For Premier Sports – the new home of all live Guinness PRO14 rugby action in the UK – weekend three provides another exciting series of games to broadcast with thousands of rugby supporters tuning in for lively analysis, commentary and inside track from its 19-strong team.
In Wales, it’s debut day with Premier Sports for Shane Williams, one of Welsh sport’s all-time greats and biggest names in world rugby. Shane will be at Parc y Scarlets as the Scarlets take on an in-form Benetton Rugby team who have secured two victories against Welsh opposition this season. However, make no mistake West Wales will be bouncing with confidence and spirits are running high after a big win over Championship winners Leinster last weekend.
In Scotland, also on the Premier Sports team sheet for the first time is 109 capped and record points scoring Scottish international Chris Paterson, who gets his first outing back at his home club in Edinburgh, as well as a first night for accomplished and popular TV presenter Emma Dodds. Chris and Emma will be staring alongside Dougie Vipond, Rory Lawson and Jim Hamilton who are all ready to bring viewers all the chat and insight around a thrilling opening night on home turf for Edinburgh Rugby who face Connacht in Round 3.
The top-billing Premier Sports TV line-up for this weekend in Wales and Scotland is:
Friday Sept 14th Edinburgh v Connacht: Dougie Vipond, Emma Dodds, Rory Lawson, Jim Hamilton, Chris Paterson
Sat 15th Sept Scarlets v Benetton: Ross Harries, Lauren Jenkins, Eddie Butler, Shane Williams, Tom Shanklin
All SEVEN games are covered this weekend across Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy and South Africa, with plenty of eye-catching match-ups for supporters to enjoy and every game shown across Premier Sports 1 & 2 Channels and FreeSports: That’s more than 15 hours of live rugby match coverage in just one weekend.
Friday Sept 14th Edinburgh v Connacht, kick off 7.35pm Live on Premier Sports 1
Friday Sept 14th Munster v Ospreys, kick off 7.35pm Live on Premier Sports 2
Sat Sept 15th Scarlets v Benetton, kick off 5.15pm Live on Premier Sports 1
Sat Sept 15th Leinster v Dragons, kick off 5.15pm Live on Premier Sports 2
Sat Sept 15th Cheetahs v Warriors, kick off 6.30pm Live on FreeSports
Sat Sept 15th Zebre v Cardiff Blues, kick off 7.35pm Live on Premier Sports 1
Sun Sept 16th Southern Kings v Ulster, kick off 1.15pm Live on Premier Sports 1
Shane Williams said: “It’s been a really positive start for Premier Sports, everyone I’ve spoken to has said how much they are enjoying the coverage and how much of it there is – I’ve only heard positive things. I’ve watched the highlight shows as well as the Welsh games and been really impressed, they’ve been superb. In fact I’ve just felt I’ve been missing out not having been involved yet – so really looking forward to the weekend and joining up with the team.
“From a rugby point of view, it’s been a great start to the Guinness PRO14, and certainly we’ve had a sense that the competition is fiercer this season with some very close games in the opening rounds – all of which is great for the Championship and its future. Saturday night’s encounter at Parc y Scarlets will be a fiery one, Benetton are playing with ambition, they can throw the ball around and defences have struggled to control them and they can take confidence from two big wins against Welsh teams to open their season. The Scarlets showed their class last weekend to secure a big win against Leinster and at home a confident Scarlets side is going to be very tough to beat.”
Chris Paterson said: “I’m really delighted and feel privileged to be part of Premier Sports’ coverage of the Guinness PRO14 – they’ve had a brilliant start and with so much world-class talent on show on the field, it’s going to be exciting to be a part of the team in Scotland presenting these games. It’s Edinburgh’s first home fixture after two tough away games where their performances arguably deserved more than the two losing bonus points they’ve picked up – conversely it’s the Irish province’s first away trip and they will be expecting to meet a fired up home team.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the two back rows and back 3s match up tonight. Edinburgh have Hamish Watson back at 7 and he is all action! A powerful ball carrier and very good in and around the contact area. Jamie Ritchie alongside him brings attacking flair too and Luke Hamilton will be back on BT Murrayfield turf for the first time since his impressive showing versus the All Blacks. Connacht are led by Butler at 7 who leads from the front, young Paul Boyle impressed with two tries last week and is very impressive with the robust and experienced O’Brien at 6. Van Der Merwe returns in the back 3 for Edinburgh and Adeolokun for Connacht, we’re guaranteed action when they get their hands on the ball.”
Chief Executive of Premier Sports Richard Sweeney said: “It’s been a busy time for our teams but what’s great is that the feedback from the clubs, PRO14 and supporters has been really positive – especially around the opportunity to access so much rugby action, all in one place. We’re happy that supporters are enjoying it and feel there’s real value, we want them to relax at a weekend knowing that we’ve got Guinness PRO14 rugby covered with every single game live and a feast of rugby to catch all week long with our highlights and preview shows.”
Highlights of all this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 will be broadcast Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm on Premier Sports 1 with these repeated on FreeSports and Monday Night Rugby coverage starting at 7.30pm. As with every week, Premier Sports will air a special Guinness PRO14 preview show on Wednesday night at 9pm ahead of the second round of fixtures. This ‘PRO14 Hour’ will be repeated on FreeSports at 10pm.
Premier Sports, is the home of the Guinness PRO14 in the UK and will be showing all 152 games from the Guinness PRO14 this season. Rugby fans can subscribe on Sky or the Premier Sports Player for £9.99 per month with the first month free. Visit www.premierports.com to sign up to see all the live action. Customers on other TV services should contact their operator.