Six Nations Rugby CEO, Ben Morel, believes the 2022 Guinness Six Nations has all the ingredients to be the best yet.
Fans have never had more ways to connect with the most iconic Championship in rugby, meaning a feast of sporting action in front of them, when it kicks off at the start of February.
At the annual Guinness Six Nations launch, the head coach and player from each Union and Federation gathered for a virtual iteration of the event, to share their thoughts on the 2022 Championship with the world’s media.
Defending champions Wales will kick off the 2022 Guinness Six Nations on Saturday February 5 when they travel to Ireland, before Scotland host England for the Calcutta Cup and France play Italy in the other Round 1 matches.
And as the Championship prepares to welcome back fans to stadiums for the first time in two years, Morel cannot wait to see the action unfold.
“It’s so exciting to be launching the Guinness Six Nations today. We seem to say this every year, but this year’s Championship has all the ingredients to be a fantastic edition,” said Morel.
“The recent Autumn Nations Series saw great rugby matches with particularly strong performances from the Six Nations teams, and it was a great way to get us all excited for what lies ahead for this particular Guinness Six Nations.
“It’s also immensely pleasing to see fans back in the stadiums, especially as it’s been a long wait for us having been one of the very, very first events to be impacted by the pandemic a couple of years ago.
“While we remain extremely vigilant and want to make sure that we provide a really safe environment for our players, staff and fans, the prospect of full stadiums is really fantastic.”
Fans will continue to enjoy widespread coverage of Rugby’s Greatest Championship all over Europe and beyond. In the United Kingdom, the BBC and ITV will continue to broadcast the Six Nations Championship on television until 2025.
In France, as well as the historical broadcast partnership with France TV, a new agreement has been reached with L’Equipe for the broadcast of the Under-20s Championship, while the senior editions in both men’s and women’s game continue to break audience records year-on-year.
The entirety of the Guinness Six Nations, Women’s Six Nations and Six Nations Under-20s will also be available on free-to-air television in the Republic of Ireland thanks to an historic agreement between RTÉ and Virgin Media Television.
Meanwhile, a new partnership with Sky Italia for broadcast rights in the Italian market will also see the broadcaster become an official partner of Six Nations Rugby across all three Six Nations Championships as well as the Autumn Nations Series.
“I’m particularly pleased to have extended our ITV and BBC relationship with our broadcast partnership in the UK, they have just been phenomenal partners over the years,” he said.
“I’m really pleased by the enhanced partnership that will see ITV pick up two thirds of the games in the men’s Championship, with ten matches, and the BBC having five matches. The BBC is also putting a strong commitment behind our Under-20s, which is launching next week, as well as the Women’s Six Nations, covering all matches in the spring.
“It’s fantastic. We have a first of its kind partnership in Ireland with RTÉ and Virgin, co-hosting all three of the Six Nations Championships. That is really a testimony of the interest for all of our Championships. In Italy as well, our partnership with Sky Italia is another great development as they will not only show all 45 matches from all three competitions.
“As a final note, I want to thank our title partner Guinness. They have been an outstanding support over the last few years, and they share the same passion for the game as we do.
“I also want to welcome Breitling, our new official timing partner. It’s a very exciting partnership and again it encompasses across all our competitions, including the Autumn Nations Series.”
And with many expecting the 2022 Championship to be one of the most closely fought in many years, Morel is confident fans across the globe will be in for a treat.
“Our fans are at the heart of everything we do.” he added.
“Whether they are in the stadium or watching the live broadcast in front of their TVs or on any other device, or just trying to figure out their latest Fantasy Rugby team – as I need to do! – they will have more and more ways to connect with our tournament, our teams, our players. They will once again be in for a treat in 2022.”
Join thousands of other rugby fans and play the Official Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby game for your chance to win the Ultimate Guinness Six Nations weekend in 2023.