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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

O’Sullivan To Contribute To Setanta’s World Cup Coverage

O’Sullivan To Contribute To Setanta’s World Cup Coverage

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan linked up with former England boss Andy Robinson at Setanta Sports’ head offices in Dublin on Wednesday as the pair were unveiled as the sports channel’s two new signings for their 2007 Rugby World Cup coverage.

O’Sullivan has agreed to contribute to Setanta’s blanket coverage of the tournament – they will broadcast all 48 games live – and provide viewers with “unique insights into the Irish camp.”

“It’s kind of a unique situation,” admitted the Irish coach at the launch. “I would have been talking to Setanta quite a bit during the World Cup anyway but I will be happy to talk in a lot more detail than I might have been in other situations.”

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Ireland lock Paul O’Connell will also get plenty of air-time during the tournament as Setanta’s Rugby Ambassador, while Robinson and Leinster star Felipe Contepomi, who will be plotting Ireland’s downfall in Pool D, will give their views on the progress of England and Argentina respectively.

Setanta’s bulked-up commentary team will include Ireland-capped out-half Jeremy Staunton as well as former internationals Emmett Byrne, Ciaran Fitzgerald, Donal Lenihan, Neil Francis, Reggie Corrigan, Tyrone Howe, Peter McKenna and John Robbie, while Daire O’Brien and Paul Dempsey will anchor the channel’s coverage of France 2007.

Setanta CEO Niall Cogley commented: “Mindful that Irish audiences expect a high level of debate, we are bringing together some of the most forthright and influential rugby commentators to discuss performance and tactics in a way that has not been attempted before in Irish broadcasting.

“Eddie (O’Sullivan) has agreed to contribute to Setanta’s coverage so that our viewers will better understand the decisions and strategies that are being employed on and off the field during Rugby World Cup.”

Asked how Ireland’s preparations are going for the tournament and how his side will negotiate some tricky hurdles in their pool, O’Sullivan said: “We’re pretty happy with our preparations. Our first two pool games (against Namibia and Georgia) aren’t the toughest but you still want to make sure that you use the right resources in terms of winning them well and building confidence. It is what it is.

“When you find yourself in a pool with the hosts you probably don’t get the easiest draw. It somehow manages to fall the way of the hosts most of the time. It happened last time around in Australia.

“For us to qualify we will have to play two very hard games (against France and Argentina) at the end of the pool and then try and kick on with a Test game every week,” he admitted.

“To get to a World Cup final you have to win four Test games on the bounce. To win the World Cup you have to win five. It will be a good test of our resolve. With all these things it’s easier to plan for it when you know what is in front of you.”

O’Sullivan is unperterbed by his side being discussed as potential winners of the William Webb Ellis trophy on October 20. He added: “I think there’s a lot of expectation outside the camp, which by and large has been created by the media. But I think that expectation has been very much based on our form over the last few years, which has been very good. As a team and a coach, that’s the kind of expectation you want to create.”

Setanta’s coverage of the World Cup will begin on Friday, September 7 with the opening game between host nation France and Argentina, with Ireland’s first match against Namibia also being covered live on Sunday, September 9.