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Stars line up for Maori Television’s Rugby World Cup

Stars line up for Maori Television’s Rugby World Cup 2011 coverage

Keith Quinn, Buck Shelford, Peter Fitzsimons, Gavin Hastings and more join the team

Maori Television has unveiled a stellar commentary line-up to call all 48 games of Rugby World Cup 2011.

The broadcaster is the only free-to-air channel covering all 48 games and is putting forward New Zealand’s largest commentary team. It has secured the services of 27 expert local and international commentators across the Maori Television and Te Reo channels, including no fewer than four former Rugby World Cup team captains.

Maori Television’s Rugby World Cup 2011 coverage is anchored by Te Arahi Maipi, star of the popular league and union show Boil Up.

Maipi says, “Our commentators are not just experts behind the mic, they’ve got more than 200 international test caps between them – more than any other network. These guys know the game.”

The line-up boasts five international captains – Buck Shelford (New Zealand), Gavin Hastings (Scotland), Mark Ella (Australia), Pat Lam (Samoa) and Inoke Afeaki (Tonga). Shelford, Hastings, Lam and Afeaki all captained their countries’ Rugby World Cup teams in past tournaments.

Two of the world’s best rugby commentators also join the team. Former Wallaby Peter Fitzsimons brings his inimitable style over the ditch to Maori Television, and of course no one has been calling test matches for longer than Keith Quinn, the ‘voice’ of New Zealand rugby for more than 30 years.

Maipi adds, “It doesn’t stop there. We’ve also got three more former All Blacks – Norm Hewitt, Kees Meeuws and Glen Osborne – in addition to Blues, Crusaders and France player Tony Marsh and Sevens star Karl Te Nana. And I haven’t even started on our Te Reo line-up!”


While the Maori Television coverage is being broadcast in English, the network is also showing all 48 games on its sister station. The Te Reo channel features 100% te reo Maori commentary, making it the biggest te reo sporting event in broadcast history.

The Te Reo team is led by veteran caller Hemana Waaka, and includes other well-known faces such as Kiwi league star Wairangi Koopu, commentator Peeni Henare, broadcaster Te Whetu McCorkindale, Native Affairs anchor Julian Wilcox and many more.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says he’s thrilled with the network’s line-up.

“We’re delighted to be the lead free-to-air broadcast network for Rugby World Cup 2011 and this line-up does us proud.

“The calibre of our line-up across both the Maori Television and Te Reo channels means viewers get world-class commentary combined with the warm and welcoming style Maori Television is famous for.”

Maori Television Rugby World Cup 2011 commentary team
Maori Television: Te Arahi Maipi, Glen Osborne, Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford, Keith Quinn, Gavin Hastings OBE, Peter Fitzsimons, Mark Ella, Kees Meeuws, Pat Lam, Norm Hewitt, Tony Marsh, Karl Te Nana, Inoke Afeaki

Te Reo channel: Hemana Waaka, Julian Wilcox, Wairangi Koopu, Te Whetu McCorkindale, Tumamao Harawira, Te Kauhoe Wano, Bailey Mackey, Hohepa Mclean, Peeni Henare, Te Ori Paki, Brian Morris, Tame Te Rangi, Kotuku Tibble, Tamati Waaka

Maori Television is available on Freeview Channel 5 and Sky TV channel 19. It’s also available through the old analogue network with a UHF aerial. If viewers receive Prime TV by aerial, they should be able to tune in to Maori Television. For further assistance, call the tune-in helpline 0800 MA TATOU (0800 62 82 868)

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