The International Rugby Board and South African Rugby Union (SARU) have announced the appointment of SuperSport as Host Broadcaster of the IRB Junior World Championship 2012, which kicks off in South Africa on June 4. The leading Rugby broadcaster will deliver a record 30 matches live for global broadcasters, over double the number produced last year, underscoring the IRB’s commitment to furthering the global profile of one of Rugby’s premier annual international Age Grade events.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be working with SuperSport to deliver record coverage of the IRB Junior World Championship, which has become a hugely anticipated and exciting fixture on the global Rugby calendar. SuperSport are recognised as market leaders in Rugby and sports production in South Africa and their unprecedented commitment to the JWC will ensure unparalleled coverage of an event which continues to grow in both stature and appeal.”
Last year’s edition in Italy smashed previous record broadcast and online coverage for an Age Grade Rugby tournament, and was screened live by 19 broadcasters to 142 countries with a global potential reach of more than 174 million homes. The cumulative total of live coverage for the three-week tournament was projected to be 280 hours in 18 languages.
The 12-team tournament brings together the future stars of world Rugby, with more than 110 players making their senior Test debut in the past four years after appearing in the showcase event. With three back to back matches per venue on each of the five match days, intense and competitive action and a host of talented players on show, the JWC is now a proven hit for both broadcasters and fans as well as the participating unions.
With just under 100 days to go until the tournament kicks off, preparations are gathering pace and Tournament Organisers are confident that the event will take the IRB Junior World Championship to new heights.
“I am confident that preparations are on track to deliver an outstanding IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa. The IRB and SARU share a vision of a tournament that will capture the imagination of the players, fans and the global Rugby family while leaving a lasting legacy of participation and interest,” said SARU President and IRB Vice Chairman Oregan Hoskins.
“We are proud to be hosting what is one of the world’s leading Rugby events. The appointment of SuperSport as Host Broadcaster reflects our commitment to delivering a world-class tournament for players, spectators and a global television audience.”
“Rugby fans in South Africa are knowledgeable and passionate, and we can promise a memorable experience for everyone attending the tournament, and we are sure SuperSport will capture the unique and thrilling atmosphere that the event will generate.”
Looking to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Lambie, Sam Warburton, Will Genia, Leigh Halfpenny and RWC 2011 winner Aaron Cruden as players who have graduated from the IRB Junior World Championship to win full Test caps, the next generation of world Rugby stars can expect exceptional facilities and a welcoming festival atmosphere in South Africa.