• World Rugby names commentary team for Rugby World Cup 2021
  • Ten-strong team of commentators featuring Rugby World Cup winners and experienced broadcasters representing five nations
  • Rugby World Cup 2021 set to be the ultimate celebration of women’s rugby, taking place in New Zealand from 8 October-12 November, 2022
  • Team and venue ticketing packs are currently on sale

World Rugby has announced a stellar world feed commentary team of Rugby World Cup winners, seasoned internationals and experienced broadcasters for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, the ninth edition of the showcase event.

With a focus on making the sport more accessible to a new generation of fans and players, the team will provide fans with a unique insight into rugby’s ‘family reunion’, sharing their knowledge with viewers around the globe. 

Spearheading the line-up of talent are sports presenter and Rugby World Cup winner Melodie Robinson, England’s Rugby World Cup winner and Head of Women’s Rugby for International Rugby Players Rachael Burford, alongside New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup Sevens winners Honey Hireme-Smiler and Karl Te Nana.

They are joined by Rikki Swannell, Sean Maloney, Rupert Cox and Willie Lose, who all feature regularly on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and other major global rugby competitions.

Experienced broadcasters Kirstie Stanway of New Zealand and Australia’s Natalie Yoannidis are set to debut as World Rugby voices when they join the team on the ground.  


New Zealand 2021 marks the first time the women’s edition of the tournament has been hosted in the southern hemisphere. 

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin, said: “Our focus throughout planning for Rugby World Cup 2021 is for the broadcast content to play a major role in inspiring a new generation of rugby players and fans by making New Zealand the most accessible event to date via technology, broadcast and digital.

“Our broadcast team personifies that ambition. Through their unrivaled first-hand knowledge of Rugby World Cups as winners, captains, participants and respected broadcasters, they will take viewers on an immersive journey that stretches beyond the world-class rugby on display. It is an exciting prospect.”


World Rugby TV and Live Content Executive Producer, Steve Jamieson, added: “After a comprehensive process, we are delighted to confirm the team of commentators for Rugby World Cup 2021 that will deliver a broadcast at a level we haven’t had on a women’s Rugby World Cup before. The 2017 edition of the tournament had eight male commentators and two women, this team has six women and four men covering a range of ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures.

“We have worked hard in recent years to recruit, develop and provide opportunities for top broadcasters and retired international players to create a diverse mixture of commentators and we look forward to seeing and hearing the hard work pay-off in New Zealand.”


Following the postponement due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Rugby World Cup 2021 will kick off at Auckland’s Eden Park on 8 October, 2022 as 12 of the world’s top women’s 15s teams go head-to-head to determine who will be crowned world champions.