TV/Internet Game Listings in Canada

How to watch Rugby this weekend

Apart from the epic second clash between New Zealand and Argentina this weekend, international rugby has a rather predictable feel to it this Saturday. The Tri-Nations continues with New Zealand looking for revenge against a pumped up Pumas side. The Autumn Nations Cup however, doesn’t look as interesting. With Fiji essentially out of the tournament after never firing a shot due to COVID-19, the two Saturday fixtures and one on Sunday are unlikely to throw up too much in the way of surprises or even excitement. Ireland take on Georgia, which should be a fairly straightforward outing for the Men in Green, while the men from the Caucasus are faced with challenge of trying to get some points on the board, something they have failed to do in their opening two matches. A brutally effective England travel to Llanelli to take on a Welsh side that has done little to fire the imagination of anyone. Lastly Italy travel to Paris to take on the number two side in the tournament, an exuberant and exciting France. It’s hard to argue with the bookies favoring England, Ireland and France to all get the job done, so from a viewing aspect it’s more about having a look at some of the emerging talent that will be on display, but its impact on the tournament itself will be rather minimal.

There’s also some PRO14 action, so more than enough to keep you entertained.

The Rugby Championship (For this year referred to as the Tri-Nations)

Now taking place in November/December, TSN had the rights to the original dates in July-September, and now has the rights to the revised competition featuring only New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, taking place over the next six weeks with all matches being played in Australia.

https://www.tsn.ca/international-rugby-on-tsn-tsn-ca-and-the-tsn-app-1.433673

Wow – what a match that was a fortnight ago and one that is going to stay on our PVRs for a long time to come. Argentina’s dismantling of the All Blacks was truly inspirational stuff and has suddenly made the Tri-Nations, which looked in danger of becoming a one horse pony, suddenly riveting viewing. In case you missed it – here is the full spectacular 80 minutes.

Argentina now attempt to do the double on the All Blacks, a feat that very few have ever achieved. The Pumas look well drilled, mind bendingly fit, unbelievably physical and fired up to the max. Either way you will want that PVR set for the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Argentina vs New Zealand – Saturday, November 28th – 3:40 AM (Eastern) TSN 2 (Live and hopefully on demand, but in case not make sure you set those PVRs)

We were trying to find a YouTube feed of the Australia/Argentina game for those of you who got short changed by TSN’s schedule foul up last Saturday morning. We had one but the game now is actually available in the games on demand section on the TSN Website:

https://www.tsn.ca/video/on-demand

Autumn Nations Cup

This is a new tournament that replaces the Fall Tour window in Europe and is an eight nation tournament involving the Six Nations countries and Georgia and Fiji. It looks a fascinating contest with some really juicy matchups and one that you are not going to want to miss. DAZN has the rights to the whole tournament in Canada.

The empty stadiums don’t quite have the same atmosphere as we are seeing with the crowds present at the Tri Nations, and sadly with the rather foregone conclusions in terms of results this weekend, the draw is not exactly huge. Watching France is always entertaining and their romp with Italy this weekend should showcase their talents. England and Wales often provide for entertaining encounters, but England are so clinical at the moment and Wales so much the polar opposite that it’s hard to see anything but a soulless slugfest in the Welsh rain and wind. Georgia have remained scoreless in the tournament so far and have done little to make a convincing argument for their inclusion in the Six Nations, and their trip to Dublin should do little to further their cause. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, COVID-19 seems to be running rife through the Fijian camp so that means that their fixture with Scotland this weekend has been cancelled.

Wales vs England – Saturday, November 28th – 11:00 AM (Eastern) – DAZN (Live and on demand)

France vs Italy – Saturday, November 28th – 15:00 PM (Eastern) – DAZN (Live and on demand)

Ireland vs Georgia – Sunday, November 29th – 9:00 AM (Eastern) – DAZN (Live and on demand)

However, if you happen to be out of Canada or travelling, you can still use a mix of Amazon Prime, BBC and Channel 4. You can access their content (we’ve already tried with success) provided you once again have your trusty VPN in action already connected to a UK server. Also with a VPN Channel 4 and BBC will have the remaining games not covered by Amazon Prime, and we have watched some games in the past through this method. See how to do this under the Six Nations section as the process for ITV is the same as Channel 4. As it stands now here’s who has what:

BBC – Wales vs Georgia/Wales vs England/Wales vs TBD (final round)

Channel 4 – Ireland vs Wales/England vs Ireland/Ireland vs Georgia/Ireland vs TBD (final round)

Amazon Prime has everything else. In order to access it simply first connect to a UK server, then log into your Amazon prime account on a computer or iPad.You will get a text message on your cellphone asking if you approve the login. Click on the link which will take you to an approve screen and click approve. You will now find your computer is connected to the UK Amazon site. Click on Prime video and you’ll go directly to the Autumn Nations Cup page. If not click on the Sports category. It looks like they are showing all the games not covered by Channel 4 and BBC live and then a highlights show to recap the day. We’re not sure if the games will also be on demand if you miss them live but we assume so as they do so with tennis.

In the meantime here’s the link to Channel 4 and for BBC follow the steps above in the Six Nations section below.

https://www.channel4.com/sign-in-or-register?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.channel4.com%2Fmy4

If you missed last weekend’s action here are the highlights:

PRO 14

The PRO14 continues this weekend , but as mentioned above our coverage of it here in Canada on DAZN seems inconsistent but at least we have some coverage. Also with the start of the Autumn Nations Cup this weekend, many of the top players will be involved in that tournament. We’ll keep you posted once we know which games DAZN will be showing this weekend.

European Champions Cup (Heineken Cup)

It’s over for now but hostilities will resume in December, in a schedule yet to be determined. We are unsure of the broadcast rights at this stage here in Canada but EPC tv will have you covered as will one of the UK networks most likely Channel 4 using the access methods described below. We’ll let you know once the schedule is announced. In the meantime here is a video as to how the new season for 2020/21 will work:

One method to catch the action may be to take out a game pass or season pass for the forthcoming Heineken Cup season with EPC TV. The games are not geoblocked for Canada, but can only be watched live and not on demand. It costs €2.99 per game. The feed is good quality and without advertisements. Whether or not they will be offering it again for the 2020/21 season to Canadian viewers remains to be seen, but once we know we’ll keep you posted. For now the action doesn’t get underway till December. Check out the link here:

https://epcrugby.tv/

Your second and free option is to register a free account with Channel 4 in the UK as they will most likely have the season rights again this year. To do this first you must login to a UK server through a VPN service (we use Nord VPN). Here is the link to set up an account:

https://www.channel4.com/sign-in-or-register?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.channel4.com%2Fmy4

Once you’ve done that as long as you are on a UK server through a VPN and logged into the Channel 4 site, remember to be on a VPN connected to a UK server before you do anything, then you will have access. If you miss it they will also have the game on demand several hours later.

Whether or not DAZN will be showing the 2020/21 season remains to be seen, but given their dramatically reduced coverage of the 2020/21 PRO 14 season so far we have our doubts. What you’re likely to see is a set up similar to the PRO14 where games played in Ireland get broadcast but that’s about it.

In case you missed it though here are the highlights of a truly remarkable 80 minutes in Bristol two weeks ago:

Six Nations

DAZN still has you fully covered – live and on demand and all last weekend’s final round matches are available on demand. See the link below on how to subscribe. It’s $20 a month and all content is live and on demand in either the full match entirety or a highlights version.

https://www.dazn.com/en-CA/l/sports/

With a VPN provider, you can also access ITV and BBC who will be covering the remaining games of this year’s postponed Six Nations between them, and we have watched some games in the past through this method. See info below on how to access this.

To watch matches on ITV, so time to fire up that trusty VPN (Nord VPN works best for us). Step 1 go to your VPN and log into a UK server. Step 2 access the ITV website:

https://www.itv.com/

Step 3 register an account. You will need a UK postcode to do this (you’ll also need one for the BBC). You don’t need the full address, just a postcode (just randomly google search a UK address, preferably not someone’s private address) if you use a Canadian postcode you won’t be able to access anything. Once done, sign in and you’re all set. Some programmes are available on demand (but sometimes can take up to 24 hours to appear, especially sports programmes). Also although there is the option to cast to your TV unless your Chromecast is also connected to the VPN you won’t be able to watch it. I believe for some of you tekkie types there is a workaround for this, but if you have an HDMI cable just hook it up to your laptop and away you go works fine for us.

Some of you have asked how you access the on demand content, as when you go to shows you often won’t see the games until at least a day afterwards. The games are available almost straight away on demand – simply go to the guide and the time slot that the game was shown at and double click on it and it should start playing.

To watch matches on BBC the process is much the same. Log onto a UK server through a VPN. Next access the BBC website where you will have register an account:

https://account.bbc.com/

Register an account and obviously list your country as the United Kingdom and not Canada. If it requires a UK address, then Google some random UK address, preferably not someone’s private address. Once registered you will be able to access BBC’s iPlayer:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

Sign into the iPlayer with the BBC account you’ve just set up and away you go. It may ask you if have a TV license, just say yes. You can watch matches on demand or live. If you are looking for the on demand material click under categories and sport. The BBC are much sharper than most on identifying VPNs, however, if you get blocked the first time, sign out of the BBC, clear your cookies and browsing history, log onto a different UK server and repeat the process. It usually works like a charm.

Super Rugby

It did come back albeit as domestic leagues in Australia and New Zealand and TSN had the rights again this year. The regular season games were only on the TSN App/TSN GO live and on demand. New Zealand teams were the first to resume hostilities. Australia did the same starting in July. South Africa have just got their own domestic Super Rugby season underway, but so far there are no broadcasters showing it in Canada so sadly it’s catch up on YouTube highlights for that. Argentina have sadly been left out in the cold as the Jaguares found themselves without any competition.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SanzarRugby

Major League Rugby

After an exceptionally promising start to the season, our local heroes the Toronto Arrows had to put everything on hold, as this year’s tournament is officially cancelled.

The Arrows Facebook page has highlights and some of their games available as well as news about next year’s season:

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoArrows/

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 EXCELLENT piece on the Ireland/Wales game and which may give Welsh supporters something to smile about and realise it’s not all gloom and doom. Get behind his work and help this excellent content to continue.

Here’s the link to his channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu2oaGQ6Dds6g9lqfexUFbQ

One of the most comprehensive site for International Rugby news is without doubt Planet Rugby see link below:

http://www.planetrugby.com/

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.

http://www.ultimaterugby.com/

Also for those of you interested in a Canadian rugby digest, the rugby blog in BC’s Province newspaper is 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:

https://www.facebook.com/TryAndTackle/

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.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2t_kXFUxzS6s1L8vCUF6lw

For a contrasting opinion from New Zealand 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.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qxMYu8Afo2vIs6XBNDx_Q/featured

Enjoy!