Thursday, 3 September 2009

Guscott to join Scrum V

BBC rugby pundit and legendary England and British Lions centre Jeremy Guscott is to join BBC Wales' flagship rugby programme, Scrum V, from this season.

Jeremy Guscott, who is known to viewers across the UK as one of the faces of the BBC coverage of the Six Nations, joins the Scrum V team of Gareth Lewis, Jonathan Davies, Rick O'Shea and Ieuan Evans.

The new series kicks off this Sunday, 6 September, on BBC Two Wales from 6.00pm and Guscott says he is joining the team due to his appreciation of rugby in Wales.

"I'm a fan of Welsh rugby first and foremost," says Guscott. "I think it's taken a while for the Welsh public to come round to me and see that I try to be as honest in my opinion, in my appraisal and my thoughts as I can be.

"While I was an English rugby player I understood it was quite difficult to take that. But, since retiring, I believe I'm seen more as an ex-British Lion player and the history of the Lions with the Welsh public is huge.

"The times that I've been on Scrum V before I noticed that people were actually listening to me and agreeing with me and my assessment of the Welsh team, Welsh players and other teams and so it was never a difficult decision to join the fantastic Scrum V team."

Guscott also appreciates the passion the Welsh public have for rugby.

"Rugby is massive in Wales and there's a sense of belonging – people are genuinely interested in your viewpoint and it is respected," says Guscott.

As for his famous on-screen banter with Jonathan "Jiffy"' Davies, Guscott says this will continue when he joins the team: "There will certainly be more of that. You know Jiffy gets grumpier as he gets older and I get more relaxed as I get older," he jokes.

Guscott also says that he believes the current Wales team are capable of great things.

"When they played against Scotland it was quite possibly the most perfect game of rugby I've ever seen. There were hardly any mistakes, everything went to hand, they scored the tries, people supported and it was played in the way personally I think rugby should be played.

"So I know what they're capable of and, for me as a watcher and an admirer of good skill and good rugby, Wales are a team that I want to watch."

The first programme of the new season, this Sunday 6 September at 6.00pm on BBC Two Wales, features an exclusive interview between Guscott, the hero of the Lions tour in 1997, and this year's Lions king, Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts.

Also, for the first time from this season, viewers will get a second chance to catch Scrum V every Sunday with a late-evening broadcast on BBC Two Wales, following the usual early evening transmission.

Scrum V, Sunday 6 September 2009, 6.00-11.00pm.


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