PREMIER SPORTS TALENT RELISHING SHOWCASE OF HISTORIC PRO14 FINAL
It’s Guinness PRO14 FINAL time and as excitement builds in Glasgow for a Super Saturday of sport, Premier Sports will be bringing viewers the very best coverage live from Celtic Park as Glasgow Warriors take on Leinster in what is set to be a cracker of a rugby occasion.
Premier Sports has now brought viewers an impressive 152 live PRO14 games in its first season in partnership with the Championship with the addition of a dedicated highlights programme every Sunday, the weekly magazine show The PRO14 Hour and Premier Player app and desktop site to allow supporters to watch games on their terms.
Now Premier Sports will deliver all the drama of the PRO14 Final at Glasgow’s Celtic Park on Saturday (coverage starts Premier Sports 1 at 5.30pm) as the Championship breaks new ground by taking the finale to a non-rugby venue for the very first time - with a team of nine of Premier Sports’ top presenters and commentators bringing viewers all the build-up, excitement, atmosphere and the best inside track and rugby knowledge.
Coverage starts on Saturday May 25th on Premier Sports 1 at 5.30pm with a full hour of build-up before kick-off at 6.30pm. Visit www.premiersports.com for details of how to watch.
It’s a Premier Sports “dream team” of rugby and broadcasting talent from across Scotland, Ireland and Wales in Glasgow for the big event.
Popular Premier Sports front men Ross Harries and Dougie Vipond will lead the presentation, with Lauren Jenkins reporting pitchside and the trusted voice of rugby, Eddie Butler, bringing his world-renowned commentary to the live action. Joining them will be five rugby legends, with just short of 400 international caps between them to bring viewers the best rugby insight - Chris Paterson, Martyn Williams, Shane Williams, Jim Hamilton and Stephen Ferris.
It’s perfectly poised. Both teams competing in the Final won their Conferences, Glasgow Warriors with a tally of five more points than Leinster after 21 regular season games and between them this season the two teams have scored an impressive 178 tries in the Championship. Leinster now reach a record ninth PRO14 final, for Glasgow this is their third. The two teams have been head-to-head 36 times with Leinster winning 21 of the contests, Glasgow Warriors 13 and two games drawn. The Warriors have won their last nine PRO14 matches. The two sides have met in one previous final at the RDS Arena in 2014 with Leinster winning 34-12. Glasgow Warriors beat Leinster 39-24 at the RDS last month.
Shane Williams, Wales’ legendary try scoring machine now turned adventurer (recently returned from a Guinness World record trip playing 7s rugby on Everest) will be part of the commentary team from Premier Sports and says the PRO14 Final has all the elements to be an absolute cracker.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to this final - you’ve got the two best performing teams in the PRO14 this season, great match-ups and it could go anywhere. Glasgow could run riot, Leinster could open it up or look to be calculated and structured as we know they can be, these teams have so much going on both sides. It’s going to be tough to call.
“Glasgow have players that make it very difficult for defences and play with such width, getting their strike players involved and they have been scoring tries for fun and for me that’s what’s great about rugby. Seeing Glasgow put 50 points on a strong Ulster team in a semi-final just shows their intent and they won’t worry about pressure from the home favourites tag – they are playing with confidence.
“Leinster are such a consistent team and have so much experience, they will take confidence from being in so many finals before - it’s just the norm to talk about them in Finals as they are always there or thereabouts and they have shown they are one of the most dangerous teams in Europe.
“It’s certainly fitting that the game’s in Scotland with Edinburgh and Glasgow both doing so well and Scottish Rugby performing strongly in the Six Nations. The way that Glasgow have been playing will no doubt generate extra support on Saturday and it’s set to be a great occasion.”
Scotland, Leicester, Gloucester and Saracens second row Jim Hamilton knows a thing or two about being in Finals with seven Cup titles to his name and believes Glasgow will just have the edge this Saturday. He said: “I thought Glasgow were fantastic last weekend. How strong was that to put 50 points on very good Ulster side - they have real momentum right now, and it seems ever since losing that quarter-final in Europe to Saracens, there’s been a shift and they’ve gone to a different level.
“I love Leinster as a team - they have such pedigree and big game players and are incredibly resilient. It shows the quality they have got when they were able to turn over and raise their game last weekend to win a semi-final just a week after the European Cup Final disappointment.
“But watch out for the likes of Hogg, Hastings, Price, Johnson, Seymour. For me Fraser Brown is one of the best hookers in the World right now, there’s the carrying of Matt Fagerson – the names are just rolling off the tongue. This isn’t a one-off for Glasgow, and it’s not about one or two players for them anymore, they are littered with quality now.
“For me, Glasgow seem a more settled team, there will be emotion around Stuart Hogg leaving, they have quality across the board, and it’s essentially a home game for them - so I think it will be their day. And it’s great to see Scottish rugby showing what big a deal this is for Glasgow as a City.”
Premier Sports is available in 16 million UK homes across Sky and Virgin platforms and to everyone via the Premier Player https://www.premierplayer.tv/ while FreeSports is available to 22 million UK homes across six different platforms. Highlights of all this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 FINAL will be broadcast on 9.30PM on Premier Sports 1. The PRO14 hour will be shown on Wednesday May 29th at 9pm live on Premier Sports 1.