ITV Rugby World Cup 2011 coverage is announced

For our up-to-date article on how ITV are doing covering the Rugby World Cup, click here.

ITVITV this morning outlined their plans for the World Cup, naming their team of pundits and commentators for the tournament that begins on September 9th. ITV will broadcast all the games through to the final on October 23rd. Here is the full list of those who will be covering the tournament:

Commentators: Nick Mullins, Simon Ward, Martin Gillingham, Bob Symonds

Co-Commentators: Alan Quinlan, Scott Hastings, Phil Vickery, Andy Gomarsall

Pundits: Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh, Francois Pienaar, Lawrence Dallaglio, Gareth Thomas, Thom Evans.

Presenters: Steve Rider, Martin Bayfield, Craig Doyle

The opening three weeks of the coverage will be broadcast from London, before the ITV team head out to New Zealand and set up base at Eden Park in Auckland for the knockout stages of the tournament.

All of the Home Nations’ matches will be broadcast live on ITV1 and ITV1HD, and fans will also be able to watch the games live and highlights online on the The coverage will be split between ITV1 and ITV4, with a nightly highlights programme going out on each channel every day.

168 thoughts on “ITV Rugby World Cup 2011 coverage is announced

  1. “The opening three weeks of the coverage will be broadcast from London, before the ITV team head out to New Zealand and set up base at Eden Park in Auckland for the knockout stages of the tournament.”

    That seems a little strange doesn’t it? Would have expected them to be there from the start

  2. Are you kidding? He’s absolutely appalling, pretty much the worst there is. Not sure he actually watches any rugby.

    Excellent pundits and I quite like Nick Mullins and Martin Bayfield but very ordinary fare other than that.

  3. Scott Hasting. Yawn. What about Austin Healey and Dowie Moris. At least they (along with Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Lynagh) know something about the game and can add interest. The co commentators were great players but commentators!! Please!

  4. Its unlikely that Healey or Morris can get out of their ESPN and Sky contracts/committments. Glad to see Lynagh and Fitzpatrick on there and fair play to ITV they’ve tried really hard to get a balance and variety of players and nationalities. Good to see Thom Evans involved although I’m sure everyone would much prefer to see him playing.

  5. DEWI (Morris). And I am not sure about Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas as a pundit. Last time he was in a studio he collapsed with stress…

  6. None of the Sky lot interestingly, I thought Will Greenwood was one of the highlights of RWC07, gutted he won’t be around this year.

  7. Bit of a mixed bag that. Generally not a fan of ITV sporting coverage as it’d tended to lack a bit of class in the past, but the presenting and punditry teams they’ve got lined up are quite strong. Steve Rider is quite an old pro and I’ve been really impressed by Bayfield. His World’s Strongest Man presenting is quite entertaining and he’s got a lot more presence (unsurprisingly) than everyman Craig Doyle.

    Fitzpatrick, Dallaglio and Lynagh will be leaned on heavily because they’re all very accomplished whereas Evans and Thomas are going to be little more than window dressing. In fact why is Thom Evans even there? He’s not an experienced pundit and he didn’t achieve much compared to the line-up he’s with. Think it’s the Kelly Brook effect in action. So typical ITV.

  8. Well I for one will miss Brian moores incisive commentary and well thought out insights into how to Scrum……..

  9. An interesting mix of co-commentators!
    I thought we would see Matt Dawson in there somewhere, especially seeing as Healey is on ESPN!!
    Good to see Thom Evans given a chance as a pundit after his horrific injury last year, will be interesting to see how he gets on!

    Thank God we have a RWC free of Stuart Barnes!!

  10. I wonder if ITV are going to be as professional as they were the last time they broadcast an international…!! You remember, when they put the adverts on just as they were about to kick off…!


  11. CONUNDRUM : Got tickets for RWC game in Dunedin England v Romania, on Sept 24th . Trouble is now cant go, as moving house that weekend !
    So with a country full of all black supporters on my doorstep , and legally only allowed to offload at cost price to friends etc..
    Any ideas how I can successfully pass on They are 60 bucks each therefore 120 bucks for both ??

  12. on the cheap, no barnes no greenwood, 3 weeks in uk then potter out to nz, just not good enough

  13. Have I got this right: for the first three weeks (all the pool games, played by all the home nations) the commentary will voiced-over in London, to pictures beamed in from NZ. Remarkable.

  14. This is very much the B team of the rugby commentary world. In 2007 ITV hired Barnes and Harrison from Sky which I thought was a smart move. The pundits look good though. I reckon Thom Evans could be good actually, representing Scotland with his Wellingtonian accent.

  15. Thank God there’s no Stuart Barnes this time! Nature abhors a vaccuum and by ‘eck does Barnes abhor a second of silence to engage his brain.
    It’s a pity Sky aren’t showing it though. Imagine them having to explain why the sporting gods that they build-up week after week in the Premiership have struggled to beat or lost to Scotland or Argentina!
    There’s no real need to send the pundits out to N.Z. at all. They’ll only have 5 minutes to talk between adverts – not even enough time to spot the backdrop of the studio.

  16. Disgraceful decision to give it to ITV after their appalling track record with any sport coverage apart from Tour De France. The worst part will be the dreadfully smug Rider back on the screens.

  17. Looking forward to the lies on the viewing figures.
    Last time round,’potential 1 billion viewers’,actual viewers for final,22mill.What happened to the other 978 mill?

  18. What? Not one female presenter! Surely that would be a missed opportunity to encourage more girls into the sport.

  19. Also, if you live in Scotland (apart from Border region) and have a satellite connection (if you live in a rural place where there’s no choice!) ITV have decided for ‘contractual reasons’ not to allow us to watch ITV player or HD on our tvs! It’s ridiculous. It means that we’ll have to connect up a computer to the tv in order to watch whereas in england you just go to channel 902. What’s the point of making it that difficult? Surely we should all be able to watch the stuff on tv if we have (as I do) appropriate hd tv and freesat box….. I mean, who is going to be able to watch all the matches live and so we’ll rely on itv player and now can’t even watch it without complete faff of hooking up computer every time. It doesn’t stop us watchin it, just makes it a lot more difficult. Another postcode lottery!

  20. True blood. Can someone please give a detail profile of itvs 4 commentators please. Thanks and as you can prop tell from my name, I am a British born Tongan ?)

  21. Why ITV again? They push their main focus on rugby over the course of a season to ITV4. On their Saturday sports news during a season they do not even let us know any of the results for that days play-generally as a channel they aren’t interested in rugby. They do the World Cup each time, and do it badly. Then there’s the adverts…Why?

    1. can’t agree more the only bonus is at least the pundits have all played top flight rugby so at least they will know what they are talking about.

  22. the best commentators are the rugby club crew from sky sports etc ,sorry itv you just don,t do rugby, stick to corrie street.

    1. Ditto – The best world cup ITV did was the last one – largely down to the best rugby pundits and commentators from SKY, can’t understand why they didnt do it again!!?

      1. Why should we damn well pay extra just to get sky. Every four years is world cup, its people like you allow people like sky to ruin it for others, basically its money money money just to watch as I see it that we already pay for whether its licence, virgin or sky RIP OFF BRITAIN comes too mind.

  23. Can anyone tell me whether I can watch games live on if I am abroad? And secondly can the games be watched on the itv player app, or is it just on the website?


  24. Good to see a co-commentator for each of the home nations. Ireland have Quinlan, Scotland have Hastings, England have Vickery, and Wales have…erm… Gomersall. Can we not be spared an English commentator constantly talking about “Jonny” and “2003” whilst ignoring what happens on the pitch?!

  25. Anyone have any idea when ITV are launching the ipad/iphone app for live streaming of the RWC? they are cutting it fine arent they?

  26. I’m trying to track down this app as well…..
    they mention it on:

    saying: “Watch every match live while on the move with our RWC 2011 ITV Live app, available on iPhone and iPad. The app also features match highlights, exclusive interviews and a fixture planner which allows you to add matches to your iPhone calendar”

    what is the name of the app? RWC 2011 ITV Live ??? I’ve tried looking for that, or just 2011 ITV live and can find nothing…..

  27. I cant find the app either. A few people are asking @itvrugby about it on twitter but there’s been no response. Absolutely ridiculous if you ask me. Maybe apple decided it was as poor as the itv commentary team and didn’t approve it

  28. I’m getting so fed up with the television coverage already with the rugby. Its England this England that. There are other British teams in the Rugby World cup so stop mentioning England so much. We are sick of it!!!!!!!!!!


    1. yeah but wait until the other British sides play, it’s as if the commentators expect us to be supporting them… irritates me so much I watch the games on French or Italian TV half the time….

  29. I quite agree Christine! The opening credits show Engerland a number of times. A token peppering of the other home nations. ITV is, and always has been, too London centric.

    I hope to enjoy the next 45 days coverage, but I fear the constant irritation of Englishdom!

  30. tv
    broadcaster other home nations are again just an after thought! Just one other point Chris Paterson also on his fourth World Cup.

  31. Just as I feared!
    Have had to turn off the first match because of the commentaors.
    High pitched voices spouting out masses of trivia, just to try to impress, has taken away the impact of the play.
    Could someone inform them that they are not commentating to children aged 6 to 10 years old?

  32. Couldn’t agree more. They are like two old women chatting at a bus stop – the only thing they haven’t discussed is the weather, apart from the actual match in play that is. All the important play is being ignore whilst they talk about a player’s history or where he might be playing next month. They should be told to shut up if they can’t comment on what is happening in front of them!

  33. Typical ITV, commentary is beyond awful!!! The world cup is the pinnacle of the sport, surely the viewing public deserve the best!! They have Dallaglio, why not use him as co commentator, he was very good in the six nations co commentating on the italy game!

  34. Well after watching the opening game, it is as I feared, the commentary was shocking, all stats and figures and no game play analysis!!! And the pundit team not in NZ until knock out phase!!! RUBBISH!! I am not a football fan but have watched coverage on BBC of football world cups, where the pundit team present from open terraces in the actual country with the live city backdrops, it all adds to the spirit and feel of the tournament, what do we get?? An ITV London studio, pathetic cheap ITV again!!!! Disgraceful!!

    1. I agree with “Rugbymylifes” comments, however first to the opening ceremony
      We were shown a mere 12 minutes of the on field spectacle with little explanation of what it all represented 3minutes of speeches (ok they had to be made) 5 or 6 Advert breaks (yes they pay for it all) It was very disappointing cover of what looked like a very good ceremony.
      e.g. No mention that the young Rugby player was wearing Canterbury colours
      The sound for the singing was dreadful we could barely hear the choirs

      Then to cap it all they had 3 minutes or more on England ?? Wales Scotland and Ireland are playing too not a mention
      They introduced us to their technology the touch screen spent 30 secs at it mentioned two Tongan players the teams were shown to small to read and that was it No analysis Sean and Lol looked embarassed and ill prepared.

      Not too enamoured with the commentary team either, no analysis, whining voices and in awe of everything the All Blacks did.

      Please improve, for myself, I shall be taping games and watching 60 minutes late so I can miss all the advert breaks Thank God for Sky Plus

  35. Will you all please stop winging about the coverage. The way you’re all talking it’s as if they’ve ruined the whole world cup for you. Is it on the tv? Yes. Did I have to pay for it? No. Good I’m happy then. If you hate the commentators so much put it on mute.

  36. The point is, that this is a showcase event, and every opportunity should be made to use it to encourage boys, girls and adults to get involved in the sport.
    However, such bland and robotic commentary isn’t going to make the sport sound or look exciting, dynamic and exhilarating.
    These numpties almost made Bill Beamount and Nigel Starmmer-Smith almost credible!

  37. ITV have no idea how to cover rugby.
    They hardly cover any club or international rugby and then they steal the World cup and mess it up.
    The commentry team will only be interested in England with very little to say about the other home unions.
    The whole world cup coverage will be cheap and nasty which is really unfortunate for the rugby lovers.

    ITV should stick to what they know best. Cheap and nasty soaps and reality TV.

  38. this morning commentary pathetic !

    research of tongan names and kiwi what school etc
    what about the breakdown offsides clancy weak

  39. The coverage was awful! I’m just watching it again now, Straight In, I hear you on the thank god for SKY plus.
    It wasn’t opening ceremony coverage, it was crap! They talked over everything. ITV should not be covering this, BBC normally cover games who would of done a much better job at it.
    It would of been nice to of just had the open ceremony from 8:30-9, then all the lead up to the game.

  40. Pedantic but…. when L.Dallaglio is introduced the “name badge” at the bottom of the screen mentions “World Cup winner 2003 AND Runner up in 2007”

    S. Fitzpatrick – “World Cup winner 1987″….. what about Runner up in 1995??

  41. Just been watching coverage of opening to World Cup. I am very disappointed, are we going to have to sit through weeks of Lawrence Dallaglio and the lead presenters going on about England with every breath they take. It would be far more enjoyable if a small amount of time was also given to the other home nations. Come on ITV be a little less bias in your coverage

  42. Just watched ITV highlights, what a load of rubbish. An hour long highlights show and they show less that 30 mins of the game including the adverts. Turned it off. Very disappointed. You only had to have watched ITV doing Formula One to realise how appalling the production standards are. It maybe be on terrestrial TV but ITV have no idea how to cover sport. Give it to the BBC.

  43. Come on ITV ! Just watched the France game Martin Gillinghams commentary is beyond awful! Come back Stuart Barnes all is forgiven!
    Watching the panel try to use their touch screen when it doesnt work is just embarrassing.
    Typical ITV coverage – cheaply executed & crap commentary to boot.

  44. ITV commentators – try giving us some unbiased commentary that attempts to give us an informed insight into the game. Or keep quiet…

    1. Please take Phil Vickery OFF the ITV world cup team asap as he is a supporter and will never be able to make a fair commentary

  45. Lacklustre performance from England … too many offsides from the usual suspects … centre pairing looks awful … As for Ambrose on the wing well my only thought is that Kevin Keegan is selecting the team … Let’s hope Foden and JW can bring us home.

  46. Bland, bland commentary. Pathetically pro England despite the referee blowing them up.

    This is a Rugby WORLD Cup….comes across as a parochial little provincial effort. Nearly every aspect is wooden and amateurish.

    Thuggery by Courtney Laws is excused…he should be jailed for assault. If I were an advertiser I would be deeply worried. IBM won’t be getting our business if they associate themselves with this biased rubbish. Cheap and Horrible. Hugely disappointing.

    Cheap and horrible . Hugely disappointing.

    Who gave this contract to ITV….without insisting on quality coverage. poor decision.

  47. a boring match which has been made worse by hugely biased commentary. as a neutral i want to watch and enjoy the match not find myself cursing the commentary team.
    england need to shake themselves up as do ITV.
    even stuart barnes would be better

  48. Disgraceful biased commentary!! ITV you need to do better than this for the next match if you don’t want to ruin the World Cup for rugby fans.

    England don’t deserve to win this match either!

  49. Argentine v England
    The most prejudiced commentary I have ever heard. Come on ITV get “neutral”.
    ITV you can really do better.

  50. Just watched England v Argentina, commentry and advert breaks just awful. I keep turning over to watch anything rather than the ads or bias commentary. This great sporting occassion which only comes around once every four years, ITV have just about ruined it. Could we possibly have pundits from all the home nations not from abroad.

  51. Ditto all the comments made about ITV coverage!! Dull, flat and amateurish compared to the BBC, they just can’t capture the atmosphere or the epic sense of confrontation. The constant commercial breaks don’t help and will increasingly become a pain as the competition goes on, as a viewer I feel completely disconnected from the whole experience. Steve Rider is a jack of all trades when it comes to sports presentation…but master of none! It would help if he actually knew what the score was! TWICE after England’s game he referred to them getting through by ONE point! Actually Steve it was 13-9! In future I’ll be watching only the England games…with the sound turned down and commentary from BBC radio!

  52. Appalled at this coverage! Ads every 10 minutes, an opening ceremony that we got a glimpse of through the window behind the idiots in the chairs who only think there is One Home Nation in the tournament! They know less about the game than I do, boring, boring, boring! BBC do it so much better, and they have pundits who know what they are talking about! They should NOT be allowed to cover any Major tournaments at all – ever!

  53. First two nights quite good. Good to see my fellow Celt, Craig Doyle, knows how to pronounce the surname of England’s inside centre. After years of listening to a red-wine-drinking, West-Countryman who wasn’t as good a No. 10 as the “waste of space” Rob Andrew, I no longer have to look for the “n” in Tuilagi.

    1. Please, please, please take phil vickery off the air. He is ruining the world cup for me with his banal, pointless statements of the blindingly obvious. Absolutely atrocious. I’d even choose the ridiculously partisan Brian Moore over him.

      1. I never thought I would say that I missed Brian Moore as a commentator but Phil has made this possible.
        The rest of the pack are not exactly covering themselves in glory either, I think ITV should explain that as it is TV the commentary does not need to describe the action that we can see in front of us.
        Also try to remember that all the games feature 2 teams.

  54. Once again ITV have shown what a shoddy cheap organisation they are … tuned on to watch the SA v Wales rugby in HD but no picture … sound yes. Picture and sound on normal ITV but no HD picture … seem to remember this problem with the Champions league about 3 years ago.
    Please do not advertise on ITV let them go bust and finally disappear up their own backsides

  55. Absolutely disgusted about the amount of advertising during the opening ceremony, we saw only 12 mins of the opening ceremony with more than 20mins of ads during a 45 min period – what was ITV thinking of!!

  56. Just watched SA v Wales. Enjoyed the game but the commentary left me annoyed and frustrated. Why do they talk incessantly? Don’t they realise that commentary for TV is different than for radio? We can SEE what’s going on!

    As for the “statistics”, do they think we’re watching American Football? Who caught at the lineout, how many scrums collapsed, how many yards a player has made, lineouts won/lost, possession, territory, yawn, yawn, yawn …… All I want is the latest score and the clock!

    I miss the BBC!!!..

  57. Fantastic game – Wales showed real talent – but yet again – no cigar! Never mind – it’s not over yet!!
    However, I am still appalled by the commentary and the coverage in general by ITV. BBC do it SO much better – I miss them!

  58. here we go again does not matter which country is playing all we hear about is england throughout the half time we hear about england at the end of the match we hear about england .classic example today was after the wales south africa game at the end of the programme they gave irelands game a fleeting mention so they could go to the england camp to see them getting their breakfast.every pundit they have is asked what are englands chances .argentina nearly beat england but it was not due to argentina playing well oh no it was due to englands poor perfomance.going by the way Itv are handling their bias coverage none of the other HOME nations should bother being there .i have nothing against the english team or supporters but i tv should maybe remember what the I in ITV stands for.

  59. Awful ITV player. I needed to reload the damned thing 20 times yesterdya to watch the Scotlan match. In the end I went and read about it on the BBC. Directly after I watched 3 hours of programmes on BBC iPlayer with not a glitch.

    Watched the Wales game live on ITV1 via web today, that was ok, then tried to watch Ireland USA. After sever reloads I gave up. It was even playing at one point with a message “video cannot be found”…the video playing behind the message.
    Why is the ITV player so awful?

  60. FFS! Steve Ryder wraps up this afternoon’s highlight show by saying “….on Wednesday, Georgia take on Scotland in Group B, that’s England’s group.”
    This coverage is just so diabolical and ignorant, its embarrassing!

  61. I think the quality of commentating and summarising is very poor for this world cup. Mullins is ok but the summarising is awful.I tried the radio which has some passion but does not synch to the TV.It goes to show how good the BBC are .sky are better than ITV.

  62. Mullins-Vickery combination for the 2 big matches so far involving British teams is disastrous. Mullins’ nerdy style is like having some irritating know-all sitting in the row behind you at a match. Vickery may be a lovely bloke but he’s not a pundit by a million miles. We need some sharp analysis, pointing out stuff that many of us might have missed in the heat of the action. Instead we get the most appalling banalities from a simple, straw-chewing yokel.

    How different all this is from the 2007 WC! Why?

  63. Phil Vickery may have been a half decent prop but as a commentator/summeriser he is a disaster! Poor bloke, he just can’t think quickly enough or has sufficient mastery of the language to do the job. We need some sharp insight into what is happening in the scrums or rucks, and why penalties are being awarded. Some comment on tactics and strategies would be useful. He has no opinions and can only repeat the bleeding obvious – “Wales are going to have to score points to beat the Springboks”!
    It is not his fault – didn’t ITV do the equivalent of a screen test before they employed him? His voice is totally unsuitable for a start. He just drones.
    I am going to have to turn the sound down if ITV continue with him.

  64. Just watched Scotland Georgia game – not too good a spectacle but once again, the commentary was dire. Will they ever shut up? Yes, we can see what’s happening so there’s no need to describe every minor detail, that’s the wonder of TV!

  65. BigT,
    Same here and totally agree, they should learn the art of Companionable Silence…so I can listen to the ref, for example!
    Pleased with the result but:
    Mr ITV listen (as that is what I wish to do) and SHUT UP it’s not radio !

  66. Oh, and I only had to reset ITV player/Watch ITV player reset itself 6 times to watch the whole Scotland – Georgia match, my best so far!!

  67. Very dissapointed about lack of opening ceremony coverage…and too many adverts to count, NO post game analysis or interviews opening game….was thinking it was going to be a long month. BUT, having just watched coverage of an overnight ‘minnows’ game fabulous! Well done to the pundits staying up all night to watch and comment for us and inciteful if I didn’t always agree with you. Thanks to M Lynah and S Fitzpatrick for the coverage of the Canada game.
    Keep it up!

  68. Don’t forget that all of Wales’s matches, plus about half of the knock-out games are also live and free to air on S4C, which is available on Freesat. Sure, the commentary’s in Welsh but that’s not necessarily less intelligible than Mullins & Vickery.

  69. I’m finding it harder and harder to watch ITV’s appalling coverage of the RWC. The commentary is the worst part with Mullins the chief culprit. His endless stream of childish wordplay and irrelevant claptrap, all delivered as if the audience were made up of ignoramus’s who’d never seen a game before is toe curlingly dire. Mullins, please please please watch how the Australians or New Zealanders do it. They deliver in a relaxed, knowledgable style rather than sound like Mr. Bean talking to a three year old.

  70. I agree, the commentary is, at best, inept — but Bob Symonds takes some beating in this regard:

    * He needs to learn the definition of “spear tackle”.

    * He needs to learn the difference between a penalty and a free kick.

    * If he thinks that at team that is trailing by 3 points will be ahead after kicking a penalty, either (a) he does not know the points value of a successful penalty kick or (b) he is incapable of simple, kindergarten-level, arithmetic.

    Then we have two different mispronunciations of “van der Merwe” within 30 seconds; surely it must dawn on even him that they can’t both be right and that he needs to ask someone (e.g his colleague, Pienaar). How difficult can it be?

    Apart from being an unnecessary irritant added into the mix and detracting from the subject matter, he frequent mispronunciations of names show both disrespect and journalistic idleness: we have had at least four different pronunciations of “Hape”; again, surely they must realise that they can’t all be right. OK, if these were names with sounds that are difficult for English speakers (e.g. “Guus” or “Ncube”), there might be some excuse, but when all you have to do is _ask_, there is none.

    I’ll climb off my soapbox….

    1. This is the same Bob Symonds who on previous occasions has insisted on calling one nation “Saar Mower”. He may be technically correct but as a nation, we pronounce it in much simpler fashion. His commentary style seems simply to be pointing out who’s got the ball!

  71. Can you stop dissing ITV’s coverage? Nick Mullins is a commentator for the BBC normally, it may not be the best coverage in the world but ITV is FREE and not everyone has Sky.
    I think they do a pretty good job.
    Basically, they’ve had it since 1991, and whoever bids the most gets it, end of!

    1. If accurately enumerating the components of a thorughly shoddy job is “dissing”, then so be it. Just because it’s free is not an excuse to do a shoddy job — and the only alternative to ITV isn’t Sky.

    2. We’re “dissing” because we’re used to better from the BBC. I’m sure it’s ITV influencing the commentary style with instructions to “keep talking and assume viewers don’t know much about the game”.

    3. It’s persuaded me pay for TV is worth it, for the first time ever.

      End of. (having to listen to the biased drivel from ITV that is)

  72. ITV commentators so far have been uninspiring, just listing player after player is not commentating on the game. They have not caught the spirit or the excitement of the world cup. The co-comentators and pundits are technically good but lack the personality or entertaining skils to make it a viewing and listening pleasure. They could learn from the late great Bill McLaren or Murray Mexted or Tony Johnston. Come on ITV GET IT TOGETHER

  73. Just watched ireland game.As a neutral thought Bryce Lawrence was unquestionably biased.Several key decisions were clearly wrong.Thought Irish play was extremely negative and warranted justifiable punishment(ref just kept giving in their favour).High tackle in first half was reckless and should have been yellow card.Luck of the Irish is famous, couldnt really loose with crowd and ref on their side.

  74. Once again we have to endure the banal commentary of Mullins & vickery – don’t itv read these comments?
    Yesterday in the SA v Fiji game there were a number of subs which the commentators didn’t even mention not to mention incorrect player names.
    As I type I have to listen to ‘hapes’ name pronounced in different ways & how he was born & bred in NZ so must be enjoying being home at last !
    What a joke !

  75. Armitage had an altrication with a drugs officer & got banned – Now Tuilagi was lucky not to be deported last year – luckily they found a way to keep him in the country.
    Heres Simpson born in Australia mothers a kiwi now an England international.
    Just a few classic commentary gems from today’s match.

  76. Is it just me or is anyone else fed up with the overuse of close up. It’s the default TV shot. It means that we cant see how the field is laid out and what the non ball carrying players are doing- how the defenders are closing in, where are the gaps, who is on the overlap. Just watching a close up of a guy running with ball gets really boring!!

    Heavens even the commentators have to tell us viewers if we are near to try line

    The close up is great for breakdowns, scrum and mauls but NOT once the ball is running and for replays but not,not ,not for the default camera position.

    If ITV cant do this then ate least give us a red button so those who want to can leave it on a non-close up view for the game.

    Close ups are really fantastic though!


  77. Because I was only 8 in 1987, can someone tell me why lots of people say the first (and only) RWC on the BBC wasn’t presented very well?

  78. I am fed up of this terrible coverage already.

    The highlights are on 11.35 in the evening for 30 mins on the matches that are on weeknights!!!! Disgusting!

    Last week, Champions League was on at 7pm, finished at half 9, and at half 10 there was highlights of the football, with the RWC on at 11.35pm! How is that fair???

    The RWC is the 3rd biggest sporting event in the world, and the coverage is aweful, the commentators are even worse!

    Why don’t BBC outbid ITV?

  79. ITVs coverage is quite awful, the sets are uninspiring and unsightly, the commentary is poor and uninformed, where are the entertaining behind the scenes mini docs and interviews and as for the copious and untimely breaks for adverts.. How wonderful would the World Cup be if BBC covered the competition, classy, well informed, entertaining and insightful. Keith Wood, Jonathan Davies, Brian Moore, Guscott and Inverdale. BBC just seem to get it right, such a shame that its all down to cash, I really feel cheated out of what should be a great spectacle, the only saving grace is Sky plus which means that I can record the games and wizz through all the dross later.

  80. The long and short of it is that BBC haven’t got the cash to bid for it – it’s a shame, because once ‘Auntie’ woulld have.
    And the coverage will get better now as the team are off to Auckland

  81. Oh, how I’ve tried to get used to the commentary style that ITV has thrust upon us. I’ve been subjected to so much drivel and mutterings that I’ve finally given up. YOU WIN!

    1. Scotland yet again throw away the match against Argentina … daft team changes by Andy Robinson at a crucial stage and bad execution of tactics by the team. They really suffered from the lack of a thinker in the team in the last 10 minutes

  82. Had to turn off the sound after30 minutes of the Oz v USA match.The commentator never stopped talking.Talked over what the ref was saying to players and then didn’t bother to pass on what was said.The ball going across the back line and he informed us that the sister of one of the Oz players also played rugby!!Stats are for pre match….during stoppages and half time,not during play.I had the impression he was really bored and I joined him.Pity Bob Symmonds couldn’t do all the matches….he talks rugby.

  83. Please can we have NZ commentary when the ABs play, why repeat when will the French comeback start? very poor commentary. Give us a red button for options please.

  84. As a player, in his prime, Phil Vickery was my absolute hero and I could not fault his commitment to the game and to England.

    Unfortunately, and regrettably I cannot help feel that Phil is totally unsuited to the commentary box, his input is mostly bland and states the obvious, demonstrates little insight into the game, the technicalities of the game or gives an intelligent non biased interpretation of the rules of the game.

    Sorry Phil – I don’t think this career is for you !

  85. I’m enjoying the Rugby World cup coverage on ITV enormously but there’s one aspect that’s driving me to distraction.

    I don’t know which one it is but one of the commentators has the annoying habit of using the noun rather than the adjective when describing aspects of a particular country’s play, for example:

    It’s Canada ball or a France penalty rather than Canadian and French etc.

    Not only is this lazy but it’s torturous to listen to and most off putting.

  86. I will never ever complain about BBC commentators again. The pointless blethering of the ITV shower trivialises the game by its hyperbole and portentousness. Why use 3 words when 30 will do? It is driving me to distraction. The execrable Martin Gillingham should be moved on to rythmic gymnastics for the Olympics…

  87. My favourite piece of commentary so far is:

    “The referee’s whistle sends the teams to the sanctity of the changing rooms.”
    After 40 mins Scotland v Georgia.

    Did they all go and pray?

  88. I agree with Graham and can only guess that BBC and Sky have all the good commentators. Which numbskull decided to sign-up Vickery? England’s performance on and off the pitch has been relatively mediocre – the product is damned into appalling by having the inarticulate and weak ramblings of Vickery spouting the blindingly obvious. I am aware that he will have a contract and so I guess he can’t be dumped at this late stage (which would be the best option for all of us), but surely ITV could move him onto lesser games e.g. Georgia v Romania????

  89. To be honest I never got over the loss of Bill McClaren. I say that as an Englishman. He never let his nationality get in the way. His love of the game shone through. He knew his stuff and he let the game speak for itself, only adding interesting and witty insights. Eddie Butler is improving but doesn’t come close.

    1. Arturoui,

      Yes, Bill McLaren set the standard. He also had the ability to build a sense of occasion which ITV commentators could do well to adopt. Sadly, they don’t have the in depth of knowledge or ability to do it.

  90. BigT. Many thanks for the gentle rebuke. My inability to spell Bill McLaren’s name correctly should not detract from the reverence with which I used it. ;)

    1. Arturoui,

      No rebuke intended. I was simply agreeing with you! Bill McLaren was indeed a legend. I’ve read his book, quite interesting.

  91. Thank goodness my friends and I are not alone in our thoughts about Martin Gillingham. Sadly I find his verbal diarrhoea so bad and so distracting that I either watch with no sound or not at all. We have emailed ITV to complain about him, the first time any of us have felt so strongly about any commentator. He clearly does extensive research about each game but most of what he delivers is utterly irrelevant. Please don’t allow him to spoil any of the upcoming important games.

  92. Does anyone have the correct email for ITV so the feelings on here regarding the quality of some of their commentators can get through?

  93. Commentaries are uniformly poor, either stating the obvious, or stating the absurd. Co-commentators sound as if they read from a script rather than elucidate on the action. Poor show.

    1. I cannot agree more with some of the awful commentary on ITV, they are an Andy Nicol away from a complete disaster!

      Two things annoyed me watching the USA Vs Italy game:

      1. The attempted try for Italy not given, where both commentators were whinging at the TV official going over it more than once when everyone could see the ball had either gone out of play or was knocked on.

      2. The main comentator describing Martin Castrogiovanni’s try as his 11th Cap.

      Poor, poor, poor I bet Steve Ryder cries himself to sleep at night, give The Rugby World Cup to The BBC.

    2. How true, Alan!

      Georgia have a penalty, kick for touch, ball doesn’t make touch and is caught by English player, who passes infield. This inspires the commentator to inform us:

      “England take the line-out quickly.” (or words to that effect)

      Even ignoring the ‘Specsaver moment’, he is clearly ignorant of the laws of the game he presumes to comment upon. Shoddy.

  94. Once against the England bias in the commentary and analysis in the match against Scotland is breathtaking !

    1. Really were we watching the same game, Phil Vickery was full of nothing but priase for Scotland and by the way he’s an ex-Enlgand player, just in case you didn’t know!

  95. Sunday morning pre Ireland/Italy game reference was made that Dallaglio supported any
    team,”HIS REPLY HE DIDN`T SUPPORT WALES”. Didn`t expect anything else from an Englishman.

    1. Whats your point Dai? We weren’t the ones celebrating a friendly win like we’d won The World Cup and you wonder why we make comments like that!

  96. A big weekend approaches and I’d like to make a plea to the ITV commentators to redeem themselves with an acceptable performance.
    Firstly, don’t assume that us viewers know little about the game as by and large, we’re a knowledgable lot.
    Secondly, don’t think that you have to talk incessantly. We can see most of what’s going on but there is the occasional need to fill us in on what we may have missed.
    Thirdly, try to build a sense of occasion. It can be done, Bill McLaren did it all the time.
    Lastly, don’t bombard us with meaningless statistics – running yards, scrums won/lost, takes in the lineout, possession, territory etc. All I want to know is the score and how many minutes left!

  97. What great observations Big T – and can I add to your request list that Vickery, (whose balls seem to have been raised for last weeks commentary when he had been clearly told to improve his commentary, but his one-dimensional response was to speak in a very high pitched voice as he stated the blindingly obvious throughout the match) will have the courage to release himself from his contract before tomorrow’s game – or failing that – stop speaking.

    1. Yes, I’ve no problem with that. Vickery came out with another classic today – “England are doing all the things right”. This was when play had been going for just one minute! I think someone will compile a list to rival Coleman Balls after this performance. Stick to cooking Phil!

    2. Where is some positive commentary on South Africas play?????? The ref is having the worst game of all

  98. ITV coverage is rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just seen the wales game, still they have the build up in the studio with nothing at all from the pitch side before or after. Such a big game and you get absolutly none of the atmosphere and the commentary was rubbish. It sounds like they aren’t even at the ground themselves????
    Then I start to watch the England game and for some unknown reason they aren’t in the studio but have the build up to the match from the pitch side, why is it different for that game??????
    ITV coverage has been a complete joke.

  99. Phil Vickery is the worst commentator ever,we are not deaf but all he does is shout and make rubbish comments

  100. Half time, and England look out of it already. The GOOD news is that there is a flight home …put Vickery on that plane too!
    In fact …put the whole ETV (English Television) on it, and just give us the feeds from out antipodean counterparts instead.

  101. for the love of goodness, please SEND VICKERY HOME!!! Or at least, stop inflicting his appalling commentary on us all! i have really enjoyed the ITV coverage so far, but he really does spoil it.

  102. This ITV match commentary is so bad! and has been so bad throughout the World Cup

    I am so glad comments made about other teams in previous games, are now having to be swallowed by these idiots.

    England are poor, were poor last season and are lucky to compete at this level. “it will not be long before teams like Georgia are competing with ENGLAND”

    As we say, “get it right up you”

  103. I have never heard so biased and crap a commentary as was given by Gareth Thomas during the Wales v Ireland game. There was no humility whatsoever and he continually interupted the other commentaters to put the latest fantastic manouver by the welsh. I even found myself cheering for Ireland just for him to shut up. I thought Jonathon Davies was bad but he takes the biscuit. Or was he just so very excited as he will be able to hang around the shower room for another week.

  104. ITV, whose television coverage of the Rugby World Cup should be professional, had an advert filled with English footballers and St George flags – England are only 1 of 4 home nations, just in case they hadn’t noticed. England have gone home, the wheels have come off that rickety, ostentatious chariot yet again. Having declared on ITV not so long ago that he wasn’t supporting Wales, Lawrence Dallaglio tries to redeem himself by saying we’ll beat France. I hope both he and Austin Healey choke on very stale humble pie. Meanwhile, can the bias towards England STOP on ITV as from now, PLEASE? Praising England’s skill in beating Romania’s 2nd XV was laughable. I shall be watching the Wales v France match at the Millennium Stadium. If I was in the comfort of my own home, I would watch S4C for sensible commentary in my mother tongue but if we have to suffer English commentary, is it too much to ask for it to be informative and balanced? At least I won’t be force-fed Vauxhall’s dreadful flag of St George advert any more. I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies.

  105. Along with many others I have complained about the very poor (ITV) coverage (particularly the commentary – Vickery especially). Indeed, I have contacted ITV and received a response (with all credit to them). I have urged them to keep monitoring this blog so that they may learn lessons.
    Sadly, the poor commentaries and alleged bias by commentators does nothing to bind true sports-lovers together as illustrated by Cardi a Chymraes who has a good point. There has to be good ‘banter’ between us – that is part of the enjoyment of rugby but willing a team to lose can never be regarded as an honourable value of any true sportsman. I am an ardent English fan (though my mother was Welsh and we were a family divided!), but we can all see the arrogant, juvenile and ill-disciplined approach that England took not ony towards the WC but for at least the last two Six Nations. Wales are to be admired for their honest and committed approach to their campaign – not to mention their good rugby. I wish them well for Saturday.

  106. Tom, the response was as follows:
    Thank you for your recent email regarding the Rugby World Cup 2011
    ITV’s analysis and commentary team for the Rugby World Cup includes experienced ex players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. ITV Sport has a long and established reputation as an impartial broadcaster of sport and has covered every Rugby World Cup tournament since 1991.
    We always aim to give fair and balanced coverage to all of the countries competing, especially the home nations, whilst of course reflecting the demands of the audience watching throughout the ITV network.
    We’re sorry you felt it necessary to contact ITV on this matter, but please be assured that your comments have been passed on to, and read by, the senior production team who are producing ITV’s Rugby World Cup coverage.
    May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to contact us here at ITV and if we can be of further assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact us again.
    ITV Viewer Services

    Much as expected I think – but at least a response.

    1. Julia – I too would like to know who was the commentator today. He has been leading the commentary for most matches I watched, and today was simply a continuation of the most wretched and appalling commentating of any sport I have watched in 30 years – yes he is that bad. Does not know the laws, does not know the players, clearly commentated from a TV screen not by watching the game, and so on. The 4 named ex players were also one-eyed and poor but the chap leading is supposed to be a professional commentator. Your senior production team need to carefully listen to the commentary of all the televised games and they will find that what rugby fans are telling you here is correct. It is simply not acceptable to pay enough money to win the TV rights and then deliver incorrect, asinine and unprofessional drivel for commentary – if ITV wins the rights for 2015 I will most likely turn the sound off and listen to the radio.

      1. i totally agree with greg macleod – nick mullins’ commentary is very poor and he betrays his lack of understanding of the game. When he was calling the france wales game a ‘terrific match’ I was shouting at the screen ‘no its not, this is a poor match brought on by nerves and killed by the ref’
        PLEASE PLEASE can ITV put andy gomarsall and the fella that commentates with him in for the final, at least that pairing dont commentate with some INSIGHT.
        Otherwise the ITV coverage has been ok, but mullins is having a shocker and has to be binned! DO NOT HAVE MULLINS and vickery for the final or people will switch OFF !!!

  107. who ever is the person commentating with dallagio is shocking. he has no idea about rugby. its been the worst commentry in any sport i have ever heard.

  108. 2 dramatic semi finals enjoying it very much … Where did this young NZ stand off come from :-) more comments about the game please , I really am not interested in who is commentating … common NZ

  109. ITV have already secured the rights for the RWC 2015.
    They did try to get commentators from the BBC, but the stupid BBC rules wouldn’t let them (except for Nick Mullins for some odd reason)

  110. Commentary has been awful. As far as the Welsh guys go..Gareth Thomas and Michael Owen have got to be the most boring, uninspiring, non-engaging and mono tonal speakers i’ve ever heard commentate during games. Terrible mono tonal blurb.

    As for the English guys, for once and i’m very surprised..they seem quite humble and unbiased.

  111. I’m only pleased that ITV didn’t engage the boring commentators foisted upon us by the BBC – especially the one that over pronounces the names of French players and fails to pronounce France as the French do.

  112. Oh dear Jim, how misguided. I can only imagine that you are an employee of ITV or have a very unusual sense of humour. Yours is very much a lone voice.

  113. The rwc cup final was spoilt for me by the incesssant blubbering of the commentater.
    giving out an endless torrent of useless information.I turned the sound off on several
    occasions as he kept a verbal tsunami of irrelevent information instead of reporting the game.Give him the red card forever.

    1. Absolutely agree. The final was spoiled for me by the appalling commentary. Every inane cliche in the book. It added nothing to the action, and in fact he was burbling on about some stupid background “info” right when some exciting breaks were happening, it was so distracting I ended up turning the sound off, just to avoid the drivel.

      Rest in peace Bill McClaren:.

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