- 14 Matches to be televised
- Match schedule confirmed
- Tournament planning and preparation on track
The International Rugby Board and the Federazione Italiana Rugby have today announced RAI Sport will be the official television partner for the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 in Italy..
Under the deal, Italy’s leading free-to-air sports broadcaster will produce comprehensive coverage of Rugby’s premier Age Grade competition for Rugby fans around the world, with a Championship record of 14 matches broadcast live.
"We are delighted to be working with RAI Sport to deliver unprecedented coverage of the IRB Junior World Championship. RAI Sport is a proven leader in Rugby and Sports production in Italy and the appointment is wonderful news for Rugby fans around the world who will have unprecedented television access to an event that continues to go from strength to strength,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, in Italy for the announcement.
“This exciting deal represents the first time that the tournament has attracted a major free-to-air national broadcaster and certainly reflects the continued growth in popularity of Rugby in Italy and follows a memorable RBS Six Nations campaign for the senior national side.”
In total eight pool matches, including all three of Italy’s games, will be broadcast live along with the semi finals, third place play-off and the final. The IRB will also deliver a live streaming service of the 14 matches via the official tournament website www.irb.com/jwc, now available in both English and Italian.
The 12-team tournament, which brings together the future stars of the Test arena for five rounds of intense and competitive action, kicks off on June 10 with the Rugby heartlands of Rovigo, Treviso and Padova each staging double-header matches. The impressive Stadio Plebiscito in Padova will host the Final on match day five on June 26.
The teams are spilt into three pools determined by 2010 tournament ranking. Reigning champions New Zealand head Pool A, where they are joined by Argentina, Wales and hosts Italy. Pool B sees last year’s runners up Australia face France, Fiji and Tonga. South Africa and England, both semi finalists in 2010, are joined in Pool C by Ireland and Scotland.
VIEW THE FULL MATCH SCHEDULE HERE >>
The Federazione Italiana Rugby is committed to delivering an event that will not just showcase Italian Rugby to a global audience, but will also leave a legacy of participation and engagement.
“This exciting broadcast agreement continues our commitment to the promotion of our most talented athletes in the Under 20 Six Nations through our close partnership with RAI Sport. Both Director of Rai Sport, Mr Eugenio De Paoli, and Rai TV are champions of Italian Rugby and today's announcement underlines their belief that the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 will be a resounding success and a tournament that Italy can be proud of," said FIR President Giancarlo Dondi.
Eugenio De Paoli, Director of Rai Sport TV, added: "The IRB Junior World Championship represents a fantastic opportunity for the growth of Rugby on the whole Italian territory and as Rai Sport we are delighted that we will be contributing to the development of the Game by broadcasting such a top-level competition, one that over the last few seasons often acted as a launch for some of the athletes now on the senior international scene."
"Throughout these years Rai Sport has been a firm believer in Rugby, as shows by our commitment with FIR in the Super 10 domestic league as well as U20 Six Nations, and we are certain that the Junior World Championship will play a significant role in June in the framework of our sport schedule."
The IRB Junior World Championship 2010 in Argentina smashed all previous tournament records with over 100,000 fans attending high-quality matches that were screened in 149 territories via 19 global broadcasters.