Setanta rolls out big guns for World Cup as O’Connell leads line-up

SETANTA Sports has unveiled plans to cover all 48 games live at the Rugby World Cup in France this autumn.

Capitalising on RTÉ’s absence from the tournament, the subscription service is throwing resources and a host of authoritative rugby voices at the tournament — not least Munster and Ireland lock Paul O’Connell, the station’s rugby “ambassador”.

O’Connell was joined yesterday for the launch by presenters Daire O’Brien and Paul Dempsey and rugby commentators Fred Cogley and Connor Morris to announce details of the Irish sports channel’s coverage of all 48 games live from France.

Setanta’s commentary and analysis team for the Rugby World Cup will also include Ciaran Fitzgerald, Matt Williams, Donal Lenihan, Liam Toland, Neil Francis, Mark Robson, Nigel Starmer Smith and Emmet Byrne.

Ciaran Fitzgerald and Matt Williams are new additions to the Setanta line-up. Both will join O’Brien and Dempsey for studio discussion and match build-up, alongside Setanta’s more regular rugby contributors, including acclaimed Irish Examiner analyst Donal Lenihan.

Said Setanta Ireland chief executive Niall Cogley: “Rugby continues to grow in popularity in Ireland and we are looking forward to bringing top quality coverage of this world event to Irish sports fans. We have put a team in place that can give genuine insight into the tournament.”

Coverage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup will begin on Setanta Sports on Friday September 7 when host nation France face Argentina at the St Denis Stadium. Ireland’s first game, which is against Namibia, will be broadcast live on Sunday September 9 on Setanta Sports.

TV3 has also secured rights to cover the Ireland games, while Newstalk has secured live radio rights.

A full list of Setanta’s Rugby World Cup match coverage is as follows:

Friday Sept 7: France v Argentina, 8pm.

Sat Sept 8: New Zealand v Italy, 12.45; Australia v Japan, 2.45; England v USA, 5pm.

Sun Sept 9th: Wales v Canada, 1pm; South Africa v Samoa, 3pm; Scotland v Portugal, 5pm. Ireland v Namibia, 7pm.

Tues Sept 11th: Argentina v Georgia, 7pm.

Wed Sept 12th: USA v Tonga, 1pm; Japan v Fiji, 5pm; Italy v Romania, 7pm.

Fri Sept 14th: England v South Africa, 8pm.

Sat Sept 15th: New Zealand v Portugal, 12pm; Wales v Australia, 2pm; Ireland v Georgia, 8pm.

Sun Sept 16th: Fiji v Canada, 1pm; Samoa v Tonga, 3pm; France v Namibia, 8pm.

Tue Sept 18th: Scotland v Romania, 8pm.

Wed Sept 19th: Italy v Portugal, 7pm.

Thur Sept 20th: Wales v Japan, 8pm.

Fri Sept 21st: France v Ireland, 8pm.

Sat Sept 22nd: South Africa v Tonga, 1pm; England v Samoa, 3pm; Argentina v Namibia, 8pm.

Sun Sept 23rd: Australia v Fiji, 1.30pm; Scotland v New Zealand, 4pm.

Tues Sept 25th: Canada v Japan, 5pm; Romanian v Portugal, 7pm.

Wed Sept 26th: Georgia v Namibia, 5pm; Samoa v USA, 7pm.

Fri Sept 28th: England v Tonga, 8pm.

Sat Sept 29th: New Zealand v Romania, 12pm; Australia v Canada, 2pm; Wales v Fiji, 4pm; Scotland v Italy, 8pm.

Sun Sept 30th: France v Georgia, 2pm; Ireland v Argentina, 4pm; South Africa v USA, 7pm.

Sat Oct 6th: Quarter final 1 — Winner Pool B v Runner Up A, 2pm; Quarter final 2 — Winners Pool C v Runners Up pool D, 8pm.

Sun Oct 7th: Quarter final 3 — Winners Pool A v Runners Up Pool B, 2pm; Quarter final 4 — Winners Pool D v Runners Up Pool C, 8pm.

Sat Oct 13th: Semi final 1 — Winners QF1 v Winners QF2, 8pm

Sun Oct 14th: Semi-final 2 — Winners QF3 v Winners QF4, 8pm.

Fri Oct 19th: 3rd place play off, 8pm.

Sat Oct 20th: World Cup final, 8pm.

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