How to watch Rugby this week/weekend
We have figured out how to get the Lions tour in Canada. There are two games this week against South African A (tomorrow Wednesday) and the Stormers on Saturday. Right now you can get it through Premier Sports Asia, which has essentially replaced Rugby Pass. It’s $33 CDN a month and it ONLY works with Express VPN (Nord etc do not work). It is an excellent feed and has all the games live and on demand plus Canada’s games this summer in the UK, France’s tour to Australia and the All Blacks series against Fiji and Tonga as well as the upcoming Rugby Championship. Premier Sports also has a Canadian distribution site for the Lions Tour, so no need for a VPN and here is the link. We thought it would cost the same as the Asia option as it does not have all the other internationals that the Asian site has but is actually twice as expensive at $60 CDN for a one off pass for all the Lions tour matches and South Africa’s fixtures against Georgia but nothing else. You’ve got to love broadcast rights in this country! France’s tour to Australia was on TSN as were Fiji’s two Tests against New Zealand. DAZN had Ireland’s games against Japan and the USA, Canada’s games against Wales and England, England’s game against the USA, and Ireland’s matches against the USA. Wales two game series against Argentina only appears to have been on Premier Sports Asia. Confused already?
Good news is you WILL be able to watch the Lions tour here in Canada. The UK’s Channel 4 as well as Premier Sports, see down below do have coverage of the Lions tour. Channel 4 only has extended highlights of the actual games in South Africa. Rugby Pass used to be a go to out of Hong Kong in days gone by, but they no longer have it, and rights are now with Premier Sports. However, you can sign up for Premier Sports Asia using a VPN but beware once in you cannot access any of the content unless you are using Express VPN only (you can sign up with other VPNs but can’t watch the content). Peacock a streaming offshoot of NBC now also has it, and you can access it with a VPN. The problem is that unless you have a US credit card with a US address you will be unable to purchase the service in the first place.
We’ve added a Podcast to our repertoire! The most recent episodes look at that incredible French/Australian series, and an episode previewing this weekend’s opening Lions/Springbok Test. It’s also available on WordPress and Spotify among others:
After a bumper crop of Internationals there is only one this weekend, but it’s a pretty serious affair as the Lions tour finally gets down to business.
South Africa vs British and Irish Lions – Saturday, July 24th – 10:30 AM (Eastern) – Premier Sports Asia and Canada (live and on demand)
The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa is now definitely going ahead in South Africa with all three Tests to be played in Cape Town. Premier Sports Asia and a Canadian version of the site also now has the Lions tour. The Asian version also has all the Rugby Championship though TSN will have that as well and we’ve got details of how to get it to work.
Lions Tour to South Africa
The British and Irish Lions are now in South Africa for three Tests against the Springboks, all being played in Cape Town. Broadcast rights here in Canada have now been finalized and are available as a one off pass for the tour through Premier Sports Canadian site at $60 CDN. You can also get it as well as all the other summer internationals with a VPN through Premier Sports Asia for $33 CDN a month. You will also be able to watch on the UK’s Channel 4 for free extended highlights (but not live coverage) of all the games, provided you have a VPN allowing you to log into a UK server, and a free Channel 4 account. To set up your Channel 4 profile simply log into a UK server using your VPN then go to the Channel 4 website and follow the instructions. For an address we usually pick a random address like a hotel, but don’t use someone’s personal address unless you know them. The link for Channel 4 is below:
You have two options for the ENTIRE tour. One at $33 CDN a month is Premier Sports Asia which has replaced the old Rugby Pass system. It’s $33 CDN a month but be aware you can ONLY access it if you list your country as one of the ones in Asia that it serves, Singapore seems to be your best bet. You can pay with a Canadian credit card. However, here is the catch if you are using anything other than Express VPN you will be unable to access the content even though you’ve paid for it. The nice thing is they do have all the other summer internationals as well. Here is the link for the Asian site. Below it is the Canadian Premier Sports site at a one off $60 CDN for the entire tour (which has just the Lions and two South African Tests against the Springboks but not all the other internationals) but does not require you to dance through the VPN hoops:
South Africa vs British and Irish Lions – Saturday, July 24th – 11:55 PM (Eastern) – Premier Sports (Asia and Canada – live and on demand)
If you missed the highly physical struggle between the Lions and South Africa A here are the highlights, catch it while you can as these keep being blocked:
France’s Tour to Australia
This series was JUST as exciting as the Lions Tour to South Africa, assuming the latter still goes ahead. All three Tests were thrillers, with all matches going down to the wire in terms of the scoreline. We felt it was a proper FrenchTest side despite the lack of some big names, and Australia had their work cut out for them. Australia themselves under Coach Dave Rennie, as we suspected they would, put their Super Rugby woes behind them and are a force to be reckoned with once more. If you wanted all the tastiest ingredients for a full on belter of a Test match three times in a mere eleven days then you couldn’t have asked for much more.
If you missed the Tests, something you’re probably kicking yourself for here are the highlights for now till these get blacklisted and removed by the SAANZAR censors:
These are now over for another year, though Canada and the USA will have a round of two World Cup qualifying matches in September.
Major League Rugby
It’s all over for another year and sadly the Arrows will not be carrying on post the regular 2021 season, as they failed to make the playoffs by quite some margin, having only finished 10th in the league and won 5 out of their sixteen matches. Perhaps the most bitter pill of all was finishing bottom of the Eastern conference – a far cry from their blockbusting initial season in the league in 2019.
As difficult as Toronto have found this season, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. That they are even able to play in the tournament at all, is nothing short of a miracle given the pandemic restrictions of cross border travel. It’s meant them having to set up shop in Georgia isolated from family and friends for three months. It must be tough mentally to keep a positive attitude week in week out, especially if things aren’t exactly going your way on the pitch. Without this sacrifice as Canadians we would be poorly represented, so we take our hats off to them and will continue cheering hard this final weekend until hopefully next year when we can actually cheer them on in person here in Toronto. In the meantime here is the schedule on TSN:
In addition to TSN’s coverage of the Arrows you can also catch all the games on the Rugby Network which is free (live and on demand) as well as the MLR YouTube Channel which has all the highlights. Here are the links to both.
If you missed the Arrows final effort of the season – here are the highlights:
The Arrows Facebook page as well as their regular webpage has highlights and some of their games available as well as news about next year’s season:
General Internet Listings for following International Rugby
Our new YouTube favorite is Squidge Rugby. His highly entertaining and insightful videos on our glorious sport have become the The Lineout’s number one weekly YouTube go to location at the moment. The videos are well put together, have some fascinating insights into the topic being discussed and have a production value that is both highly amusing and ingenious. Well worth ten minutes of your time and more than likely to put a smile on your face over a cup of coffee and provide some talking points with your rugby mates. Here is his take on the South Africa A game against the Lions which gave us plenty to think about. Get behind his work and help this excellent content to continue.
Here’s the link to his channel:
One of the most comprehensive site for International Rugby news is without doubt Planet Rugby see link below:
For following the games if you can’t watch them either on the Internet or Television then they always have a very useful live tracking feature for all the big games, both for the Six Nations and Super Rugby as well as the World Cup. This allows you to get minute by minute updates on the games as they progress on either your computer or smart phone. If you’re on the road, this is a fabulous tool and best of all it’s free, along with their excellent coverage of the world game, and discussion forums (but be prepared to be shot down in flames by some of the more die hard fans if they feel your opinions aren’t well founded). If you’re a rugby fanatic then it’s pretty easy to lose time on this website and well worth a weekly or daily visit.
Another source of excellent international rugby coverage especially for video is Ultimate Rugby. Its video coverage features highlights, interviews and other interesting tidbits of rugby trivia. Nicely produced and well worth spending some time at. It also has a live match tracker like Planet Rugby and one which you can actually post comments on as the action unfolds which is a nice feature.
Also for those of you interested in a Canadian rugby digest, the rugby blog in BC’s Province newspaper was a good source for news on all things Canadian rugby wise (although of late it’s hard to find much) along with Patrick Johnston’s Try and Tackle podcasts and their Facebook Page which sadly also seems to have died a natural death:
For a contrasting opinion from New Zealand and our other fan favorite we also really like Two Cents Rugby on YouTube. An enthusiastic Kiwi fan who knows his players and probably has the most extensive rugby jersey collection on the net. Here’s his take on this weekend’s proceedings in Cape Town.
And here’s the link to his channel:
Lastly, if you want to pick up on some genuine enthusiasm for our great game, we’re a fan of Gareth Mason on YouTube. A South African passionate about the game, his prodigious output on YouTube is always good fun and raises some good points. So check out the G-Man and give him your support.
Big news from us is that we are going on the air starting next month. Yes we’re taking the plunge and setting up a Podcast. For now our resident scribe will be hosting it as a solo effort. Time and work permitting we hope to put something out every Thursday for 15-20 minutes. It will probably centre around our weekly wrap of what rugby to watch at the weekend and why, but also more in depth pieces on the big tournaments. But no it won’t be simply someone reading out the latest blog post word for word if that’s what your wondering, although it will feature the posts as a base. It’s all experimental for now and a work in progress but we’re looking forward to the next stage in the Lineout’s development. Who knows maybe there’s even a YouTube channel in our future somewhere down the road! We’ll be looking at the Springbok selection for the Lions tour among other things in the next day or two.
As always thanks to everyone for checking in, and getting our visitors close to the 50,000 mark, including 600 regular followers.
Take care everyone and stay safe!