Rugby World Cup Limited has announced the appointment of RTÉ Sport as Ireland’s free-to-air television broadcast rights holders for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. The announcement is another major boost for Rugby fans in Ireland, following the appointment of Setanta Sports as Primary Rights Holder and ensuring that there will be extensive coverage of the world’s third largest sports event within the Republic.

RTÉ Sport will broadcast live 13 key matches, including all of Ireland’s Pool matches, the Final, the Bronze Final, both semi-finals, all four quarter-finals and the opening match. All 13 matches will also be simulcast and available for catch-up on RTÉ.ie. In addition, all of Ireland’s games will be broadcast exclusively live on RTÉ Radio, ensuring a blanket multi-platform approach.

Mike Miller, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Managing Director, said: “RWCL is delighted to be extending its association with RTÉ Sport to broadcast Rugby World Cup 2011 throughout Ireland. RTÉ is recognised as a leading broadcaster of quality sports coverage and with its extensive broadcast experience of Rugby and commitment to the Game RTÉ will ensure the perfect platform for RWC 2011 to reach out to an extensive audience across Ireland.”

Ryle Nugent, RTÉ Group Head of Sport, said: “We are delighted to have secured these rights to ensure that the Irish public will enjoy live free-to-air coverage of all of Ireland’s games at Rugby World Cup next year. The Tournament showcases the best teams in the world and fans can look forward to following the Irish team’s progression every step of the way on all of RTÉ’s platforms. The awarding of these rights to RTÉ is recognition by RWCL of the quality of our sports coverage and we look forward to sharing what is set to be a momentous sporting occasion with the Irish public.”

Rugby World Cup 2011, the seventh edition of Rugby’s showcase event, kicks off in New Zealand on September 9 and will feature the top 20 teams in the world competing across 48 Tournament matches. The Final will be played on October 23 at Auckland’s iconic Eden Park. It is expected that the Tournament will be broadcast to four billion fans worldwide.

RTÉ’s team of Rugby presenters, analysts and commentators will be on hand throughout the Tournament providing their expert analysis and opinion free-to-air across television, radio, news and online.