Former Munster rugby winger Brian Carney has been chosen to front Sky Sports’ GAA championship coverage alongside Rachel Wyse.
The Cork-born ex-rugby union and rugby league international will co-present with Kildare native Wyse, an anchor with Sky Sports News, at each of the broadcaster’s 20 live games.
Carney is already on Sky’s books as a presenter on its rugby league output. The 37-year-old, who played with Wicklow GAA club Valleymount in his teens, admitted he had pleaded to be considered for the position.
“I never thought I’d get the chance to work with Gaelic games,” he said at yesterday’s announcement in Croke Park. “I didn’t think I’d get the chance to work on television with any sport.
“I moved from rugby league to television and when the opportunity arose I put my hand up, really. I said ‘please, please consider me’ and if I stand among all the candidates I’d be delighted to do it.
“I played football until I was 20 to no great standard but I loved it so I understand the significance of it. I guess I’m excited about seeing it on the same platform as all the other sports and having the opportunity to introduce new people to it.”
Both Carney and Wyse admitted they are fully aware of the onus on them to perform well as Sky dips its foot into the GAA, starting with the June 7 Leinster hurling quarter-final between Kilkenny and Offaly.
Wyse, 29, said: “It’s a huge opportunity for me. I’ve been at Sky for the last four years now so I have kind of seen how they package programmes. To have the opportunity to work on a GAA programme with Sky is huge.
“Yes, there is a pressure because I’m Irish and I think people will be watching us, especially the first show. Half the world will tune in to see what it’s like.”
In terms of analysts, Sky has borrowed heavily from TV3, which lost its Championship coverage. Nicky English and Jamesie O’Connor have been signed up as the hurling experts while Peter Canavan and Paul Earley are the football pundits.
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