More Than 30 Hours of World Cup Sevens Coverage on TV
NBC Sports will present more than 30 hours of live coverage of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens from San Francisco, Calif., this weekend across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – representing the most robust U.S. coverage of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in the event’s history.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held at AT&T Park – home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants – and will feature the top 24 men’s teams and top 16 women’s teams in the world as they compete for the World Cup.
This marks the seventh edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the third to feature both men and women, and the first Rugby World Cup Sevens since the sport’s debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Fiji is the current Men’s Olympic champion, while Australia is the current Women’s Olympic Champion.
The United States enter the World Cup as the No. 5 seed in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The U.S. men’s team has never finished better than 13th in the Rugby World Cup Sevens, but finished sixth in the 2017-18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, marking the fourth straight season that the U.S. finished in the top six. Carlin Isles led all players with 49 tries.
The U.S. women’s team has finished third in the previous two iterations of the event, and finished fifth in the women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series this year, led by Naya Tapper’s 26 tries for the club.
NBC Sports will present live coverage of all matches of the men’s and women’s tournaments. Linear coverage begins on Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, followed by six hours of coverage on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET. Weekend coverage on NBC immediately follow live golf coverage of The 147th Open at Carnoustie, and NBCSN will carry live coverage of the men’s final on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
NBC Sports’ game commentary and studio coverage will originate from San Francisco and will feature numerous high-profile rugby players, including current New England Patriots safety and 2016 U.S. Olympic Sevens team member Nate Ebner, who will serve as a studio analyst.
Former USA Sevens captain Brian Hightower, U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame member Dan Lyle, former Premiership Rugby and English international prop Alex Corbisiero, and World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight will provide game and studio commentary throughout the tournament. Leigh Diffey and Bill Seward will handle play-by-play commentary, and Ahmed Fareed will host NBC Sports’ 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens studio coverage on-site in San Francisco.