Sports production company Whisper is to deliver S4C’s Rugby World Cup coverage, which starts on 8 September 2023.

The coverage will be produced by Whisper Cymru, based in Cardiff.  

In an enhanced deal with the broadcaster, Whisper Cymru will bring live coverage of all Wales matches, as well as the first game of the tournament between France and New Zealand on 8 September, the third-place play-offs, the semi-final and the final. The team will also deliver an “extensive” portfolio of digital content and a tournament preview with exclusive access in the Welsh camp. 

Whisper has made “significant investment” into growing the team in Cardiff, which has increased from seven people in 2019 to 23 in 2023, with six more jobs currently being advertised. 

Carys Owens and Siôn Jones will lead the production team in France as Executive Producers, with Ceri Jenkins as Producer.   

Whisper’s onsite presentation team will be led by Sarra Elgan and Jason Mohammed, with a number of well-known guest pundits, including Mike Philips, Siwan Lillicrap and Robin McBryde. The team will have two presentation positions in France, with one being pitch-side.   

Carys Owens, Whisper Cymru Managing Director: “When we first won the Rugby World Cup for S4C in 2019, it was a significant moment for us as it was the realisation of our ambitious plans in the sport. Four years on we are an established player in rugby, with clients including Welsh Rugby Union, World Rugby, the BBC, the British & Irish Lions and the All Blacks.   

“We’re really pleased to be continuing our great relationship with S4C and look forward to delivering entertaining and ambitious content as we look to maximise coverage of the upcoming World Cup for a Welsh audience and beyond. 

Geraint Evans Director of Content and Publishing Strategy said: “We are delighted to partner with Whisper on our coverage for the Rugby World Cup and extend the great working relationship that we have with the company.   

“S4C and Whisper will be the Welsh team in France. If anyone is looking for in-depth well-informed coverage, by a passionate new team which will have Wales at its heart, then S4C is the channel to watch. We’re really looking forward to supporting Wales throughout the campaign.

As part of S4C’s coverage of the World Cup, the Welsh language broadcaster will be releasing a Whisper-produced documentary about Ifan Phillips, the former Wales U20 player who had a leg amputated following a serious motorbike accident in 2021.   

With the accident ending Ifan’s rugby career, the S4C-commissioned documentary which is called Ifan Philips: y Cam Nesaf, follows his recovery over the next 18 months. It will be broadcast on 28 September, at 9pm.   

Whisper has recently launched the Whisper Academy, with bootcamps starting this month in its Cardiff office. The first four Academy trainees will be working on coverage of the Rugby World Cup. 

Jon Creamer

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