Ireland and Lions legend Paul O'Connell joins the BBC Six Nations team

The Six Nations is a tournament incredibly close to my heart and I’m delighted to be joining the BBC team.Paul O'Connell
Date: 19.01.2017     Last updated: 01.03.2017 at 11.51
The BBC has today released details of its coverage plans for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship across its TV, Radio and Digital outlets.
  • Former Ireland and Lions captain Paul O’Connell joins BBC team
  • Seven live games and four Rugby Special Highlights on BBC TV
  • New for 2017, weekly Women’s Six Nations TV Highlights show
  • Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra to have comprehensive coverage of all games
  • Extensive digital offering available for audiences wherever and whenever

Seven live games and 4 Rugby Special highlights programmes will be screened on BBC One, with every game covered on Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra and across the BBC’s extensive digital offerings, including new podcasts and interactive activities on the BBC Sport website.

The BBC’s TV line-up includes experienced presenters John Inverdale and Gabby Logan, with expert analysis and input from some of the most well-known names in the sport’s history, including Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies, Martyn Williams, Keith Wood, Brian Moore, Chris Paterson, Andy Nicol, Mike Blair, Thomas Castaignede and Ali Williams.

In an exciting addition, Grand Slam winner Paul O’Connell joins the BBC pundit team after hanging up his boots last year, following an impressive 14-year career in the sport.

Paul says: “The Six Nations is a tournament incredibly close to my heart and I’m delighted to be joining the BBC team. It’s a very different experience now watching on from the side-lines but I’m really looking forward to drawing on my own experiences to give the audience as much insight as I can into the action on the pitch.”

All of Wales’, Scotland’s and France’s home games will be live on BBC One with the TV commentary team led by Eddie Butler, Andrew Cotter and the first female lead commentator in the sport, Sara Orchard - who will also be commentating for Rugby Special.

From pitch side, Sonja McLaughlan and Lee McKenzie will be giving viewers live updates. Lee will also take to the helm of a new weekly BBC Two Sunday night programme that will bring all the highlights, action and news from the Women's Six Nations.

BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra has comprehensive radio coverage with live commentary from all of the Championship’s home nations’ matches.

The line-up for the network will see Ian Robertson, Chris Jones, Sara Orchard, Iain Carter, Gareth Lewis, James Burridge and Conor McNamara on commentary duties. Expert analysis will be provided by Matt Dawson, Rory Lawson, Gavin Hastings, Rob Jones, Paul Grayson, Denis Hickie and former England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

In addition to live action, BBC Radio 5 live will also look ahead to the weekend’s action as Matt Dawson presents ‘Matt Dawson’s Rugby Show’. Every week, Matt and Sonja McLaughlan will be joined by special guests to dissect and discuss all of the Six Nations news happening on and off the field. New for 2017 former English international rugby union player Ugo Monye will also front a weekly podcast alongside Chris Jones, available to download every Monday the pair will look back and share their thoughts on the weekend’s action.

A comprehensive digital service will enable fans to share in all the excitement through the BBC Sport website and via the BBC Sport app on mobiles, tablets and connected TVs. Fans will be able to sign up for push alerts and use the My Sport service, which provides a more personalised offer.

The BBC Live pages will also cover every minute of every match day with live text commentary, video streams, clips, stats and social media content.

All games broadcast on BBC TV will also be streamed live on BBC Sport website, app and connected TVs, accompanied by selected alternative commentary from 5 live and on the Red Button (subject to schedule). There will be in-play highlights of BBC games and match highlights of every match shortly after the final whistle.

On Mondays, fans can catch up with the most memorable, quirky and shareable moments from the weekend, along with the best of social media reaction and watch the key moments on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app.

BBC Sport’s social media accounts, which have over 20 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, will provide all of the latest breaking news and some of the best clips from the tournament catching all of the most crucial, dramatic and shareable moments in all their glory.

There will also be archive footage and pre-tournament analysis and the BBC’s rugby union pundits will make their predictions for this year’s 6 Nations.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales coverage
BBC Northern Ireland will have all Ireland’s games live on BBC Radio Ulster, with outside broadcasts from the home matches. There will also be a chance to catch comprehensive coverage and analysis of Ireland’s games throughout the tournament on the BBC Sport NI website, BBC Newsline and BBC Radio Ulster.

There will be build-up and full live commentaries for all of Scotland’s games on BBC Radio Scotland with all the latest news and features on the BBC Sport Scotland website.

All of Wales’ matches will be live on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, and BBC Wales television will also provide live coverage of Wales’ home games against England and Ireland and the away matches in Scotland and France. Additionally, S4C will have live coverage of every Wales game on Clwb Rygbi Rhyngwladol, which is a BBC Wales production for S4C.

For the first time in the game’s history, Wales Women will be televised live on the BBC, as they play their first home fixture of the 2017 Six Nations on Saturday 11 February against England. A special documentary broadcast in the week leading up to the match will follow the team as they prepare to face old rivals, England.

Ahead of the tournament, Eddie Butler’s Six Nations will celebrate the prestige and past highlights of the Six Nations. And ahead of Wales v Ireland, former player and current pundit Jonathan Davies will host an entertainment panel quiz show and he’ll be joined by celebrity guests.

In addition, Scrum V will broadcast a Six Nations preview on BBC Two Wales on Sunday 29 January plus highlights, analysis and debate on all of the weekend’s action in front of a live studio audience each Sunday evening during the tournament. The Scrum V team will also take over the Radio Wales sport programme every Thursday evening, and the Tacl Hwyr Tudur Owen programme on Radio Cymru will preview the weekend’s fixtures every Friday night during the tournament.

Notes to Editors:
The 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship TV coverage will be shared between BBC and ITV as follows.

Date

Time

Fixture

Location

TV

4th February

2.25

Scotland v Ireland

BT Murrayfield

BBC

4th February

4.50

England v France

Twickenham Stadium

ITV

5th February

2.00

Italy v Wales

Stadio Olimpico

ITV

11th February

2.25

Italy v Ireland

Stadio Olimpico

ITV

11th February

4.50

Wales v England

Principality Stadium

BBC

12th February

3.00

France v Scotland

Stade de France

BBC

25th February

2.25

Scotland v Wales

BT Murrayfield

BBC

25th February

4.50

Ireland v France

Aviva Stadium

ITV

26th February

3.00

England v Italy

Twickenham Stadium

ITV

10th March

8.00

Wales v Ireland

Principality Stadium

BBC

11th March

1.30

Italy v France

Stadio Olimpico

ITV

11th March

4.00

England v Scotland

Twickenham Stadium

ITV

18th March

12.30

Scotland v Italy

BT Murrayfield

BBC

18th March

2.45

France v Wales

Stade de France

BBC

18th March

5.00

Ireland v England

Aviva Stadium

ITV

BBC Six Nations pictures are now available at www.bbcpictures.co.uk

Pictured: Gabby Logan, John Inverdale and Matt Dawson

GS/zoe.barber@bbc.co.uk