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Stan Sport unveils rugby commentary team ahead of 19 Feb launch

Nine owned Stan Sport has announced its rugby commentators – led by Roz Kelly and Nick McArdle – ahead of the season’s launch on 19 February.

Announced in November, Stan Sport nabbed the rugby rights, worth $100 million in cash and contra, and will broadcast every game of Super Rugby this year, produced by Nine’s Wide World of Sport.

Stan Sport’s rugby commentating line up

In addition, and for the first time in rugby’s professional history, one Saturday game each week will be available for a free-to-air audience on Nine multi-channel, 9Gem. Australian and New Zealand based Wallabies test matches will also be shown live on Nine.

Kelly and McArdle are joined by former Wallaby players including Tim Horan,  Drew Mitchell, Justin Harrison and Morgan Turinui. Former All-Black star Andrew Mehrtens, and former dual-code international player Allana Ferguson will also offer analysis, while commentators Sean Maloney and Andrew Swain are also on board.

“I’m extremely proud of the incredibly talented and qualified line-up of talent we have brought together to deliver what will be the most comprehensive rugby coverage seen to date in Australia,” said Nine’s head of rugby, Murray Shaw.

“We are bringing a fantastic product to rugby fans new and old as we kick off a new era of the game.”

The commentating team announcement coincides with a Stan Sport campaign ahead of the launch, across TV and out-of-home.

The $10 a month sports package, an add on to a $10 per month Stan subscription ($14 for high definition, and $19 for 4K ultra HD), will also include Wimbledon and Roland Garros later this year, after Stan Sports added those three year tennis rights just a couple of weeks after announcing the rugby deal.

In addition to free to air sports broadcasters, the product competes against Foxtel’s $25 (or $35 for the premium option) a month Kayo (which has the NRL, AFL, cricket, NBA, and NFL), and the $14.99 a month Optus Sports, which has the football rights.

Rugby Australia’s CEO, Andy Marinos, who only began in the role two days ago, on Monday, said: “Super Rugby AU is set to reach new heights in 2021 on its new home on Stan and Nine, with the broad reach of free-to-air as well as ad-free, extensive coverage on Stan Sport.

“We’re extremely excited for the new season of Super Rugby AU, with Australian Rugby superstars set to be streamed into more living rooms than ever before.”

Stan subscribers can activate a free 30-day trial of the sports add on.

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