Press Centre

Six Nations Live

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Title: 

    Six Nations Live 2018 - Italy v England
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Sun 04 Feb 2018
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    2.15pm - 5.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 06 2018 : Sat 03 Feb - Fri 09 Feb
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    New
Six Nations Live 2018 - Italy v England
 
ITV’s live coverage of the NatWest Six Nations Championship 2018 features a stellar line-up of on-screen talent and matches from the year’s biggest rugby event set to be shown on the channel.
 
The channel will show seven matches throughout the six weeks of the tournament, including key clashes such as England v Wales and Ireland v Wales, as well as Ireland v Scotland and what some are tipping to be the title decider, England v Ireland at Twickenham.
 
The 2018 Championship, which kicks off on Saturday February 3, marks the third of a six-year deal between ITV and the BBC that sees matches shared between both broadcasters on television and online.
 
Leading ITV’s team will be presenters Mark Pougatch and Jill Douglas, joined by Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dallaglio, members of England’s victorious Rugby World Cup 2003 team, along with their coach Sir Clive Woodward, former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, former Scotland and Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan, England Women World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, former England international Ugo Monye, former Italian captain Marco Bortolami and former Scotland international Jim Hamilton.
 
Martin Bayfield will combine presenting duties with his role as reporter. Joining them with a wealth of experience in the commentary box will be Nick Mullins, Martin Gillingham and Simon Ward, plus co-commentators Shane Williams, Gordon D’Arcy, Ben Kay, Scott Hastings and David Flatman. Bringing viewers all the latest developments from in and around the stadia will be reporter Gabriel Clarke.
 
Following the success of ITV’s exclusive Rugby World Cup 2015 coverage, 2016 saw ITV broadcast Six Nations Rugby for the first time. ITV will also exclusively broadcast live coverage of Rugby World Cup 2019 from Japan, and Rugby World Cup 2023.
 
In recent years, ITV has taken viewers right to the heart of the action with ref cams, specialist lineout cameras, tracking cameras, corner post cameras and spider cams to ensure viewers can see crunch moments from a range of close-up perspectives.
 
Brand new this year will be the ITV Six Nations podcast, hosted by David Flatman and Tom Shanklin. There will be six episodes, including a preview of the tournament, in which Flats and Shanks will discuss all the main talking points in their own humorous and engaging style.
 
Every match will be simulcast live on the ITV Hub, on web and app, for viewers to watch online, and our responsively designed Six Nations site – itv.com/six-nations – will help bring the tournament to life with all the latest news and highlights of all games. The ITV Rugby Twitter account will feature in-match clips during each of the channel’s broadcasts.
 
ITV’s portfolio of world-class sports rights also includes the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, exclusive, live, free to air coverage of all England's qualifying matches for major tournaments until 2022, as well as the Tour de France, the French Open, and exclusive live coverage of horse racing.
 
ITV Six Nations 2018 schedule
 
Sunday February 4: Italy v England [KO 3pm] 2.15pm ITV
 
Saturday February 10: Ireland v Italy [KO 2.15pm] 1.30pm ITV
- plus England v Wales [KO 4.45pm] 4.20pm ITV
 
Saturday February 24: Ireland v Wales [KO 2.15pm] 1.30pm ITV
 
Saturday March 10: Ireland v Scotland [KO 2.15pm] 1.30pm ITV
 
Saturday March 17: Italy v Scotland [KO 12.30pm] 12pm ITV
- plus England v Ireland [KO 2.45pm] 2.25pm ITV
 
 
PRESS PACK Q&As
 
MARK POUGATCH
 
Who do you think will win the Six Nations and why? Can you see England claiming their third title in a row?
 
I don’t think anyone will win the Grand Slam but I can see England winning the title, with their Twickenham match against Ireland being pivotal. 
 
Which players are you looking forward to watching?
 
Anthony Watson of England after his Lions performances. But what position will he play in the backs? Also, Ali Price and his ability to give Scotland a different dimension from scrum half and Liam Williams, who if fit is a certain starter for Wales.
 
Who are the dark horses?
 
Scotland. Such an encouraging autumn, a destruction of Australia, a scaring of the All Blacks. Their ‘dark horses’ tag is receding fast because of their recent big strides, but the challenge now is to prove it in the Six Nations.
 
Which matches are you particularly looking forward to, and why?
 
England v Ireland - with two Irish provinces in the Champions Cup quarter finals, Ireland will be optimistic for a good Championship, but it’s time now to translate that into big wins away from Dublin. Also Scotland v England - should be titanic with Scotland’s stock at its highest for years. 
 
What impact do you think changes in circumstances for the teams (for example, key players like Bastareaud, O'Brien and Vunipola missing out through suspension or injury) will have on the Six Nations?
 
With the Lions tour over, it’s now full steam ahead with the Rugby World Cup just 19 months away and any replacement for big name players will have a massive incentive. I think any impact will therefore be quite short term.
 
 
JILL DOUGLAS 
 
Who do you think will win the Six Nations and why? Can you see England claiming their third title in a row?
 
England, with their track record and success over the November tests, make them the team to beat. The depth of the squad is impressive. Scotland, if they can keep their injuries to a minimum, will be competitive. 
 
Which players are you looking forward to watching? Stuart Hogg (naturally).
 
Who are the dark horses?
 
France.
 
Which matches are you particularly looking forward to, and why?
 
I love Rome and I am looking forward to Italy v Scotland on the final weekend… Scotland chasing a Grand Slam?
 
What impact do you think changes in circumstances for the teams (for example, key players like Bastareaud, O'Brien and Vunipola missing out through suspension or injury) will have on the Six Nations?
 
The 6 Nations always throws up surprises/injuries/suspensions etc… Even with full squads at the start of the competition, there will be key players who sadly miss out later through injury. England look like they have the biggest issues in the back row but as I said earlier, they have so much quality to choose from!
 
How much of an impact will the new laws around rucks and tacklers using the ball have on the tournament?
 
It is the way it is interpreted by the referrers that will have the biggest impact.
 
 
MAGGIE ALPHONSI
 
Who do you think will win the Six Nations and why? Can you see England claiming their third title in a row?
 
I think Ireland will win the title. If it was not for significant injuries and absences I would have backed England all the way but the odds are in favour of Ireland. They have three games at home and many of their players are in form with Leinster and Munster both through to the quarter-finals of the European Cup. It has already been talked about a lot, but the fact that the Ireland players are centrally contracted also has an impact. The Ireland players are not at the beck and call of their clubs, so Ireland can manage players and pick players on form. England have a significant number of key players unavailable due to injuries and that will have an impact. Notable absences from Billy Vunipola, Nathan Hughes at number 8 and Joe Marler, Ellis Genge and Beno Obano at loose head prop means Eddie Jones is forced to select what would have been his third or fourth choice in some positions. If Ireland can get off to a good start, I struggle to see Ireland being stopped. I don’t think they will win the grand slam but I do think they will win the title. 
 
Which players are you looking forward to watching?
 
I am looking forward to seeing James Davis and Josh Adams make their international appearance for Wales. No Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate and with Taulupe Faletau recovering from injury mean James could play a significant part in Wales’s campaign. James is a strong ball carrier and he has a huge workrate. He is in form for Scarlets, and I still remember the impressive display of performances he put in for Team GB 7s in Rio during the 2016 Olympics. A real grafter and will break tackles with ease. Josh is another player who is in form. Current top try scorer in the Aviva Premiership and I would love to see if he can replicate that form on the international stage. With George North carrying an injury and with Liam Williams with a suspected groin injury Adams could make a name for himself. 
 
Who are the dark horses?
 
I would have said Wales but now they have serious injury concerns with Dan Biggar and an ever growing injury list, I fail to see how they could claim the title. Scotland are a team who are continually pushing. France are also outsiders, they have had a change in management, but they too have had a series of injury blows and key players not selected because they are out of form. I think the tournament will be a two horse race between England and Ireland. 
 
Which matches are you particularly looking forward to, and why?
 
I am looking forward to the final round match between England and Ireland. Similar to last year, I feel this game could be a title decider. Also looking forward to Scotland v England, with England struggling with key injuries Scotland could have a chance at securing a narrow win.
 
What impact do you think changes in circumstances for the teams (for example, key players like Bastareaud, O'Brien and Vunipola missing out through suspension or injury) will have on the Six Nations?
 
As explained above, due to their absences I think England's chances of taking the title are reduced. The key ones for me are Nathan Hughes or Billy Vunipola. It will be hard to replace what they both bring, in terms of gainline successes and setting up a platform for the backs. If Dan Biggar suspected injury is serious and rules him out of the tournament, I feel Wales chances to be fairly limited. Ireland too have notable injuries, but have a good depth of quality within their squad which could prove to be their saving grace.
 
How much of an impact will the new laws around rucks and tacklers using the ball have on the tournament?
 
I don't think it will have a huge impact because these laws have been enforced since the start of season and during the autumn internationals. Players, teams and officials are familiar with these laws and have adapted their game management appropriately. The only change I believe there will be compared to last year, is an increase in the speed of the ball from the breakdown. The breakdown area regardless of the rule change still is hard to ref and this will be an area I expect the officials will be strict to manage.
 
 
SIR IAN MCGEECHAN
 
Who do you think will win the Six Nations and why? Can you see England claiming their third title in a row?
 
England are still the team to beat - 22 wins from 23 games says it all, and they have second favourites Ireland at Twickenham, so home advantage could be the difference.
 
Which players are you looking forward to watching?
 
I’m looking forward to watching some potentially very exciting three-quarters. For Wales, Josh Adams and Owen Williams, their involvement could reflect the effectiveness of Wales’ change of approach. For Ireland, Jordan Larmour, good feet and the strength to break the line, even though selected at 15. Ireland’s only uncapped player. For England, Jonny May, who’s having a brilliant season, and Zach Mercer with an opportunity he did not expect at No 8.
 
Who are the dark horses?
 
For me the dark horses are Scotland. They have genuine attacking ability, playing a fast and more accurate game which should bring points. Their improvement at the breakdown could be a key element.
 
Which matches are you particularly looking forward to, and why?
 
Wales v Scotland – this could be the battle of the dark horses and whoever wins takes a big step towards being a Championship contender. Wales will be trying to continue to expand their attacking game. Scotland will be keen to keep theirs under 6 Nations pressure. Also England v Ireland - on recent form these are the two strongest teams so a potential winner takes all in the final weekend looks appetising. Ireland’s ability to play controlled error-free rugby with the depth of experience they have could be a major challenge for England at Twickenham.
 
What impact do you think changes in circumstances for the teams (for example, key players like Bastareaud, O'Brien and Vunipola missing out through suspension or injury) will have on the Six Nations?
 
There will always be players missing, but it is often position and unit places which determine impact. With this comes opportunities, no more so than for Zach Mercer at number 8 for England. It is important experience which, when gained, creates additional depth and tactical opportunities going forward.
 
It is more of an issue when one unit, as with the Welsh back row, is affected. Warburton, Faletau and Lydiate is a serious combination to lose. The involvement of Tipuric, who could be the key man, Shingler, Davies, Navidi and Moriarty will change the dynamic for Wales and could well surprise opponents.
 
How much of an impact will the new laws around rucks and tacklers using the ball have on the tournament?
 
The new interpretations should free up ball earlier to produce quicker phase play transitions. There are more breakdowns because of the added fluency, but these need to be dynamic to consistently create an impact. Quicker ball allows ball carriers to run at shoulders and arms, which, subsequently keeps them on their feet longer with their arms free to off-load, that will be the real bonus if achieved.
 
 
SHANE WILLIAMS
 
Who do you think will win the Six Nations and why? Can you see England claiming their third title in a row?
 
England. Their home games are their biggest games. I don't see them losing at home this championship to wales or Ireland. If the Ireland game would have been in Dublin I may have chosen Ireland for the championship. France and Italy won't pose a threat but Scotland is going to be interesting! England’s squad is also the strongest in tournament, I believe. They are a squad full of confidence which is very dangerous. 
 
Which players are you looking forward to watching? 
 
Stuart Hogg, who has been the form player in the 6 Nations for some time. I enjoy his guts and wizardry. Also, Steffan Evans - a player who has been consistent in the Pro 14 and is now getting to grips with international rugby. 
 
Who are the dark horses? 
 
The most improved team from the autumn series, Scotland, are playing some great rugby at the moment and are a joy to watch. Stuart Hogg has to have a good tournament for them to be successful. 
 
Which matches are you particularly looking forward to, and why?
 
England v Wales is always the big one for a Welsh fan but I’m also intrigued by the trip England have to make to Murrayfield. Scotland will be tough at home this championship and are full of self belief. 
 
What impact do you think changes in circumstances for the teams (for example, key players like Bastareaud, O'Brien and Vunipola missing out through suspension or injury) will have on the Six Nations? 
 
For whatever reason players missing I believe it won't impact the competition whatsoever! There are a lot of brilliant players in the 6 Nations to keep an eye on and sometimes when players are injured or suspended it gives other players opportunities to shine. 
 
How much of an impact will the new laws around rucks and tacklers using the ball have on the tournament? 
 
Whenever a new law is introduced it's always interesting. The new laws have been brought in to speed the game up and allow the game to flow which is what we have all been wanting for some time. I'm sure it will be an immediate success.