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NBC Sports to present comprehensive coverage of 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens

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STAMFORD, Conn – NBC Sports will present comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens from San Francisco, Calif., on July 20-22, totaling more than 30 hours of live rugby coverage across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product, representing the most robust U.S. coverage of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in the event’s history.

“As the home of rugby in the United States, we’re proud to showcase the speed and excitement of the Rugby World Cup Sevens to a national audience with record-setting coverage,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Our 30-plus hours of coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens and exclusive offerings on NBC Sports Gold demonstrate our commitment to super-serve the growing rugby fanbase in the United States.”

The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held at AT&T Park – home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants – and will feature the top 24 men’s teams and top 16 women’s teams in the world as they compete for the World Cup.

NBC Sports will present live coverage of all matches of the men’s and women’s tournaments. Linear coverage begins on Friday, July 20, at 4 p.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, followed by six hours of coverage on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET. Weekend coverage on NBC on July 21-22 will immediately follow live golf coverage of The 147th Open at Carnoustie, and NBCSN will carry live coverage of both the men’s final on Sunday, July 22, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide streaming coverage of all 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens matches airing on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. Additionally, all coverage airing on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will also stream on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

2018 RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS TELECAST SCHEDULE
Date Network Time (ET)
Fri., July 20 Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA 4 p.m.
NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sat., July 21 Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA 12:25 p.m.
NBC 3 p.m.
Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA 5 p.m.
NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
Sun., July 22 Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA 11:55 a.m.
NBC 2:30 p.m.
  Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA 5 p.m.
NBCSN 7 p.m.

 

NBC SPORTS GOLD 2018 RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS COVERAGE

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will provide live, commercial-free coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens via its “Rugby Pass.” Coverage begins with the Women’s Round of 16 matches on Friday, July 20, at 1 p.m. ET, prior to coverage airing on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA at 4 p.m. ET. In addition to all matches airing live and commercial-free, NBC Sports Gold will also present an exclusive 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens preview on Thursday, July 19, as well as a daily live recap show with highlights, post-match reactions and analysis. All matches and content on NBC Sports Gold will be available to fans on demand. The “Rugby Pass” can be purchased for $59.99 by visiting NBCSportsGold.com.


NBC SPORTS 2018 RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS COMMENTARY TEAM

NBC Sports’ game commentary and studio coverage will originate from San Francisco and will feature numerous high-profile rugby players, including current New England Patriots safety and 2016 U.S. Olympic Sevens team member Nate Ebner, who will serve as a studio analyst. Former USA Sevens captain Brian Hightower, U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame member Dan Lyle, former Premiership Rugby and English international prop Alex Corbisiero, and World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight will provide game and studio commentary throughout the tournament. Leigh Diffey and Bill Seward will handle play-by-play commentary, and Ahmed Fareed will host NBC Sports’ 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens studio coverage on-site in San Francisco.

Last year, NBC Sports Group acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Rugby World Cup through a seven-year partnership with World Rugby. The agreement included media rights on all platforms and in all languages to the Rugby World Cups in 2019 and 2023; the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 and 2021; the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 and 2022; and the annual World Rugby U20 Championships from 2017-2023.

NBC Sports Group’s multi-year agreement with World Rugby enhances its already robust slate of rugby programming, which includes exclusive Olympic rugby coverage through 2032, Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Sevens World Series, and the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. NBC Sports Group has also provided coverage of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, and exhibition matches in conjunction with USA Rugby that feature the USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, and Qantas Wallabies.

New Zealand repeat as Women’s Rugby World Cup champions

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Black Ferns stood shoulder to shoulder Saturday as their national anthem played and day turned to dusk by the San Francisco Bay. About 30 minutes later they stood shoulder to shoulder again, this time atop a podium with gold medals draped around their necks.

The final was one-way traffic as New Zealand blanked France 29-0 and became the first country to repeat as Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.

Tournament high scorer Michaela Blyde added three more tries to her total as she finished with nine tries and 45 points. But this championship run was founded on a stout defense. The final marked the third shutout of the tournament for New Zealand after they outlasted host United States in a tense 26-21 semifinal win earlier in the day.

“To be here at a Rugby World Cup, come away with the win and retain the title_we’ve made history now,” Blyde. “We’re pretty happy with ourselves.”

Sixth-seeded France arrived in the final after stunning No. 2 seed Australia with a 19-12 win. France’s David Courteix was named coach of the tournament after leading his side past third-ranked Canada and Australia to reach the final.

“I’m very proud of the players each time,” Courteix said. “I think with the new (knockout) format there was a lot of pressure. I am very proud of their attitude.”

Australia edged USA 24-14 to claim the bronze medal with Elia Green scoring a brace of tries for the Olympic champions.

England beat hosts USA to advance to semis at RWC Sevens

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — English captain Tom Mitchell found some space on the pitch about 30 meters away from the try line. He glanced to his left and saw a big patch of open field so he lofted a high kick toward the sideline.

Phil Burgess did the rest.

The English flanker caught the ball at full pace and outran a diving defender before touching down to secure a 24-19 sudden-death win in extra-time against host United States in the Rugby World Cup Sevens quarterfinals on Saturday.

“A ridiculous kick by ‘Mitch’ in that kind of cauldron,” said teammate Dan Norton.

England needed extra time to win after Perry Baker streaked down the field to score a match-leveling try with about 2:30 left in regulation time. After winning the Las Vegas leg of the Rugby Sevens World Series earlier this year, USA entered with title aspirations and enjoyed the support of a raucous home crowd at AT&T Park, home to baseball’s San Francisco Giants, but can now finish no better than fifth.

“We pride ourselves on being best in the world at the restart,” said American prop Danny Barrett, “but they got us there.”

Burgess’ try marked the most scintillating sequence of Saturday’s action.

England’s win sends them to Sunday’s first semifinal against top seed South Africa, which cruised to a 36-5 win over Scotland, which second-seeded Fiji dominated Argentina 43-7 in another quarterfinal.

Third-seeded New Zealand overcame three first-half yellow cards to prevent an upset from No. 11 seed France in a sloppy 12-7 victory.

“We played terrible,” All Blacks coach Clark Laidlaw said. “But in knockout format, who cares? We managed to find a way to win.”

The All Blacks won’t be able to get away with the same mistakes against a humming Fiji squad in Sunday’s semifinal. Fiji and New Zealand are both vying to become the first three-time winners of the Melrose Cup.

“They’ve got a lot of rockstars in there,” Laidlaw said. “I guess everybody sees them as favorites.”

South Africa claimed their second straight world series title in June after leaping past Fiji on the final day of action and the two could meet in Sunday’s final. The Blitzboks feature the tournament’s top two scorers in Siviwe Soyizwapi (25 points) and Justin Gedlund (22).

Each of the 24 men’s squads only played one match on Saturday. Laidlaw criticized the format of the tournament and how his team will only play one match in a span of about 40 hours.

“Not sevens is it?” Laidlaw said. “I don’t know what sport we’re trying to create. But it’s the same for everybody, so we’ve got to get on with it.”

New Zealand repeated as world cup champions on the women’s side of the tournament with a 29-0 victory over France while Australia topped the United States 24-14 in the bronze medal game.