Channel 4 to show Wales summer rugby union tour

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International rugby union comes to Channel 4 for the first time this summer after they secured the rights to broadcast exclusive live coverage of Wales’ summer tour test matches against South Africa and Argentina.

Live coverage kicks off on 2 June with Warren Gatland’s side facing South Africa in the United States, at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC, before heading to South America where they face a double-header against Argentina.

The Welsh team will face a determined South Africa side in Washington D.C. on Saturday, 2 June, kick-off 10pm. The Springboks will be set on exacting revenge for defeats inflicted by Wales in their two previous encounters.

Wales then head to South America to take on Argentina for two Test matches, starting in San Juan on Saturday, 9 June, followed by the second Test a week later on 16 June at Santa Fe, with both matches kicking off at 8.40pm.

Channel 4 has confirmed that Lee McKenzie will present its debut live rugby union broadcast on 2 June, covering the clash between Wales against South Africa in Washington DC, with studio analysis from Ryan Jones, Ugo Monye and Thinus Delport, while match commentary comes from Eddie Butler and Martyn Williams.

Commenting on the deal to bring live international rugby union to Channel 4 for the first time, the broadcaster’s sports editor Stephen Lyle said:

“We’re really excited to be bringing rugby to Channel 4 viewers for the first time and the fact it’s Wales taking on teams of the calibre of South Africa and Argentina makes it even more special.”

The deal to broadcast Wales’ summer tests comes off the back of a recent announcement which will see Channel 4 broadcast nine live matches each season of European Champions Cup, the pinnacle of club rugby union, starting in October.

WRU Group Chief Executive Martyn Phillips added:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Channel 4 to deliver live rights to all three of this summer’s tests.

“The squad will be travelling across the Americas facing Rugby Championship opposition and it is great that the matches will be shown live on free to air TV on Saturday evenings back here in the U.K.

“Channel 4 have a strong sporting pedigree with an innovative reputation and have recently announced a long-term deal to show the Champions Cup and we are looking forward to working with them.”

In addition to Channel 4’s live coverage, Welsh-language channel S4C will broadcast highlights of all three matches of Wales’ rugby summer tour of the Americas every Sunday at 8pm, with coverage produced by the BBC Wales.

UPDATE:  Channel 4 will also broadcast Scotland’s Test match against Argentina, in addition to live coverage of all three of Wales’ summer tour Tests.

The Argentina clash will be the final Test of Scotland’s summer tour of the Americas, kicking off at 8.40pm in Resistencia on 23 June.

Scotland’s matches against Canada and USA will also be broadcast on free-to-television via BBC One Scotland on 9 June and 16 June respectively.

Scottish Rugby Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, said:

“We’re delighted to have secured live, free-to-air coverage of all Scotland summer Tests across the UK and are particularly pleased to welcome a relatively new entrant into the rugby market, Channel 4, into the stable of Scottish rugby broadcasters showing national team Test matches.”

Channel 4 Head of Sport, Stephen Lyle, added:

“Scotland showed what they were capable of during the Six Nations, now there is much anticipation to see what they can do away from home against one of the worlds toughest teams. And with Gregor Townsend’s Scotland we know it will be entertaining.”

Scroll down for full details of Channel 4’s summer of live international rugby union.

SATURDAY 2nd JUNE

South Africa v Wales
Summer International

22:00

SATURDAY 9th JUNE

Argentina v Wales
Summer International

20:40

SATURDAY 16th JUNE

Argentina v Wales
Summer International

20:40

SATURDAY 23rd JUNE

Argentina v Scotland
Summer International

20:40

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