Rugby Union

Exclusive: Healey predicts exciting Premiership season

Austin Healey confident of exciting season (©GettyImages)
Austin Healey confident of exciting season (©GettyImages).

BT Sport rugby pundit Austin Healey is confident that the channel's combination of expertise and innovation will satisfy fans old and new when the Aviva Premiership kicks off on Friday.

The new channel claimed exclusive TV rights to Premiership Rugby last year in a deal worth £152 million and their coverage will include up to 69 games across the season.

Joining Healey on the punditry team will be former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio as well as Ben Kay and Matt Dawson.

And the ex-England and Leicester Tigers player thinks that the coverage will benefit both experienced rugby viewers as well as complete newcomers to the game.

"I'm looking forward to starting with BT Sport. It's a huge, new dive into TV, one of those long dives on a rope and it should be amazing," said Healey in an exclusive interview with GiveMe Sport.

"I think the beauty about BT Sport and the team that I am working in is that there is an awful lot of expertise and our job is to de-mystify the laws of the game and make it easier to watch and bring in new people to watch it.

"That is what I think all the rugby players want, all the clubs want and certainly what BT Sport want. The more people we get watching rugby the more people will understand the game and really appreciate it.

"It is going to be difficult because I know 10-year-old lads who watch the game relentlessly and they know the game inside out and they want the top level information.

"But then you flip that to their sister who may be 10 years old who maybe hasn't watched that much before but it could be their first insight into a new sport, and you have to cater for everyone and make it very inclusive."

As well as a strong punditry team BT Sport are also bringing new innovations to their rugby coverage which will include a variety of new camera angles including in the dressing room, at the line out and from the kicking tee.

The aim is to bring the viewer closer to the action and Healey is confident that if used right that is exactly what the new technology will do.

"Line out camera in particular I'm looking forward to seeing, they will give you the angle that the hooker sees and you'll get a real perspective of the height that these guys get up to," he said.

"The dressing room cameras have got to be done with information and make it relevant and that's what we intend on doing.

"Most people want to know what it is like inside the dressing room at half time; does somebody come in and throw their water bottle against the wall, do we see arguments in there?

"The majority of reasons for doing it are to give that added insight into what goes on behind closed doors as that just adds to the game."

With the beginning of the season imminent and after an exhilarating term last time around BT Sport will hope to tap into that excitement to attract viewers.

Healey thinks that BT Sport's coverage is good for Premiership Rugby and will only lead to an improvement on last season.

"For me, last year was the time when I've been on the edge of my seat the most over the last four years. I just hope that continues and I really think it will," he said.

"There were numerous occasions when things happened that I hadn't seen for a long time and that is what I want to see, I want to be excited when I come to work.

"I think BT Sport has made sports bigger, it adds gravity to sport and I think that's what rugby has been needing over the last few years."

Rugby expert Austin Healey was speaking to GiveMeSport ahead of BT Sport's opening fixture of the Aviva Premiership - Newcastle Falcons versus Bath Rugby on Friday September 6.

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DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Rugby Union
Aviva Premiership

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