during the World Cup.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:45 PM on 31 Aug 2007,
  • paulh wrote:

i remember the day well sat on the opera house in sydney with all my aussi friend s with em oh the glory years

  • 2.
  • At 08:54 PM on 31 Aug 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Tickets arrived yesterday for the South Africa game..
I do have the small matter of attending England v India at the Oval on Wednesday to take my mind off it for a while...but boy am I excited, C'mon England..we can do it again!

I'll be the one in the stadium with the 14ft Cross of St George with the Rugby Rose in a corner and Aldershot across the middle...

  • 3.
  • At 09:55 PM on 31 Aug 2007,
  • Andrew Webb wrote:

I bet the BBC is kicking itself.
Inverdale would love to be covering this on TV wouldnt he?
Well ITV did good coverage and I expect those moaning ' BBC, get every Sport event' moanres will be on here soon.
So we'll be seeing more Jim Rosenthal (Covering his 4th/5th Rugger WC) than John Inverdale who would love to cover the Rugger Cup wouldnt he?)
Well you have good 6 Nations coverage...even though I want the Grandstand tune to start it off next year rather than the rubbish start titles which was awful this year.

  • 4.
  • At 08:28 AM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • John Randle wrote:

So the BBC lets down it's license fee payers once again. The BBC are fond of telling us they are the nations tv station, so why can we not watch our national team defend a world cup win on the nations tv station ? Let's be brutaly honest here it's not going to happen with the football team is it ?
Once again the BBC looses a golden oprtunity to deliver value to it's paying public.

  • 5.
  • At 10:54 AM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Jordy wrote:

Who here agrees with me australia can win the world cup?
Cause if u dont your a fool.

  • 6.
  • At 04:00 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

as far as Post 4 is concerned I am sure that BBCtv would love to be at the World Cup. They aren't as ITV have had a longstanding deal with the event organisers. I am sure that ITV might well find themselves under real pressure when those rights come up for grabs again. In the meantime, and in defence of the BBC, where have ITV been since the last Rugby World Cup? Almost nowhere to be seen. Personally I cannot face ITV's coverage and certainly cannot cope with Jim Rosenthal. I suspect Five Live will benefit enormously and John Inverdale is as consummate a radio broadcaster as you could hope to find.

  • 7.
  • At 04:37 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Criticulus wrote:

The aussies should never be underestimated. The tri-nations proved their strength in defense and a promising ability to attack when it matters- but can they push in the scrum?

  • 8.
  • At 07:11 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

Totally agree with number 6 about number 4.
ITV have the rights to this one :-( and all i can say is how many times will there be a ad before a game, at HT and after...major amounts of money ploughed into ITV coverage in "peugeot" and there TV sponsorship of the ITV coverage (tho i may be wrong on that one)
And we have to put up with Big nosed Jim and blah blah blah about the WC being "Live and exclusive on ITV".
Listen to it on radio, at least you have the option via piccy's on the web to see how ugly the presenters and pundits are (if they are who cares).
As for other ITV stuff it is quite frankly poor just look at the annoying voice of James Allen on F1...

  • 9.
  • At 07:47 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew Webb wrote:

Gary - Post 8.
ITV are a commercial broadcaster.
Whats paying for the coverage..Peanuts?
ITV Sport seems to be far better than BBC Sport which has lost its touch and still does not listen to viewers when we say something.
Yes I do think Allen is bad bu is there anyone to replace him?
(Do not mention Ben Edwards who is has much work at this moment).
Also ITV's coverage of the World Cup's have been brilliant.
Post 6 of yours Gary says 'where has ITV been since the World Cup'
I can say they have tried to snatch the 6 Nations from the BBC untill they realised, resigned up untill 2010 and then destroyed Grandstand by accepting the stupid times for games.
If the 6 Nations was on ITV, Grandstand would still be on the BBC!

  • 10.
  • At 10:54 PM on 01 Sep 2007,
  • Mike Morgan wrote:

ITV get the rights and what do they do? They put two of Wales pool games on ITV 4 which we can't get here because their Freeview signal is weak and their broadband streaming only works on the latest versions of Windows, unlike the BBCs.

  • 11.
  • At 12:14 AM on 02 Sep 2007,
  • Mike Evans wrote:

As always , really looking forward to this World Cup but feel that the televison coverage will be abysmal for five reasons.

1. Jim Rosenthal. Whatever you think of John Inverdale he is a rugby man, a player, a fan, and someone who loves and understands the game. Jim Rosenthal is a soccer commentator/presenter whose employer hasn't got any other work for him as he clings on to a tv career.

2. Abysmal broadcasting aimed at 8 year olds i.e. countless reports that start something like Martin Corry keeps tropical fish , we went to find out more. Gordon D'Arcy likes to play the accordion whilst riding a unicycle , we went to find out more etc etc.

3. Adverts. I want to hear Ireland's Call not the bloke from my family advertsing BT and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau not a stocky geordie bloke in a building society saying it doesn't work like that.

4. Anglocentric. Stand by for . "It's semi-final time. We preview both New Zealand v South Africa and France v Australia, but first the latest from the England Camp".

5. It's on Insepid Tedious and Vulgar.


  • 12.
  • At 10:55 AM on 02 Sep 2007,
  • Francois wrote:

Went to Ladbroke's to do my ritual four-yearly punt... Very interesting odds. Here are two I chose (beyond my home country to win of course):

Oz to win: 12-1
Canada to qualify for the QF (simply beat limping Wales): 100-1

We shall see...

  • 13.
  • At 07:15 PM on 02 Sep 2007,
  • Liam Kirwan wrote:

The Springbocks will give them an argument that they will have no answer to!

  • 14.
  • At 09:28 AM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Rob wrote:

Thank God the BBC didn't get the coverage for the Rugby Union World Cup! A more dire spectacle of slow, uninteresting, boring, with very few actual ball handling skills on show I can't imagine! A total snore-fest, and a relief that it won't be plastered all over the BBC.

  • 15.
  • At 10:04 AM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Matt Turner wrote:

Post 11, Point 4 - have to agree that the ITV coverage will be completely Anglocentric, especially as Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison are doing the commentary, but at least they have got some pundits from the other nations in

Post 12 - Canada have got no chance of reaching the QF's - you'd have been better off putting your money on Fiji in that group. That said, Wales may be "limping" but they should still comfortably get through...

  • 16.
  • At 11:55 AM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • james dunlop wrote:

Sky coverage of Rugby has never been as good as BBC and I wonder if the change to ITV will make it better.
However with the two clowns commentating from SKY, I shall be listening to BBC5 live with the sound on the TV off. I did that during the last World cup and it really did work.

  • 17.
  • At 12:57 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Ian Beale wrote:

In relation to post 15...

Barnes may be a bit of an ego maniac but hes fair in terms of the home nations imo...

I think its a little unfair to suggest otherwise

  • 18.
  • At 01:18 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Pete Sammons wrote:

I agree ITV's rugby falls far short of the coverage on BBC. Mainly missing the quality commentary from brian moore, eddie butler, jonathon davies, nick mullins etc (the list goes on).

One possible way round this is to watch the game on mute with the radio tuned into 5 live.

  • 19.
  • At 01:29 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Griff wrote:

Only the people of one of the four countries will remember Wilkinson's kick with any fondness.

For the rest of us, "nostalgic" might not be the right word!

  • 20.
  • At 01:38 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • EireAbu wrote:

Forget about the Beeb, the real calamity is that RTE dont have it in Ireland, now we wont be able to listen to the comedic duo of Hook and Popey,
For shame rte, for shame....

  • 21.
  • At 02:39 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Lee wrote:

"Quality commentary from Brian Moore, Eddie Butler...."

Barnsey might talk drivel at times , but he appreciates good rugby be it , English (unlikely), Welsh , French or Kiwi.

Moore is like a balder better looking version of Posh Spice i.e will do/say anything to be centre of attention.

  • 22.
  • At 02:58 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Post 4 - ITV have broadcast the RWC since 1991, so I'm not sure how the BBC have let us down - they certainly show a lot more rugby than ITV.

They do have a finite amount of cash to buy rights, unless you would prefer a raise in the licence fee...?

  • 23.
  • At 04:14 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

no doubt ITV coverage will be bias towards England... they have to be! They need to get the most advertising revenue to cover the rights.

The problem will be for the other "home" nations matches being broadcast on itv digital channels, games that will be of interest to a great many people who can not get a proper digital signal.

At least when England go out they'll have to cover the other home nations teams and then the only 6Nations team with a chance of winning - France!

  • 24.
  • At 06:12 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

"Only the people of one of the four countries will remember Wilkinson's kick with any fondness.
For the rest of us, "nostalgic" might not be the right word!"

You mean 84 % of their viewership? There are reasons for being a bit English centric you know, mainly in that the majority of viewers (and thus fee payers) are from England, on a population basis anyway.

  • 25.
  • At 06:36 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

They could try recreating one of the four Welsh tries aginst New Zealand or how about the moment in the quarter final where Alain Rolland gives Steve Thompson is third last chance. Now that I would like to see.

  • 26.
  • At 07:11 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • Butlins wrote:

Anyone from Wales here? Just picked up the Western Mail's (that would be Wales' National Daily paper) 'Comprehensive Guide' to the RWC, and they've got just about every Pool C match day wrong in their fixture diary - according to the official site anyway. But then who really wants to watch the All Blacks...

  • 27.
  • At 08:21 PM on 03 Sep 2007,
  • RWC2007 wrote:

I love my rugby always have. I watch Scrum V on Friday night's for LIVE Magners League Rugby, watch Y Clwb Rugbi on S4C (Via the radio for translation purposes) Ahem. Then every four years this wonderful sporting climax comes along. The IRB Rugby World Cup. Then there's ITV. Nuff Said.

  • 28.
  • At 12:02 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

Must agree with Post 20, and what is worse is that RTÉ do not have the radio rights either, so I might be forced to turn down the sound and give my own commentary and post match analysis, which of course I will then have to disagree with! Well hopefully the rugby will be so good we won't mind who does the introduction for the Namibia / Georgia match.

  • 29.
  • At 09:02 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Dave Boon wrote:

Well, I for one am not that bothered that BBC don't have the coverage as you don't have to listen to Jonathon Davies moaning every 2 minutes with his Welsh eyes. Possibly the worst rugby commentator of all time!

I Can't wait for the cup, I fly out on thursday afternoon, tickets firmly in hand!

However I don't share Robinsons optimistic view that England will make the semi's. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and France for the semi finals. Ireland to fail to get out of there Pool, and the All Blacks to win!

  • 30.
  • At 09:49 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Bibble wrote:

3 days to go, I can't wait. Just a shame there aren't some games during the day in the week so I do not need to take any time off of work.

I'm heading to Marseille with some mates in a mini bus for the quarters. Anyone got any good directions from Calais? Cheers

  • 31.
  • At 09:50 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • EireAbú wrote:

News just in....

Ireland WILL beat France in Paris.

You read it here first.

Kindest Of regards.

  • 32.
  • At 11:00 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Dave Boon wrote:

Post 31 -

Have you seen Ireland play recently... France and Argentina to cruise out of the pool. Ireland on an early plane home.

  • 33.
  • At 11:00 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Criticulus wrote:

Breaking news....

Thousands attend Wallabies training sessions! A stirling effort.

  • 34.
  • At 11:38 AM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • EireAbu wrote:

I agree, we have been awful of late, but form is only temporary and I really believe we can do a job on the French, injuries permitting of course. And obviously beating them in Paris in their world cup would be nice little bit of revenge for the Croke Park defeat. GO ON THE LADS!

  • 35.
  • At 12:33 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • BOD is GOD wrote:

Great too see that Ireland are already being written off to get out of our pool in the RWC.

In 2003, we went to the world cup having cruised through our warm up games and fell very flat against the french in the quaters. After the 6 Nations, we were apparently one of the favourites to win the trophy.

I for one think its a blessing in disguise that we have been so average in our warm up games this year. Expectations have been dampened here and we are not being talked up at all. Mark my words, this Irish team, on its day will beat anybody. We have the best 10-12-13 combination in the tournament and a dynamic back-row to help them out. If we stay injury free, this team will deliver and will silence all of the doubters. Roll on Sunday

  • 36.
  • At 12:42 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • tomthepom wrote:

Without TV cverage, the Beeb still pledges to cover the tournament on radio and the web. But how can R5L be serious about the RWC when its flasgship weekly programme, Sportsweek, went out the day before the England squad's departure and five days before the tournament was due to start and included not a single mention of rugby?

And why do bloggers rarely return to these threads and answer some of the valid points raised by contributors?


  • 37.
  • At 01:47 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Dave Boon wrote:

I would agree that the Irish are a strong team on paper, but really have failed to deliver. They just seem to fall over when the pressure goes on them.

Not sure about the best 10 - 12 -13 combo. Might give you the brest 13 in the game, just shading Mortlock. But the AB's have easily the best 10 - 12, and you can put Mauger or McAlister in there at 12. No one in world rugby compare to Carter at 10. Even if people say he is out of form he still score 15 odd points and commands a back line.

I have taken the odds on Argentina to beat France first up, then the French to return strong leaving Ireland really needing to beat both France and the Pumas to progress, which I can't see happening.

  • 38.
  • At 04:51 PM on 04 Sep 2007,
  • Mike Carr wrote:

Glad to see everyone passions are rising for the World Cup.
In response to number 4 I think the BBC's commitment to Rugby Union is unquestionable across all our media outlets. Our television coverage of the 6 Nations is clearly the flagship of this - but the extensive coverage on the Radio and On-line provides a different option for people..
As a rugby fan I'm glad we'll be able to see the tournament on terrestrial TV and we'll watch with interest ITV's coverage.
Listen out tonight on Five Live Sport tonight if you can for a documentary on the final 2 minutes of the 2003 World Cup final told through the eyes of the players..We'll also be joined by Clive Woodward and Eddie Jones..
Sunday's a big day for the Home Nations too - with commentaries on Wales, Scotland and Ireland across Five Live and Sports Extra..
In answer to 37 I have no doubt Sportsweek will have plenty of Rugby Union on this Sunday..
And to 31 - I agree with you, watch out for the Irish

  • 39.
  • At 07:47 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Markymark wrote:

I have to say at lewast ITV have Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes on board for the RWC. Yes they have there faults, but previous ITV coverage of RWCs have been spoilt by inadequate commentary.

I don't know exactly the process for bidding for RWC rights, but I believe RWC inc use a preferential system of bidding that gives first refusal ro all of its current sponsorship partners, which makes it very hard for ITVs hold on the rights to the competition hard to break.

  • 40.
  • At 11:28 PM on 05 Sep 2007,
  • Chris, London wrote:

Post 6. R5L is always a fantastic medium for anyone unable to get to their TV (for whatever reason) but I find it a bit ridiculous to boycott ITV coverage of games in exchange for the BBC's radio coverage. Can you imagine popping down your local and finding everyone huddled round a radio for the England South Africa game?!

Post 8. I welcome the adverts as this is the first major sporting event where I can't smoke in the pub!

Post 11 - Point 2. on why ITV coverage sucks."Countless reports that start something like Martin Corry keeps tropical fish". Are you sure your not thinking of the BBC's coverage of the Snooker? They always have tedious reports in their build up too! Don't be hating - just make the best of the opportunity to get the round in!

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