12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The historic Six Nations fixture between Ireland and England at Croke Park in February 2007 was the fifth most-watched programme of the 'Noughties' with an average audience of 1.01 million, while Ireland's glorious Grand Slam win in Cardiff in March of last year, comes in at number eight with an average audience of 945,000, with both games attracting peak audiences of 1.2 million*.
Glen Killane, RTE's Group Head of Sport, said: "Following last year's magnificent Grand Slam win by the Irish squad, this year is set to be another feast of exhilarating rugby with RTE Sport there every step of the way on television, radio, online, news, Aertel and mobile.
"As Ireland's public service broadcaster we are delighted to broadcast live and free to air coverage of these thrilling events to ensure that everybody can share in the national team's success."
RTE's team of presenters and panellists will be providing their expert analysis and opinion at every stage of the tournament. On RTE Two television, anchorman Tom McGurk will be joined by George Hook, Brent Pope and Conor O'Shea, with Tracy Piggott reporting from the sidelines and commentary by Ryle Nugent, Tony Ward, George Hamilton, Ralph Keyes, Mark McDermott and Hugh Cahill.
Strengthening RTE's rugby team even further this season will be a number of new faces. Joanne Cantwell returns each Monday with a brand new series of 'Against The Head', where she will be joined by former Irish International Victor Costello alongside Mark McDermott and Gerry Thornley for a lively mix of interviews, news, analysis and discussion.
Former Irish International and Munster hooker Frankie Sheahan will also be capturing all the action and excitement from the field as a key part of RTE Television's Six Nations commentary team.
Further to the RTE Television's extensive live coverage of the tournament, there will also be live coverage of the Ireland Under-20s clashes against Italy, France, Wales and Scotland on RTE Two.
RTE Radio will provide extensive RBS 6 Nations coverage across all wavelengths, on FM, LW, DAB and online. RTE Radio 1's Saturday Sport will offer live coverage and analysis at all five of Ireland's Championship matches with simultaneous broadcasts on digital and online platforms.
Tune into RTE Radio 1 Extra on DAB and online to hear all other International games streaming live from kick-off.
RTE Radio's commentary team, Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan, and expert panellists, Emmett Byrne, Victor Costello, Conor McGuinness, John Kelly, Jim Glennon and David Humphreys, will be on hand to provide top quality insight.
RTE 2fm's newest sports show, 'Ballbusters', with Andrew O'Connor and Jacqui Hurley, will also give regular updates on matches as Ireland try to achieve back-to-back Grand Slams.