ITV begins its countdown to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup with the announcement of its stellar line-up, as it offers UK-wide, free to air coverage of the tournament. For the very first time, a UK broadcaster will show all games live in a Women’s Rugby World Cup on free to air television, with matches shown across ITV and ITV4.
All home nation matches from England, Scotland and Wales will be broadcast live on ITV, for fans to enjoy the very best of the action. ITV’s substantial coverage and content can be viewed across all ITV Rugby’s social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, so fans won’t miss a minute of the tournament.
Match highlights will also be available on ITV Rugby’s YouTube channel from every game, with behind-the-scenes content with the home nations on the ground in New Zealand. Jill Douglas will be joined by Maggie Alphonsi, Nolli Waterman, David Flatman, Philippa Tuttiett and Deborah McCormack, providing in-depth knowledge, analysis and expertise of every key moment across the tournament.
Commentary will come from Nick Mullins, Johnnie Hammond, Nick Heath and Claire Thomas, supported by co-commentators Catherine Spencer, Rachel Taylor, Heather Lockhart and Topsy Ojo. The team will be joined by Rachel Burford and Laura Jane Jones who will report live from New Zealand.
ITV will show all 26 live matches in an action packed month featuring the world’s best teams and star players – kicking off the action on Saturday 8th October, with the first match of the tournament South Africa v France on ITV4.
England will face Fiji on the opening day of the competition, with action live on ITV from 4:30am (UK time). Scotland and Wales will face each other in what many are calling a key crunch fixture for the two teams, on Sunday 9th October, live on ITV from 5:30am (UK time).
Later that morning, hosts and current World Cup champions, New Zealand, face their old rivals , Australia with the game shown on ITV4, kicking off at 7:15am (UK time). ITV will continue to cover all of the action as the teams progress to the quarter finals – a first for the World Cup tournament – into the semi-finals and the final on Saturday 12th November.
All Home Nations fixtures will be broadcast live on ITV. A full list below:8/10 – England v Fiji – On air 4:30am – ITV9/10 – Wales v Scotland – On air 5:30 – ITV15/10 – Scotland v Australia – On air 02:45 – ITV15/10 – England v France – On air 07:30 – ITV16/10 – Wales v Australia – On air 03:00 – ITV22/10 – Wales v New Zealand followed by Scotland v New Zealand from 02:00 – ITV23/10 – England v SA – 05:30 – ITV
ITV’s build up to the tournament kicks off with a special documentary on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October, 22:50, on ITV. Wear the Rose: An England Rugby Dream is a two-partspecial following the England Women’s Rugby team as they prepare for the biggest tournament in women’s international rugby. The documentary showcases behind the scenes footage and interviews with players as the England team are on an incredible 25 game unbeaten run.
How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will perform?For England, they’ve been targeting this World Cup for some time and at the moment, they are looking to be favourites. They’re number one in the world and are on an amazing, historic record run of 25 games unbeaten. I expect England to encapsulate what it’s like to be in a World Cup!
For Scotland, it’s their first World Cup since 2010, which is a long time. The opportunity to be in a World Cup is huge for them but they don’t just want to be there, they want to go out and do well. Their first game is against Wales, which will be exciting to watch. They’ve also got New Zealand and Australia, so a tough pool and a challenging tournament. For all of the players it’ll be their first World Cup, which is a big ask.
For Wales, in the Six Nations they have done really well. They are gunning for this World Cup and every World Cup tournament they have improved. They’re aiming for a top six finish, which would be brilliant for them.
Who will be the stand out stars of the tournament?Laure Sansus for France. Top point scorer for them, top try scorer for them. She will be a stand out and someone I expect to be a superstar in this tournament. I’m really excited about Claudia MacDonald. What a story – she’s battled back from a neckinjury, England are playing her on the wing and she is scoring tries.
Marlie Packer, who plays in my old number, seven. She was nominated for Six Nations Player of the Year and played some of the best rugby she could have ever played.
For New Zealand, Portia Woodman. She’s always an exciting one to watch – on the wing forNew Zealand, you can’t count her out. She’s got pace and lit up the Sevens circuit previously.
Ayesha Leti-iga is another one to keep an eye on. A try scoring machine. She is a destructive winger who does not shy away from contact.
Finally, Sarah Bern. A prop that scores, a former back rower as well, so is comfortable with the ball in hand.Who are you tipping to win the tournament?All signs say England, on the basis they are world number one and on a fantastic run of form but I’m not counting out any other nation. France are in the same pool as England and what better time to beat England than in a World Cup. When you’re in a World Cup environment, it’s all or nothing. I’ll be honest, I would love to see someone new on that trophy. It would be great to see a different name but I am expecting England to come away with the World Cup win.
How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will perform?Scotland and Wales will arrive with points to prove as all anyone talks about at the moment is how good England are. England are currently the best team in the world.
It’s always interesting to watch the best teams in the world because there’s a lot of pressure on them to perform whereas Wales and Scotland will have their own internal pressures but the level of expectation will be lower for these two teams.
It’s probably psychologically a little bit easier to play in a tournament that people don’tnecessarily expect you to win. So from Scotland and Wales we’d love to see an impressive level of cohesion, a lot of fight, fitness and execution. Hopefully, they’ll go as deep as they can in the tournament.
For England the expectation is they win the tournament, no matter who they have to play.Anything other than a winners medal would be underwhelming for England.
Who will be the stand out stars of the tournament?
Emily Scarratt is the one you expect to stand out – she is one of the best players we’ve seen. I’m always keen to watch Marlie Packer – she has a massive influence on a game. When someone can have that much impact on both sides of the ball I think other teams seem to struggle to deal with Marlie Parker.
Sarah Bern is a crucial player for England – she’s England’s best tighthead by a long way. She’s explosively quick, very powerful, great footwork, fit, skillful and dynamic. She’s a dream player for me.
Who are you tipping to win the tournament?England are just way ahead – they will understandably go in as the favourites to win. Even as an Englishman I don’t want them to win at a canter – I don’t want that for the game.
What you want is for France to really turn up or Fiji to cause problems. You want New Zealand to hit the levels they hit in the last World Cup. What I love about sport is jeopardy – you want the feeling England could lose. I want other teams to step up to their level.
How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will perform?From an English perspective, the tournament is theirs to lose. They are going in as hotfavourites but we shouldn’t look past the fact the tournament is in New Zealand and the Black Ferns are the current World Cup holders.
From a Welsh and Scottish perspective, this year’s Six Nations match shows just how closethey are with each other, and playing in the same pool and against each other in the opening round makes it really exciting. There is a real opportunity for one of them to reach a quarter final and anything can happen in knock-out rugby.
Scotland are going to have a real fire in their belly to go out and do the shirt proud, as this is the first time they have been in a World Cup since 2010.
Who will be the stand out stars of the tournament?Sarah Bern from England, burst onto the scene as a young player, and was a stand out for the Red Roses at the 2017 World Cup aged just 20 years old. Last year she went through shoulder surgery to prepare her for the World Cup in ‘21, so with it being delayed another year, she’s in absolutely brilliant form. She plays beast mode!
Helena Rowland for England. She is a fantastic player, extremely skillful, brilliant athlete andcan play multiple positions for England. Lana Skeldon for Scotland, she plays hooker. She offers a really consistent set piece and brings the Scottish line out to life. She’s a great character around the team and will be really critical, offering a lot to that squad.
How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will perform?England are going in as tournament favourites, so I think there’s high hopes for them to perform well and potentially win the tournament. I’d say that’s probably on their radar and within their reach.
For both Scotland and Wales, the first game is going to be really important. They are familiar opponents and it’s always a fiercely contested match. They’re both going to target that game and whoever wins will have good momentum going forward into the rest of the tournament. Both teams will be looking to qualify out of the pool stages and into the quarter finals – and they absolutely can!
Who will be the stand out stars of the tournament?For me, Laure Sansus of France has been a stand-out player throughout the Six Nations and the warmup games. She’s really exciting to watch and is creative with her play. You don’t quite know what she’s going to do, she always pulls something out of the bag.
An up-and-coming player to keep an eye on is Scotland centre Emma Orr. At just 19, she isproving to be a real talent and will no doubt play an important role in the team’s progress.
Who are you tipping to win the tournament?Ideally, I’d love to see Scotland! As long as we have an exciting and competitive final, that’s what I would like to see. The final will be a showcase of the world’s best and it will undoubtedly be a match not to be missed!
How do you think England, Scotland and Wales will perform?No doubt, England are going in as favourites on this incredible run of form. I dare say wehaven’t even seen the best of them yet and the World Cup will bring the best out of them.
Both Scotland and Wales should be confident enough to at least aim for the Quarter Finals,especially with the three point format.
Both of them have each other’s fate in their hands, with the opening game. That is the game.
Who will be the stand out stars of the tournament?For France you have Joanna Grisez. I have no doubt she’ll hold her own – in the Rugby World Cup Sevens she was absolutely pivotal to any good player and can create something out of nothing.
From the USA, Jennine Detiveaux. She has the potential to be a star player but the USA willneed to formulate the right type of attack to give her the best opportunity. She’s got thephysicality, the speed and a great rugby brain.
Who are you tipping to win the tournament?England are on an incredible run of form and the humility in how they are performing, and their strength in depth is key. I can’t decide between New Zealand or France to meet England in the final. They’ll need to bring their best game at the right crucial time.