RUGBY UNION: Lawrence Dallaglio joins BT Sport

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has signed with BT Sport to become its chief analyst on its rugby union coverage.

Dallaglio, 40, is the first major signing for BT Sport’s exclusive live coverage of up to 69 live rugby matches a season from the Aviva Premiership.

He will be a co-commentator for some live matches and studio pundit for other live clashes when BT Sport launches in the summer.

The England and Wasps legend, who was part of the triumphant national team of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, will be a headline figure for the BT Sport network.

Since retiring from the sport in 2008, Dallaglio has been a frequent contributor to the BBC’s rugby union coverage, including the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals.

He was also part of the ITV team that covered the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Dallaglio was used as a studio analyst for the majority of the tournament, until he was picked to take the co-commentary role on the final alongside Nick Mullins.

“I am genuinely thrilled to be joining BT Sport as its rugby expert,” said Dallaglio.

“BT has huge ambitions for rugby union and I am delighted to be involved with that from the beginning.

“I hope that we can make BT Sport the place to watch rugby and I know it has some great new ideas to really put the viewer at the heart of the action.”

BT will be the home of rugby for four years from the start of the 2013/14 season having secured exclusive live rights all televised matches from the Aviva Premiership, featuring up to 69 live matches per season.

The network will also screen JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens, plus live matches from the French Top 14.

Dallaglio, who was awarded an OBE in 2008, is the first major analyst to be signed up by BT Sport.

Jake Humphrey will front the new channels’ 38 live football games from the Barclays Premier League, while Clare Balding will host a sports magazine show for BT Sport.

In addition to his new BT Sport role, Dallaglio will become one of the telecoms giant’s brand ambassadors, joining the likes of Olympic triathlon medallists Alastair and Jonathan Brownlee, and Paralympic sprinting champion Jonnie Peacock.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Lawrence is a giant of rugby union and we are thrilled that he has agreed to play such a pivotal role across our rugby coverage.

“The insight and analysis he offers, gained through captaining his country and winning 85 caps, will be absolutely invaluable to BT Sport.

“We saw an opportunity to make BT Sport the home of rugby union, offering live games from the Aviva Premiership, the rugby sevens, top flight French rugby and top European matches in the future.

“We believe that Lawrence’s standing in the game and his ability as a broadcaster will help us to achieve that aim.”

Since retiring in 2008, Lawrence has worked tirelessly to raise millions for charity through the Dallaglio Foundation.

Two big Cycle Slam events have raised over £3m for charities such as Sport Relief and Cancer Research UK, with other sportsmen like ex-Arsenal footballer Lee Dixon joining Lawrence to cycle over 2500km.

The Dallaglio Foundation now has its own Rugby Programme which helps young people to make the right life choices.

BT Sport’s new channels will be based at the iCITY development at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and launch this summer.

CLICK HERE for more details on BT Sport

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