– Popular ESPNscrum fantasy rugby game returns alongside comprehensive championship coverage
– ESPN Classic reliving classic matches from previous Five and Six nations championships
ESPNscrum and ESPN Classic are combining to deliver an extensive RBS Six Nations offering on TV, online and mobile. With excitement building towards the championship kick-off on Saturday February 2, the ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby 2013 – International Game returns and will be free for all fans to play. The overall winner of the main fans’ game – the entrant whose team has scored the highest number of points throughout the championship* – will win a 32-inch Panasonic HD TV.
ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby is also hosting mini-leagues for both professional rugby players (the ESPNscrum Players’ Select) and rugby journalists (the ESPNscrum Press Pack) to compete against their peers, and, ESPN TV’s rugby presentation team: analyst, and former England international Ben Kay, presenter Mark Durden-Smith, commentator Nick Mullins and reporter Sarra Elgan**. The journalist that wins the ESPNscrum Press Pack will win a £1000 donation in their name to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, while the player that comes out on top in the ESPNscrum Players’ Select wins a £1000 donation to the Rugby Players’ Association charity Restart.
ESPN TV’s rugby presentation team on their fantasy Six Nations XVs:
Ben Kay – Team: Ooof
- “My pack has an English heart and a Franco-Welsh backs division. I fully expect these three nations to dominate the Championship, and, in turn help my fantasy team to top spot.”
Nick Mullins – Team: The Old Bubba Gumpians
- “Every Six Nations throws up exciting new names that’ll go on to grace the Championship for years to come. I can’t wait to see how the likes of Eli Walker, Tim Visser, Craig Gilroy and Joe Launchbury acclimatise to the grandest of European stages. But if the name of this particular game is to accumulate points, then you won’t go wrong with the “been-there-and-done-it” brigade.”
Mark Durden-Smith: Team: The Winking Donkeys
- “An element of pin the donkey has been at the heart of my selection policy for the Winking Donkeys. The idea is to use my transfers shrewdly each weekend which I hope will lead my choppers and changers to ultimate glory. I fear I may be the Turnip of the ESPNScrum fantasy scene.”
Sarra Elgan: Team: ESPN Dream Team
- “I believe France, England and Ireland will be front runners after ending their respective Autumn International games on a high and so my team reflects that with the maximum of four players from each of those countries. Morgan Parra is a guaranteed selection for France at nine, he is a superb goal kicker and should have plenty of opportunities to claim points from the boot with France’s try scoring ability.”
Furthermore, Dove Men+Care, the men’s personal care and beauty brand, is the exclusive partner of the fantasy game, offering additional prizes. The Unilever brand will run integrated branding within the fantasy game plus co-branded creative across ESPN and Dove Men+Care digital media throughout the championship.
Alan Fagan, director advertising sales, ESPN EMEA, said: “Our agreement with Dove Men+Care around our popular rugby fantasy game, reflects how we can deliver value to top-flight brands, connecting them with loyal and passionate UK and Irish rugby fans across multiple screens.”
ESPNscrum will once again provide detailed coverage of the championship with news, team previews, live scores, and text commentary for every match. ESPNscrum will provide extensive coverage of the matches themselves from previews to post-match analysis, including comment from Healey and Kay. In addition, there will be an ESPNscrum blog focusing on the championship as a whole.
ESPN Classic’s RBS Six Nations offering includes more than 40 classic matches from the championship’s past. A specially-themed England v France week, starting on 18th February ahead of the England v France fixture on the 23rd, will replay a number of great matches between the two rivals, plus the film Ces Chers Ennemis (These Dear Enemies), about the French-English rivalry from a French point of view. Additionally, ESPN Classic’s Grand Slam Winners series will air throughout the RBS Six Nations and will start by looking back at the 1976 championship, won by Wales, on Monday 28th January at 7:00pm. The series is presented by Durden-Smith with Gareth Thomas (ex Wales Captain) and Kay as they remember great clean-sweeps, including England’s 2003 victory and Wales’ 2005 triumph.
Ross Hair, senior vice president and managing director, ESPN, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “ESPN is all set to provide rugby fans a variety of coverage around the RBS Six Nations. The return of ESPNscrum’s fantasy game and our extensive TV and digital championship content reflects our dedication to rugby and its fans.”
*Further information on the ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby – International Game
- Team managers will score 5 points for every try scored by one of their players in the championship; 3 points for every try assist made by one of their players; 1 point for every successful drop kick; 1 point for every successful penalty kick or try conversion (designated kicker only); 3 points for each player making a full appearance (player starts and finishes the game); 2 points for a part appearance (player starts but doesn’t finish the game); 1 point for a substitute appearance (player comes on as a substitute). Players will lose 1 point for receiving a yellow card and 2 points for receiving a red card.
**Information for journalists looking to compete in the ESPNscrum Press Pack mini-league
- We’re inviting you to join a special mini-league – the ESPNscrum Press Pack League – which will allows you to compete against our team of rugby analysts and commentators, including Ben Kay, Mark Durden-Smith, and Nick Mullins, plus journalists from across the UK.
- The overall winner from the ESPNscrum Press Pack League – the entrant whose team has scored the highest number of points throughout the tournament – will win a £1,000 donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
- Also, by simply playing the game you qualify for a chance to win some fantastic prizes, including a 32-inch Panasonic HD ready TV and a pair of tickets to the 2013 Heineken Cup Final or 2013 Aviva Premiership final.
- Instructions to join League ESPNscrum Press Pack:
- Visit: http://espnscrum.fantasyleague.com/User.aspx
- Select your XV for the Six Nations Championship
- Click on the ENTER NEW LEAGUE button
- When prompted, please enter PIN: 22592
- Deadline to enter your team: 10pm 1st February
- © Disney ©2007 Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Registered Charity No. 235825