ITV have announced their plans for coverage of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations, with Mark Pougatch leading the broadcast team alongside a number of familiar faces.
The 2016 Championship marks the start of a six-year deal between ITV and the BBC that will see matches shared between both broadcasters on television and online.
In addition to ITV's coverage on the main channel, there will be extensive online coverage via the ITV Hub and ITV's dedicated 6 Nations website.
Many of ITV’s pundits return following their involvement in the channel’s successful and exclusive coverage of Rugby World Cup 2015, for seven live matches - including key games such as England v Ireland and England v Wales, both from Twickenham, as well as Ireland v Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Leading the broadcaster’s team is presenter Mark Pougatch, and he will be joined by Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jason Robinson - all members of England’s victorious Rugby World Cup 2003 team, along with their coach Sir Clive Woodward.
Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, ex-Wales captain Gareth Thomas, former Scotland coach Sir Ian McGeechan and England Women World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi will also be involved, along with former England international Ugo Monye, and Marco Bortolami, who boasts 111 caps for Italy.
Jill Douglas will also work as an ITV presenter throughout the tournament while Martin Bayfield is to combine presenting duties with his role as England reporter. Joining them with a wealth of experience in the commentary box will be Nick Mullins and Martin Gillingham, 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.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing rugby fans first-class live action from key games in what is set to be one of the most thrilling 6 Nations tournaments ever. This is the first time ITV will be broadcasting this superb tournament and we're delighted to be able to provide free to air coverage to viewers in partnership with the BBC.
“After a successful Rugby World Cup we’ve once again assembled a stellar line-up of rugby talent, many of whom can provide fresh and current insights into the mindsets and tactics of coaches and players, helping deliver the best possible coverage for those watching at home.”