Sports

Wales’ summer rugby games to be free to watch in new broadcast deal

Wales’ three summer Tests will be broadcast live on BBC Wales and S4C, it has been announced.

Wayne Pivac’s side will come up against Canada and Argentina (twice) at the Principality Stadium on consecutive weekends in July.

Each match will see up to 8,200 fans return to a live Wales rugby match, marking the first time Wales will have played in front of fans since March 2020. You can read more details on those plans and how to get tickets here.

But the broadcast deal announced by the Welsh Rugby Union on Thursday means fans watching from home can tune in for free.

Six Nations champions Wales had been due to tour Argentina and Uruguay this summer but the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Instead, Argentina are travelling to the UK and will be the ‘home’ team for the games, while Wales also face Canada – which will see Rob Howley make his return to Wales.

WRU CEO Steve Phillips said: “We are grateful to our broadcast partners at both BBC Wales and S4C for their continued backing of Welsh rugby and, in this instance in particular, for their swift and generous support as we moved quickly to negotiate terms for these fixtures which have been re-scheduled in challenging times.

“It is with a great sense of optimism that we look forward to welcoming supporters back, safely, into Principality Stadium.

“I’m sure we could have filled the ground many times over in different circumstances and so it is hugely reassuring to know that BBC Wales and S4C are on hand to cater for the many loyal supporters who will be watching on screens across the country.”

BBC Two Wales will cover the opening summer international against the Canadians, who are led by former Dragons coach and Wales flanker Kingsley Jones, on Saturday, July 3 – 3pm kick-off. Coverage will start at 2.45pm, with extended match highlights being broadcast on S4C later the same day.

As for the two clashes against the Pumas – on Saturday, July 10, at 1pm and Saturday, July 17, at 3pm – they will be broadcast exclusively on S4C, with English commentary available via the red button. Highlights will then be available later the same day on BBC.

Graham Davies, managing editor of BBC Wales Sport, said: “It’s been an exciting year for Welsh rugby after Wayne Pivac’s team won the Six Nations Championship and came so close to clinching a Grand Slam in the spring, so we’re delighted that audiences in Wales will be able to watch Wales’ opening match of the summer against Canada, live on BBC Two Wales.”

Sue Butler, S4C sports commissioner, said: “We’re excited to be showing the two Argentina matches live on S4C. It’s a great opportunity to see new talent on the international stage and lovely to have the fans back in the Principality Stadium.”

Wales’ 2021 summer rugby international fixtures, kick-off times and TV details

Wales v Canada, Saturday, July 3, 3pm – live on BBC Two Wales from 2.45pm, highlights on S4C.

Wales v Argentina, Saturday, July 10, 1pm – live on S4C, highlights on BBC Two Wales.

Wales v Argentina, Saturday, July 17, 3pm – live on S4C, highlights on BBC Two Wales.

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