Healey joins ESPN team
April 14, 2010
'The Leicester Lip' will be bringing his unique brand of analysis to ESPN's Guinness Premiership coverage © Photographic Techniques Ltd
Former England scrum-half Austin Healey has joined ESPN as lead analyst for the sports media company's exclusive coverage of the Guinness Premiership.
Having earned 51 international caps for England and toured with the British & Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001, Healey brings a wealth of knowledge and analytical know-how to ESPN's Guinness Premiership coverage, which starts next season.
Previously, he has been a pitch-side analyst for the BBC's coverage of the Six Nations, as well as presenting The Big Tackle on ITV, which promoted rugby clubs around the country. Additional members of the presenting team will be announced in due course.
Healey said, "I'm really looking forward to joining the ESPN team and going on a great journey around the country, showing our audience what the game of rugby at the highest level is all about."
Additionally, ESPN has revealed plans to cover many of its 43 matches each season on-site at grounds themselves. From a custom-built set, all pre- and postmatch discussion and analysis will come live from the game itself, capturing the environment and adding a new dimension to broadcast coverage of the Guinness Premiership. ESPN will unveil further elements of its innovative Guinness Premiership coverage in the coming weeks and months.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, "ESPN is delighted that Austin is on board our Guinness Premiership coverage. He is one of the most-respected voices in English rugby and will bring a great deal to our coverage. ESPN is committed to capturing the competitive atmosphere and fans of English club rugby, while being true to guiding principles of the sport. Our planned on-site studio presence is a reflection of that."
In December 2009, ESPN and Premier Rugby agreed a three-year deal for exclusive live rights to 43 matches per season from the Guinness Premiership. Beginning next season and running through to the 2012-2013 season, the deal includes exclusive live coverage of the Guinness Premiership Final and one of the two semi-final matches. The agreement also provides highlight rights for use on ESPN digital media such as ESPNScrum.com.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery