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ESPN to air Premiership Rugby 7s

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ESPN
ESPN has agreed a deal with Premiership Rugby for exclusive UK broadcast rights to the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series.

The new tournament, which will take place over July and August, involves all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs competing in Friday evening games.

The clubs will be divided into three groups, with the runner-up and finalist from each group moving on to the final on August 6.

In accordance with IRB regulations, the six games to be played on every Friday evening will consist of two seven-minute halves with a two-minute break for half time.

ESPN's Rugby 7s coverage will begin at 7.30pm on July 16 when the Group A teams - Harlequins, Saracens, London Irish and London Wasps - kick off the competition.

Group B sides - Leeds Carnegie, Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks - will compete on July 23 and the Group C teams - Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby and Northampton Saints - will clash on July 30.

Discussing the tournament, Premiership Rugby commercial director Jon Varney said: "The JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series is a fantastic opportunity for fans to come down to see some high-octane fast-running rugby entertainment and experience the party atmosphere of 7s combined with the quality of Premiership Rugby talent on a Friday evening in the summer."

ESPN EMEA vice president of TV channels Jeroen Oerlemans added: "ESPN is delighted to be deepening its association with the core of English club rugby as we prepare to broadcast Premiership Rugby next season.

"We are committed to the game of rugby and its fans in England and beyond. We eagerly await the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series on ESPN."

ESPN will present its Rugby 7s coverage from on-site studios, with a presentation and commentary team to be announced "in due course".

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