DAZN snaps up rights to Rugby World Cup warm-ups

OTT platform DAZN has confirmed the acquisition of rights in Japan for a series of international rugby union warm-up matches ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which will take place in the country.

The exclusive live rights cover contests hosted by England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in August and September.

DAZN told SportBusiness Media that the first two fixtures – Ireland v Italy on August 10 and England v Wales on August 11 – will include special commentary from former Japan national team players Yuya Saito, Hiroaki Ito and Kensuke Hatakeyama.

The other games covered by the rights are Wales v England on August 17, Scotland v France and England v Ireland on August 24, Wales v Ireland on August 31, Scotland v Georgia and England v Italy on September 6, and Ireland v Wales on September 7.

Japan will stage the first ever Rugby World Cup in Asia from September 20 to November 2.

DAZN already has rugby union rights in Japan to Premiership Rugby, the top tier in England, as well as the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments.