ITV has put together a star-studded line up of pundits and commentators for its Six Nations coverage.
The broadcaster will be showing the final two games of the Championship on Saturday (18 March).
BBC will kick start the day with Scotland vs Italy, before ITV show France vs Wales and Ireland vs England. The broadcaster will show a total of 10 live matches throughout the six weeks of the Six Nations, including the mouth-watering tournament finale of Ireland vs England at the Aviva Stadium.
Leading the coverage will be presenters Mark Pougatch and Jill Douglas, who will be joined by Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dallaglio, both members of England’s victorious Rugby World Cup 2003 team. Wilkinson kicked the winning drop goal in the 2003 final to place himself firmly into English sporting folklore, while ex-England captain Dallaglio won 85 caps.
Alongside them will be World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, England Women World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi and former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, who is considered by many to be the greatest centre to play the men’s game.
An array of rugby legends will supplement the pundits, including former international captins Rory Best and Gareth Thomas, Welsh grand slam winner Jamie Roberts and iconic Scotland and Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan.
France vs Wales
Leading the coverage from the Stade de France in Paris, Jill Douglas is joined by former Welsh players Gareth Thomas and Jamie Roberts as well as retired French international Benjamin Kayser.
David Flatman is providing pitchside reporting.
Ireland vs England
Mark Pougatch is the host for ITV’s coverage of the same at the Aviva Stadium. He is joined by Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll, World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward, England record point scorer Jonny Wilkinson as well as former Ireland captain Rory Best.
During the rest of the tournament?
Former Scottish international Jim Hamilton, Australia's most-capped player George Gregan, and former French forward Benjamin Kayser will also provide commentary and analysis. Ex-England lock Martin Bayfield will combine presenting duties with his role as reporter, alongside Gabriel Clarke.
In the commentary box ITV will have Nick Mullins and Miles Harrison, plus co-commentators Shane Williams, Gordon D’Arcy, Ben Kay, Scott Hastings, David Flatman and Danielle Waterman.
The first match on ITV will be England v Scotland at Twickenham on 4 February, before bringing France v Italy on Sunday. Every match will be simulcast live on ITVX, highlights of all games will appear on ITV’s dedicated Six Nations website.
This really does look like one of the tightest tournaments to call in recent memory. Wales have brought former head coach Warren Gatland back to steer them through this year’s competition and into the 2023 Rugby World Cup while England also made a surprising change by getting rid of Eddie Jones and bringing in Steve Borthwick. It will certainly be interesting to see how the two countries with the most title wins in competition history shape up under their new leadership.
Meanwhile, there is finally a positive atmosphere around Italy after a win in Cardiff last year and victory over Australia in the Autumn International Tests. The Azzurri are still the massive underdogs in the Six Nations but look to be a far more dangerous prospect than they have been in recent tournaments.
Then there’s Scotland, a side of incredibly talented players who will be looking to finally live up to expectations and mount a serious challenge for the title for the first time in a long time. As for France and Ireland, they will be the two favourites for the trophy this year and will need to demonstrate their strength to each other and the rest of the world with the World Cup just over six months away.