Tim Horan is part of Fox Sports' Rugby World Cup commentary team.
Tim Horan is part of Fox Sports' Rugby World Cup commentary team. Contributed

Fans prepare to stay up late for Rugby World Cup viewing

RUGBY fans are preparing for broken sleep to watch all of the action of the Rugby World Cup.

The tournament, held every four years, starts in the UK on Saturday, and the time difference will have Australian fans staying up late and getting up early to watch the Wallabies play live.

Fox Sports has set up a dedicated World Cup channel to broadcast all 48 matches live, ad-free and in high definition.

"The great thing about the World Cup is there's always an upset," Tim Horan tells APN.

"There's always a side like Samoa or Tonga that will beat the French or someone."

Horan is one of five members of Australia's 1999 World Cup-winning squad who will be calling the action from the UK for Fox Sports.

Fox Sports' 2015 Rugby World Cup commentary team, from left, Tim Horan, John Eales, George Gregan, Phil Kearns and Rod Kafer.
Fox Sports' 2015 Rugby World Cup commentary team, from left, Tim Horan, John Eales, George Gregan, Phil Kearns and Rod Kafer. Contributed

Australia is in Pool A, dubbed the "Pool of Death", with Wales, Fiji, Uruguay and host nation England.

"England is my favourite (to win), but when you play in your home country, you get put under a lot of pressure," he says.

"We got put under pressure in 2003 (when Australia hosted the tournament), and the players felt that. I reckon playing away from Australia will be good for us.

"I'm fairly confident we'll make the quarter-final, reasonably confident we'll make the semi-final, but to get past the semi is going to be hard."

He believes rugby code-breaker Israel Folau is "primed" to do something special for the Wallabies.

"As a fullback, he's reading the game a lot better and playing with a lot of confidence," he says.

"He's just got to get his hands on the ball as much as he can, and that might mean playing from the back line a bit more. He's someone who a year or two ago was a bit shy. He's not shy anymore.

Israel Folau will represent Australia as a member of the 2015 Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad.
Israel Folau will represent Australia as a member of the 2015 Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad.

"He's primed to do something really special, and in World Cups you need one or two players from each team to do something really special in a big game."

Horan, whose rugby career began at Toowoomba's Downlands College, has fond memories of his World Cup win and touring the country with the trophy.

"We took the World Cup all around the Darling Downs area over a four-day period," he says.

"It was great to show people where you've come from. Jason (Little) and I were both only 21, going 'This is what we've achieved'.

"It (the 1999 win) really helped to put rugby (union) on the map in Australia."

All Rugby World Cup matches air live from 5am tomorrow on Fox Sports Rugby (Channel 502).

 

World Cup Week 1 Fixtures

Tomorrow

Opening Ceremony - 3.30am

Opening match, England v Fiji - 5am

Tonga v Georgia - 9pm

Ireland v Canada - 11.30pm

 

Sunday

South Africa v Japan - 1.45am

France v Italy - 5am

Samoa v USA - 9pm

Wales v Uruguay - 11.30pm

 

Monday

New Zealand v Argentina - 1.45am

 

Wednesday

Scotland v Japan - 11.30pm

 

Thursday

Australia v Fiji - 1.45am

France v Romania - 5am


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