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Ulster Rugby makes a return to BBC Coverage

‘Great news for Ulster Fans’

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

BBC Northern Ireland has revealed it will broadcast a new one-hour Pro14 highlights programme on BBC iPlayer and BBC Two NI on Monday evenings.

Rugby fans will be able to watch the highlights from the weekend’s seven games on the programme which will be shown first on BBC iPlayer from 19:00 GMT and then on BBC Two at 23:15 GMT.

The agreement starts with coverage of all round six matches which includes Ulster’s key trip to Munster, Connacht against champions Leinster and Edinburgh against the Dragons.

The programme, which is part of a two-year deal signed by BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales with Pro14, will see action from the competition back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

The deal will cover the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and includes the play-offs as well as highlights of the finals.

The final next year takes place in Cardiff on 20 June.

‘Great news for rugby fans’
BBC Northern Ireland’s Executive Editor for Sport, Neil Brittain said:

“This is great news for rugby fans. The Pro14 is a fantastic tournament. We have a long history of broadcasting the competition, so I’m delighted that it’s back on BBC Northern Ireland television.

“The new programme will of course include Ulster games but there will be highlights of all the matches from each round so viewers will get to see some of the world’s best players and best teams every week in the competition.

And it really reinforces our commitment to our audiences to bring them the best sporting action – complementing our coverage of football, GAA and bikes.”

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director of Pro14 Rugby said: “BBC’s return to the Guinness Pro14 is terrific news for our fans and adds yet another committed broadcast partner to our Championship.

“As a tournament we have set a new standard by ensuring every single game is available live to our viewers in the UK and now with our highlights available to free-to-air audiences via the BBC, rugby fans will have unprecedented access to the matches.

“The BBC was on hand at our very first Celtic League final in 2001 and played a part in our journey over the subsequent years, so it is fantastic that they return at a time when the Championship has never been so strong.”

As well as the highlights package, BBC Radio Ulster will continue with its coverage and live commentary of all Ulster matches.

Article from BBC Sport

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Dragons confirm signature of Ulster star

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Wales international hooker Bradley Roberts will officially become a Dragon after signing a long-term deal with the Men of Gwent.

The front row ace – currently part of the Wales squad for the upcoming Six Nations – will join the region this summer from Irish province Ulster Rugby.

Roberts made his international debut for Wales against South Africa in the 2021 Autumn Nations Series.  

The 26-year-old heads back to Wales having previously spent a season with RGC in the Welsh Premiership and will look to continue his eye-catching development with Dean Ryan’s men.

“We’re really pleased that Bradley will join us and that he sees Dragons as the right environment for him to keep improving,” said Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons Rugby.

“Bradley obviously has international aspirations, as he makes the return to Wales, and we look forward to him competing for selection from next season.” 

Roberts said: “I’m really excited by the challenge ahead of me. It’s a new opportunity and, after only a few seasons at this level, I’m determined to keep moving forward.

“I spoke to Dean about the Dragons and it’s a young group that are building for the future. I’m eager to add to that and be a part of that journey.

“The move to Dragons means I can also keep pushing to be part of the Wales set-up. I’ve only just started with that, and I want to add to those experiences.

“I’m looking forward to linking up with the Dragons, but for now my focus remains on Ulster, the next few months with Wales and a strong end to this season.”

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Roberts to leave Dragons & join Aussie Super Rugby franchise

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Dragons Rugby can today announce that centre Jamie Roberts will leave the region for personal reasons at the end of this month.

Roberts joined the Men of Gwent in August 2020 and has made 23 appearances in all competitions, scoring five tries.

The Wales and British & Irish Lions ace has been granted early release from his contract to move to Australia to join his Sydney-born partner, who is expecting their second child in March.

Dean Ryan, Director of Dragons Rugby, said: “We thank Jamie for his time at Dragons and the support he has given us; helping stabilise the environment and encouraging youngsters to come through.

“We fully support what has been a difficult decision for him to make. We wish him a safe trip over to Australia and look forward to welcoming him and his family back to Rodney Parade in the years to come.”

Roberts has thanked the region for understanding his request to move overseas and paid tribute to the Rodney Parade supporters for their support during his time at Dragons.

“It is with a heavy heart that I’m leaving the Dragons at the end of the month. I’d like to personally thank Dean for understanding my personal circumstances,” he said.

“As my Sydney-born partner is expecting our second child in March, we feel the best decision for our family is to be surrounded by her support network in Sydney during this period.

“Although it’ll be difficult leaving, I do so with many fond memories,” he added. 

“As well as enjoying wearing the jersey and playing, I’ve taken great satisfaction in supporting and witnessing the growth and development of many younger players in the squad, many of whom are no doubt destined for success in the game.

“It’s been great fun playing back at Rodney Parade, where my parents took me as a young lad growing up to watch the Black and Ambers. 

“Although supporters haven’t been able to attend as much as they’d have liked, for obvious reasons, I’d like to thank them for their support. 

“The club is nothing without its supporters, and I hope that moving forwards, the playing group can give fans lots to cheer about from the terraces.

“I wish the coaching and playing group nothing but the very best moving forward.”

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Munster confirm another coaching departure

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Munster - Pixabay

Munster Rugby Defence Coach JP Ferreira will depart the province at the end of the current season.

Ferreira, who joined the province in December 2017, will join Johann van Graan in making the move to Premiership outfit Bath Rugby.

JP Ferreira said, “This has not been an easy decision to make as my family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our life in Limerick and are part of a very close-knit community.

“I have been in this role for five seasons and during this time I have enjoyed every minute of coaching at this incredible club.

“The experience I have gained and the friendships that I have made along the way will forever stay with me. The way Munster Rugby opened their arms to my family and I throughout my tenure has been outstanding and we are forever grateful to everyone that has made this journey memorable and possible.

“On a personal note, as a family with young children we have an opportunity to experience a different environment and new challenges and we feel this move is the right next step for us.

“I’m very proud of what this group has achieved, and I’m excited for the months ahead as we remain focused on the task at hand, committed to delivering success with this group of players and staff.”

Source – Munster Rugby

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