Commentator Greg Clark Looks Back To The Future For Rugby World Cup 2015

25 April 2015
Read Time: 2.6 mins

Friends often say that they’d love to have my job, and while I try to convince them that there’s a lot of work that goes into the preparation for my Rugby commentaries, they don’t believe me.

To them, it looks like a junket. Travelling around the world earning a living while calling Rugby. I have to agree it is the ultimate job for a Rugby tragic.

While I’ve covered various major sporting events like the Summer and Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, America's Cup yachting, Rugby League Tests and Grand Slam tennis tournaments, Rugby Union has given me the greatest memories.

Recently when I was asked to sort out my travel dates for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom, it got me thinking about the stamps in my passport. Rugby is a game played on just about every continent and I’ve been blessed to travel to many exciting destinations while on assignment.

I’ve worked on every Rugby World Cup in some capacity, either on site or in the studio at home base. My first off-shore assignment was in the United Kingdom in 1999. I was based in Ireland with the Wallabies for the first part of the campaign and I’ve loved the Irish ever since.

They certainly know how to make you feel welcome and, while I was sorry to leave Dublin, things only got better as the Wallabies moved into the business end of the tournament in London and Cardiff.

I still remember Australia beating France in the final and John Eales lifting the Webb Ellis Cup like it was only yesterday. I might be the eternal optimist, but I believe we can win it again this year.

 John Eales lifts the Webb Ellis Cup in Cardiff. (Getty)

A lot of Rugby has been played since we last won the Cup, and my job has taken me to some wonderful destinations around the globe.

I’ve covered Sevens over the past fifteen years in places like Punta Del Este and Mar del Plata in South America, Wellington and Suva in the Pacific, Stellenbosch and Port Elizabeth in South Africa, Dubai, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

While there’s now an official Sevens World Series and the Rugby is more professional, fans still party just as hard. Hong Kong is still the most popular tournament but others are catching up. I look forward to seeing what Sydney delivers when the Sevens hit town next February.

 Sevens fans roar at Hong Kong Stadium. (AFP)

When it comes to the 15-man game, the Bledisloe Cup is my biggest assignment each year and a series win is long overdue for the Wallabies. I was a spectator at Eden Park the last time Australia tasted victory and that was 1986. Yes, it’s been nearly 30 years since we’ve beaten the All Blacks in Auckland.

I was a spectator in Dunedin in 2001, which is the last time we’ve beaten them on their turf. As a commentator, I haven’t called an Aussie victory over the old enemy in New Zealand, and while it’s still a great Rugby destination, there hasn’t been much to cheer about.

When the Wallabies beat Italy in their opening game at the 2011 World Cup in Auckland, my Fox Sports colleagues and I cracked open the champagne, but it was only a half-hearted celebration as we still hadn’t called an away win over the All Blacks.


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I’ve called Test victories by the Wallabies over the Springboks in South Africa on a few occasions, and it’s important that Michael Cheika’s men do well in the upcoming Rugby Championship against the South Africans, Kiwis and Argentinians.

That’ll be the perfect build up for the Rugby World Cup, which gets underway in the United Kingdom mid-September. I’m predicting that this will be the best World Cup so far and I urge Rugby fans to attend if they can.

The United Kingdom’s large Rugby fan base and the thousands of visitors will ensure massive crowds, and the stadiums are world-class.

After an exciting Six Nations championship this year (won by Ireland) expectations are sky high. Having host nation England in the same pool as Wales and old rivals Australia just adds to the sense of occasion.

There is so much to do away from the Rugby as well, and I can’t wait for it all to begin.

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Greg Clark

Greg Clark is the voice of Fox Sports Rugby and is currently in his 19th year at the network. He has commentated on Rugby across the globe and is considered one of Australia's foremost experts of the 15-man game.