Stan Sport has revealed its commentary team for the up-coming Super Rugby Au season, with former Fox callers Nick McArdle, Tim Horan, Drew Mitchell and Sean Maloney joined by All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens and dual international Allana Ferguson.
Roz Kelly is also onboard, with former Wallabies Morgan Turinui and Justin Harrison and play-by-play caller Andrew Swain rounding out the 10-person team.
The crew was unveiled on Wednesday morning, with the Super Rugby Au season set to begin on February 19.
The regular season will be a 10-round round robin with each of the five teams playing each other twice over 12 weeks.
The final will be held on May 8.
Stan Sport will also stream Super Rugby Aotearoa, Shute Shield and Test matches after acquiring the rights for the game last year.
“There’s the opportunity to get in front of more people and I think it aligns with where rugby is at the moment,” Mitchell said on Wednesday morning.
“It’s a new era, a new administration, new coaches and a wave of new Wallabies.
“The alignment with the new broadcasters, it’s just a really exciting time.”
Just announced: meet our fresh commentary team for a new era of Rugby.
We can’t wait to bring you the action from every match. Enjoy ad-free, live and on demand at the New Home of Rugby, Stan Sport from February 19. pic.twitter.com/goo9rv4whC
— StanSportAU (@StanSportAU) February 2, 2021
Mehrtens, who also appeared on Fox’s rugby coverage, was enthusiastic about the change of broadcaster and the drastically altered competition format.
“I’ve been really excited. It’s been shaken up by the pandemic and now we’ve got a more condensed form of rugby,” he said.
“The derbies are what inspire people. You can see the passion and the hits.
“I think it’s fantastic. No matter what happens going forward, it’s exciting on a new platform.”
The Waratahs are also undergoing a period of change, with scrumhalf Jake Gordon taking over the captaincy from Michael Hooper.
“It’s a great opportuntiy and I’m lucky to have had great leaders before me in Rob Simmons and Michael Hooper, but it’s going to be a testing one at times and one I’m excited to take on,” he said.
“Halfbacks lead a lot of the onfield stuff. For me it’s about not changing too much. I know I need to lead on the field, and I’ve got a great leadership group off the field.”