BBC Sport is a department of the BBC North division providing national sports coverage for BBC Television, radio and online. Results, analysis and coverage is also added to the BBC Sport Website, the BBC has broadcast sport for several decades under individual programme names and coverage titles. Grandstand was one of the more notable Sport programmes, broadcasting sport since the launch in 1958. This practice continued throughout the two decades. Upon the launch of the BBC News website in 1997, sport was included in the BBCs online presence for the first time, in May 2007, the BBC Trust approved plans for several BBC departments, including BBC Sport, to be moved to a new development in Salford. The new development at MediaCityUK marks a major decentralisation of BBC departments from London, the department moved into Quay House, MediaCityUK gradually in late 2011 and early 2012 with the first Sports bulletins being broadcast from the new BBC Sport Centre on 5 March 2012. The BBC shares the rights to the FIFA World Cup with ITV, a near equal split of group stage and knockout stage games are shown, including a semi final and the final is shown on both networks. The BBC shows highlights of the Premier League on Match of the Day which has been hosted by Gary Lineker since 1999, Match of the Day 2 and Match of the Day 2 Extra, are presented by Mark Chapman. Dan Walker hosts Football Focus every Saturday lunchtime before Jason Mohammad presents Final Score every Saturday afternoon, the BBC also broadcasts live coverage of the FA Cup and will do so until 2018. BBC Sport currently holds the rights to broadcast the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Wimbledon contract has been held by the BBC since 1937 and the current contract lasts until 2017 making it the longest such contract in the world. The BBC produce over 900 hours of footage that is distributed to broadcasters in 159 different countries, BBC Wimbledon coverage is presented by former British number one and 1976 French Open Champion Sue Barker. Matches are broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Two, the Red Button, highlights are also shown on the long-running Today at Wimbledon, presented by Clare Balding, who replaced John Inverdale in 2015. The same year, the programme was renamed Wimbledon 2day, with a new lighthearted magazine format, but after one year. Regular tournament weather updates are provided by Carol Kirkwood, the BBC also broadcasts two traditional Grass warm up events in the fortnight before the Wimbledon Championships. First is the AEGON Championships from Queens Club, which takes two weeks before Wimbledon. Coverage is led by Sue Barker with commentary by Andrew Castle, Andrew Cotter, the following week is the WTA AEGON International event from Eastbourne. In 2015, coverage was introduced by John Inverdale and Lee McKenzie with commentary from Andrew Cotter, Sam Smith, both events are primarily shown on BBC Two. The BBC also shares broadcasting coverage of the ATP World Tour Finals with Sky Sports, showing one afternoon match per day including one semi-final and the final which are usually shown on BBC Two
St Helens R.F.C.
St Helens Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside currently competing in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe. Formed in 1873, St Helens are one of the 22 original members of the Northern Rugby Football Union and have been champions on 13 occasions. St Helens are also the third most successful side in the Challenge Cup with 12 wins in 21 Final appearances, St Helens are founding members of the Super League and are one of only four teams to have appeared in every season since its creation in 1996. Since 1961 the clubs colours have been white, with a red V on the jersey. St Helens play their games at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, having moved from their previous home, Knowsley Road. St Helens are one of the oldest members of the Rugby Football League, founded as St Helens Football Club on 19 November 1873 at the Fleece Hotel by William Douglas Herman, they played their first ever match on 31 January 1874 against Liverpool Royal Infirmary. They became known as St Helens Rangers up until the 1880s, the club moved from the City Ground in 1890 where they had shared with St Helens Recs when neither were members of the Northern Rugby Football Union. They defeated Manchester Rangers in the first match played at Knowsley Road, in 1895 the club were one of 22 clubs that resigned from the Rugby Football Union and established the Northern Union. The first match of the new code was an 8—3 win at home to Rochdale Hornets before 3,000 spectators and they played in a vertically striped blue and white jersey—a stark contrast to the well known broad red band which would become the kit for the club later. The club reverted to this kit for one season during the rugby league season in 1995. The Challenge Cup was launched in 1897 and it was St Helens who contested its first final with Batley, at Headingley, the Gallant Youths of Batley emerged victorious 10—3, with Dave Red Traynor scoring the lone St Helens try. Between 1897 and 1901, St Helens were not successful, even considered a mid—table side. They finished second to bottom in the 1900—01 Lancashire League season, in the 1901—02 season, however, they did finish third in the Lancashire league. In 1902–03, the combined Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues saw St Helens enter for the first time, St Helens were placed in Division 1 but finished next to bottom and suffered relegation. Promotion was gained at the 1st attempt, only for another year to see them finish once again in a relegation position. However the two Divisions became one League to save the club from a 2nd relegation, on 14 June 1913, St Helens Recs joined the Northern Union after defecting from rugby union and association football. The Recs were based individually at the City Road ground, after previously sharing with St Helens, before their move to Knowsley Road, the Recs played their first game on 6 September 1913. St Helens now had two rugby league teams
Wigan Warriors R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in the Super League and are the current Super League Champions. formed in 1872 as Wigan Football Club, they are a founding member of the Northern Rugby Football Union following the schism from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. Wigan have won 21 League Championships,19 Challenge Cups and 4 World Club Challenge trophies, the club is the all-time most successful club in English rugby league. Wigan had a period of sustained success from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, winning the Challenge Cup eight seasons in succession, the club plays its home matches at the DW Stadium, having played at Central Park between 1902 and 1999. The current head coach is Shaun Wane, the captain is Sean OLoughlin. On 21 November 1872, Wigan Football Club was founded by members of Wigan Cricket Club following a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Wigan F. C. played on Folly Field, near Upper Dicconson Street. The first match took place on 30 November when members played against each other in a match at Folly Field. After a series of trial and practice matches, they travelled to Warrington to play their first competitive match on 18 January 1873, the game ended in a draw. Financial problems and an inability to recruit quality players led to the club amalgamating with Upholland F. C. in 1876, the club became Wigan & District F. C. The club moved and played its games at the then Wigan Cricket Club at Prescott Street just off Frog Lane. It is unlikely that the club fulfilled its fixtures in 1877 before finally disbanding at the end of the 1879 cricket season. On 22 September 1879, the club was reformed as Wigan Wasps by many ex-members of the original Wigan Football Club, the club moved away from Prescott Street back to Folly Field. In 1884, Wigan won its first trophy, the West Lancashire Cup, the club initially played in blue and white hooped jerseys before changing in 1886 to cherry and white hoops. In 1888 they hosted and beat a touring New Zealand side, Wigan were suspended by the RFU for breaking the strict amateur code despite their argument that broken-time payments were necessary to avoid undue hardship for their working class players. In 1895 Wigan joined with other clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire to found the Northern Union which led eventually to the sport of rugby league and this was a result of the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union. This was when the Wasps tag was dropped and the club became known as Wigan. The County Championship was introduced in October 1895 with Cheshire entertaining Lancashire, the Red Rose side contained three players from Wigan, Winstanley and Unsworth and Brown. In 1896–97 due to the number of Northern Union teams the Northern League was abandoned in favour of two County Senior leagues
Sean Long is an English retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, and 2000s. An England and Great Britain international Scrum-half, Long is regarded by many as one of the finest British players of his generation and he began his career with Wigan and also played for Widnes and Hull F. C. but is best known for his time playing for St. Following his retirement as a player, Long began a coaching career and he is currently assistant coach of St. Helens and the Samoa national rugby league team. After signing from local side, Wigan St Judes, Long started his career at Wigan. After Wigan released him from his contract, Long moved to Widnes and he was signed by St Helens in 1997 to replace the departing Bobbie Goulding. In the 1997 post season, Long was selected to play for Great Britain from the bench in two matches of the Super League Test series against Australia. Long played for St. Helens from the bench, kicking two goals in their 1999 Super League Grand Final victory over Bradford Bulls. Long twice set the St. Helens record for the number of points scored in a Super League season, gaining 284 points in 1999 and 352 points in 2000. Long played for St. Helens at scrum half and kicked four goals in their 2000 Super League Grand Final victory over Wigan Warriors, as Super League V champions, St. Helens played against 2000 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2001 World Club Challenge. Long played at half, scoring a try, three goals and a field goal in Saints victory. Long played for St. Helens at scrum half, scoring a try, a goal, having won Super League VI, St Helens contested the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters. Long played at stand-off in Saints 38-0 loss, in 2004, Long served a three-month ban for his part in the 2004 rugby league betting scandal. Despite this, Long was selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament, in the final against Australia he played at scrum half in the Lions 44-4 loss. By 2005, Long had scored 2,000 points for St Helens, St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull F. C. and Long played at scrum half in Saints 26-4 victory. Following the season, Long was selected for Great Britain in the Tri nations, Long played in the first game between Great Britain and Australia, which resulted in Great Britains first victory in Sydney in 18 years, with a score of 23-12. However, on 13 November 2006, Long controversially returned home from the Tri-Nations tour, as 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Long captained Saints from scrum half in their 18-14 victory, St. Helens in 2007 took all honours apart from the Super League title when they were beaten by Leeds at Old Trafford in the Grand Final. In 2007 Long received a match for St Helens against Leigh
The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League, held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs, the final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley Stadium, London, is one of the most prestigious matches in world rugby league and is broadcast around the world. Abide with Me, sung before the game, has become a rugby league anthem, the current holders of the Challenge Cup are Hull F. C. who defeated Warrington 12–10 on 27 August 2016 at Wembley Stadium, the very first time they have won at Wembley. Wigan are the most successful club in the history of the competition, the clubs that formed the Northern Union had long been playing in local knock-out cup competitions under the auspices of the Rugby Football Union. However, the rugby union authorities refused to sanction a nationwide tournament, after the schism of 1895, the northern clubs were free to go-ahead, and they instigated the Northern Rugby Football Union Challenge Cup. In 1896 Fattorinis of Bradford were commissioned to manufacture the Challenge Cup at a cost of just £60, Fattorinis also supplied three-guineas winners medals then valued at thirty shillings. The first competition was held during the 1896–97 season, and 56 clubs entered to compete for the trophy, the first final was held at Headingley in Leeds, on 24 April 1897. Batley defeated St. Helens 10–3 in front of a crowd of 13,492 and it is interesting to note that the St Helens side did not play in a standardised team jersey. The competition was interrupted by the Great War, although it was held in 1915. It was then suspended until the end of hostilities, the first final held at Wembley was in 1929 when Wigan beat Dewsbury 13–2 in front of a crowd of 41,500. The Challenge Cup finals, which place in the game’s Northern heartland, got big crowds as the game raised money for prisoners of war. In 1946, the Lance Todd Trophy was introduced and awarded to the man of the match, the first winner was Billy Stott of Wakefield Trinity the first winner of the trophy on the losing team was Frank Whitcombe of Bradford Northern in 1948. In itself, it is a trophy presented only at the Challenge Cup Final. The winner is selected by the members of the Rugby League Writers Association present at the game and the trophy was presented at a dinner at the Willows. 1954 saw the Challenge Cup final drawn and the set the record for a rugby league match attendance. The match was on 5 May and 102,569 was the attendance at Odsal Stadium. Wigan are well known for their successes in the Challenge Cup competition, until the 1993–94 season there were very few amateur clubs included in the cup, typically two. For part of the 1980s, and the 1992–93 season the cup was solely for professional clubs, in 1997, a Challenge Cup Plate took place for teams knocked out in the early rounds of the competition
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of football, it originated in England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules gradually changed with the aim of producing a faster, in rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing teams goal line, this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals, after each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is a sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, New Zealand. The European Super League and Australasian National Rugby League are the club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European, Australasian and Pacific Island countries, the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954, the current holders are Australia. The first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a faction of Englands Rugby Football Union. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves rugby football leagues, in 1922, the Northern Union also changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as rugby league football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union, within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution. In 1897, the line-out was abolished and in 1898 professionalism introduced, in 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Sydney, There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Batemans Hotel in George Street. Rugby league then went on to rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, England, also in 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the tackle a scrum was to be formed. This was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover,1967 saw the first professional Sunday matches of rugby league played
The Millennium Stadium, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, the stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union. The stadium was designed by a led by architects Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. WS Atkins were the engineers, and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million, with a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, due to take place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the renamed as the Principality Stadium from early 2016. Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened, however, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. France was also about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000,11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. It was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both vehicles and spectators alike. The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, the committee eventually chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south and this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site and it was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football