STATE OF ORIGIN II
Wednesday 21 June at 7.30pm AEST
Two of the biggest names in the game are back, but it will it be enough to stop the NSW Blues attack when Queensland heroes Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston return in State of Origin Game II – exclusively LIVE and FREE on Nine next Wednesday, June 21, at 7.30pm.
The voice of rugby league, Ray “Rabs” Warren, will call the action from from ANZ Stadium in Sydney alongside Peter Sterling, Phil Gould and Paul Vautin.
James Bracey will host Nine’s exclusive LIVE and FREE State of Origin II coverage, flanked by rugby league Immortals Andrew “Joey” Johns and Wally “The King” Lewis, along with Origin legends Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler.
Lockyer, a former Queensland captain, explained what the Maroons must do to stop a NSW series win and force a Game III decider on their home turf at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
“The first mission for the Maroons will be shutting down Andrew Fifita, but mentally as a unit they need to hang in the fight much longer than they did in the opening match. Thurston and Slater will bring an attacking mentality to the fore as well as a sense of calm by knowing what is required to win.
“The Queensland forward pack is mostly new to the arena but their great energy will account for what they lack in experience. Over the years Queensland have proven that they can perform when their backs are against the wall and this is the case now. Expect a much closer outcome this time around.”
Viewers can get up-to-date scores, tackles and live commentary with Wide World of Sports on social media: LIKE the big moments on Facebook and Instagram. Join the chat on Twitter using #Origin.
STATE OF ORIGIN II COUNTDOWN ON NINE:
SIX TACKLES WITH GUS – Nine’s James Bracey talks the biggest rugby league issues of the week with NRL legend and expert commentator Phil Gould on Six Tackles with Gus.
This week: Will Queensland’s team changes be enough to win Origin II? Queensland’s lack of up-and-coming talent; and Gus reminisces about his time coaching the NSW Origin side.
SPORTS SUNDAY – Sunday, June 18, at 10.00am. Frank and open debate on all the big issues in the week of sport. Wally Lewis and Sharni Layton join Peter FitzSimons, Neil Breen and Emma Freedman.
SUNDAY NRL FOOTY SHOW – SOO Preview, Sunday, June 18, at 11.00am. Host James Bracey is joined by Origin legends Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler as well as Jillaroos star Allana Ferguson.
WWOS.NINE.COM.AU – Wide World of Sports will have expert analysis before and after Origin II and Origin III, with Gus Gould to pen an exclusive column on Wednesday and Thursday on top of his Six Tackles with Gus podcast. David Middleton will run his rule over the key statistics that will determine the Maroons’ and Blues’ fate, while the WWOS team will have the latest news about each side in the lead-up to the match.
NINE NEWS, week nights from 6.00pm – Your favourite nightly news service will deliver the most up-to-date news leading into Origin II. Led by Cameron Williams and Wally Lewis, Nine’s expert rugby league reporters Danny Weidler, Neil Breen, Julie Snook and Danika Mason will have all the biggest stories from either side of the border.
NRL FOOTY SHOW – SOO Special, Thursday, June 22, at 8.30pm - The 11-time Logie Award-winning NRL Footy Show State of Origin Special will have all angles covered following Origin II with the raw emotion captured through exclusive post-match interviews - giving viewers unrivalled access to the best players in the game from the sheds at ANZ Stadium.
_Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on Nine _
_Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on Nine _
Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Adelaide 7.30pm LIVE on Nine
Perth 5.30pm LIVE on Nine
PETER STERLING SIGNS EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH NINE
Nine Network NRL analyst and rugby league legend Peter Sterling has been signed to a new and exclusive deal with Wide World of Sports.
Sterling has been with the Nine rugby league commentary team for 25 years since retiring from his playing career in 1992.
From 2018, Sterling will be exclusively seen on Nine’s broadcast and digital platforms, offering first class analysis on live play and expert insight across programs.
‘Sterlo’ first started with Nine in 1992 and says confirmation of the new deal feels like a homecoming.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Fox Sports over the past few years, but it’s great to be back at Nine 100 percent," Sterling said.
"I’m really excited about Nine’s plans for rugby league in 2018 and beyond as we enter a new broadcast era, and I’m thrilled that I get to be part it on a full time basis.”
“From next year, Nine’s NRL rights expand to include full live streaming and catch up on Nine’s matches and digital rights across all NRL matches. Peter is a key part of our strategy going forward to create the best rugby league content, distribute it widely across all platforms, for audiences to consume anywhere and anytime," Nine’s Director of Sport Tom Malone said.
Sterling will join up with his old sparring partner Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin in the commentary box this Friday night, when the Melbourne Storm take on the Brisbane Broncos live from 7:30pm (AEST) on Nine.
Brad Fittler Signs On To A New Deal With Nine
Brad Fittler, the most capped player in NSW history and one of the most dynamic rugby league commentators has signed a new and exclusive deal with Wide World of Sports.
Freddy’s interviews with the coaches, sideline comments and pre-match, post-match and half time analysis have been a stand out of Nine’s rugby league coverage in 2017.
Nine’s Director of Sport Tom Malone said “Freddy is unique. He is “lean forward” television talent, who brings so much entertainment to rugby league. Moreover, he’s a terrific bloke with a big heart who does so much for other people. We are very proud to extend our association with him.
“From next year Nine’s rugby league rights expand to include livestream, catch up and full clips and highlights, across broadcast and digital, so there’ll be more rugby league than ever before on Nine. Freddy is a crucial part of our strategy to make the best content and distribute it everywhere.”
Brad Fittler said “There’s no better place to work than with the legends of the game on Nine. I’ve never loved working so much. I don’t know if you can call it work. I’ve got the best seat in the house – every week!”
Nine’s new contract with Freddy will enable him to take up the NSWRL Head Coach position, should that eventuate.
Freddy will be on the sideline this Sunday when the Storm take on the Cowboys in the 2017 NRL Grand Final, live and exclusive on Nine from 6:30pm.*
The Home Of Rugby League
Nine’s Wide World of Sports pushes the “Home of Rugby League” to a new level in season 2018 when footy fans get LIVE and FREE rugby league access like they’ve never seen before on Nine and 9Now – including exclusive coverage of State of Origin and the Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
Key features of the 2018 Premiership include 23 Thursday Nights of NRL, two blockbuster rounds of football over the Easter and Anzac weekends with four matches each on Nine, and the last five Saturdays LIVE and FREE on Nine. Every match will be streamed on 9Now.
Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, said: “There is more footy than ever before on Nine and Nine’s digital platforms. Fans won’t need to go anywhere else to get more of the best games, presented by the biggest names – all live and free and in HD.”
There’s a blockbuster lineup of rugby league programming too – a new-look NRL Footy Show, a new-look Sports Sunday and a new-look Sunday Footy Show will be joined by the brand new 100% Footy program, the Intrust Super Premiership in NSW, and the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland.
In addition to 9Now providing access to LIVE streamed rugby league matches and programs, the Wide World of Sports digital offering on wwos.com.au will keep rugby league fans up to speed online with enhanced clips and highlights of all matches, live scores and statistics, round-the-clock news and expert analysis.
Nine will be there from the opening whistle of the NRL season on Thursday, March 8 when the Dragons host the Broncos, with star Dragons recruit Ben Hunt making his debut against his former team. The following night on Friday Night Football, Johnathan Thurston and the Cowboys will take aim at Paul Gallen and the Sharks. Then on Sunday, Nine showcases the battle of Sydney’s west between the Panthers and the Eels, when Jarryd Hayne makes his NRL return to the blue and gold of Parramatta.
Nine’s Head of Rugby League, Simon Fordham, said: “This year we are all about creating the best seat in the house at the biggest games LIVE and FREE for footy fans. Nine has been the ‘Home of Rugby League’ for four decades, but this year’s offering across Nine, 9NOW and wwos.com.au is unprecedented. Our rugby league content is delivered by the biggest names in the game and that’s what sets us apart as a destination for all footy fans.”
The Wide World of Sports commentary team is again led by Ray “Rabs” Warren, the only voice rugby league fans have known and loved for over 40 years. James Bracey will host Thursday Night Football, Friday Night Football, Saturday Night Football and Sunday Afternoon Football, and he will be joined by rugby league Immortals Andrew Johns and Wally Lewis, along with Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Paul Vautin, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Ray Hadley and Mat Thompson.
The growth of women’s rugby league is a huge focus in 2018. Nine and 9Now will broadcast up to eight women’s matches LIVE and FREE in HD across the season, including a stand-alone women’s State of Origin game on Friday, June 22 from North Sydney Oval. Jillaroos Ruan Sims and Allana Ferguson will join the Nine team across the footy programs, as well as in commentary for the women’s games and the Intrust Super Premiership in NSW.
THE WEEK OF RUGBY LEAGUE ON NINE
• THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – All 23 Thursday Night fixtures LIVE and FREE in HD with exclusive broadcast access to the venue.
• The NRL FOOTY SHOW – The new-look NRL Footy Show returns on Thursday, March 8. Join host Erin Molan, along with co-hosts Andrew Johns and Ryan Girdler, for the 2018 return of the program. Refreshed and rejuvenated regulars Beau Ryan and Darryl “The Big Marn” Brohman are back with punchier offerings. The new, footy-focused format sees the show integrated into Nine’s Thursday Night Football coverage, giving viewers the best seat in the house before, during and after the game.
• FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – Every Friday Night NRL Fixture LIVE and FREE, with exclusive broadcast access to the venue and extended post-game show with access to the dressing rooms, press conferences, and news and analysis from the ground.
• INTRUST SUPER PREMIERSHIP – 1.00pm Saturdays on Nine in NSW. The famous clubs that provided the foundation of the rugby league premiership, such as the North Sydney Bears, Newtown Jets and Wests Magpies, will square off in venues that are rich in rugby league history as we showcase the next generation of NRL stars. Caller Joel Caine will be joined by premiership winners Benji Marshall, Jamie Soward and Paul Gallen, and Jillaroos star Allana Ferguson.
• INTRUST SUPER CUP – 1.00pm Saturdays on Nine in Queensland. The premier competition for the Sunshine State will start on Saturday, March 10 and provide Queensland viewers with all the entertainment from their favourite teams. Former Queensland Origin representative and NRL premiership winner Scott Sattler will be joined by Peter Psaltis and Ben Dobbin when the defending premiers, the PNG Hunters, return to defend their crown.
• SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – The last five 7.30pm Saturday matches of the regular NRL season will give fans four matches a week LIVE and FREE in HD as they cheer their team home in the run to the finals.
• SPORTS SUNDAY – Returns Sunday, March 4 at 10.00am AEDT, LIVE on Nine. In 2018, Sports Sunday returns with bold and passionate debate about the biggest issues in the world of sport. Headlined by two of Australia’s leading sports personalities and opinion-makers, Peter FitzSimons and Liz Ellis, host James Bracey will welcome regular appearances from our nation’s biggest sporting stars – past and present – including Michael Clarke, David Warner, Wally Lewis, Candice Warner and Shane Crawford.
• SUNDAY NRL FOOTY SHOW – Returns Sunday, March 11 at 11am AEDT. Host Erin Molan will be talking footy with Peter Sterling, Brad Fittler and Allana Ferguson. Every league fan’s favourite Sunday morning destination is back with a tweaked format that will feature Sterlo regularly sitting down one-on-one with the game’s current players.
• SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOOTBALL – From Sunday, March 11 LIVE and FREE in HD at 3.00pm AEDT. A one-hour, pre-game show straight from the match venue will kick-start a big afternoon of NRL action and deliver access like no other, in every regular round of the Telstra Premiership.
• 100% FOOTY – ALL NEW FOR 2018, Mondays at 9.45pm AEDT on Nine. 100% Footy is the home of the strongest opinions in rugby league from the people who count. Every week Phil Gould squares off with Paul Gallen, alongside Jillaroos star Ruan Sims and journalist Neil Breen. Hosted by James Bracey, 100% Footy is a weekly dive into the hottest topics in the greatest game of all, and there’s only one place to get it – Nine: the Home of Rugby League.
2018 NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP – ROUND 1
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos Thursday, March 8, at 7.30pm
North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks Friday, March 9, at 7.30pm
Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels Sunday, March 11, at 3.00pm
STATE OF ORIGIN 2018 – EXCLUSIVE TO NINE
ORIGIN I – MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND Wednesday, June 6
ORIGIN II – ANZ STADIUM, SYDNEY Sunday, June 24
ORIGIN III – SUNCORP STADIUM, BRISBANE Wednesday, July 11
** Check local guides for details. Times will differ.
Live stream available on 9Now