New Zealand rugby cult hero Stephen Donald and injured All Black Damian McKenzie have joined Spark Sport's coverage team for the Rugby World Cup.
A hero of the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup winning campaign, Donald will return to the arena in the commentary booth along side veteran caller Scotty Stevenson in Japan, with side-line comments from journalist Kimberlee Downs and a range of All Blacks greats including Keven Mealamu, Sir Graham Henry, Conrad Smith and Tamati Ellison.
Back in TVNZ's Auckland studio, McKenzie headlines the analysis team, which will provide pre-match and most-match analysis. The 24-year-old is joined by UK-based broadcaster James Gemmell, returning home to New Zealand to anchor the team, Super Rugby stalwart Isa Nacewa, former All Black Jon Preston, 2017 Women's World Cup winner Kristina Sue and singer-songwriter Anika Moa.
Head of Spark Sport Jeff Latch was excited to bring a fresh take on the Rugby World Cup to New Zealand.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"We've designed a line-up of presenters and commentators and a range of programming that aims to bring some new thinking to the coverage, while still maintaining the essentials that rugby fans know and love. The talent that we've recruited demonstrates that – there are some well-loved names in there, but also some exciting newer talent.
"We're confident that rugby fans will be impressed by the huge range of content that we're creating to support what's shaping up to be an incredibly exciting tournament."
All 48 matches of the rugby World Cup will be streamed on Spark Sport, with 12 matches free to air on TVNZ 1, including delayed coverage of all All Blacks pool matches and quarterfinal, with live coverage of the semifinals and final of the tournament.