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Rugby Stories: BT Sport to showcase the game's most iconic tales in new documentary series
Rugby Stories, which begins on Friday 4 March, complements BT Sport’s offering as the home of club rugby.
BT Sport is proud to announce the release of 'Rugby Stories', a new season-long strand of documentaries around each of the thirteen clubs in the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership.
Each episode will air in a fixed slot at 10pm every Friday directly following our coverage of the live match from the Gallagher Premiership on BT Sport.
Rugby Stories will highlight and bring to life a story from every club in the league, such as how clubs including Saracens and Leicester won a famous domestic or European title, or, overcoming adversity such as the threat of relegation in the case of Worcester Warriors.
It will spotlight English club rugby history to a level not before seen on UK television, celebrating and remembering the game, featuring a signature format with current and former players speaking direct to the viewer.
The first episode airs on Friday 4 March at 10pm on BT Sport 1 and will feature the story of Lawrence Dallaglio's Wasps as the Londonders beat French giants Toulouse in one of the greatest European Cup finals of all time.
The series continues a week later with “The Obsession”, focussing on Leicester Tigers' start to the new millennium when they won their first Heineken Cup, with the episode featuring contributions from the likes of Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Tim Stimpson.
The episode looks back at Leicester's domination over their Premiership rivals in this period. With tales of some of the first great European away days, playing in hostile environments with the players fondly reliving the brutal memories of the past.
Rugby Stories underlines BT Sport's reputation as the home of club rugby, with customers able to watch games from the Gallagher Premiership, Premiership Rugby Cup - plus the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.
In addition, btsport.com carries the latest news, interviews and action from the competitions.
Sally Brown, executive producer, BT Sport Films, said: “We are proud of our position as the home of English and European club rugby, and Rugby Stories will take this to a new level. Rugby fans will re-live some of the game’s most iconic stories with a fresh approach that spotlights tales from the training ground, the changing rooms and inside the scrums.”
Rugby Stories: Schedule
Wasps: "The Sting" (on air 4 March)
The then-London club won the Premiership title and European Challenge Cup in 2003, but 12 months later they would go one better, claiming a historic league and European Cup double, winning a maiden Heineken Cup crown.
With just seconds to go in one of the all-time great finals, Wasps scrum half Rob Howley tried an innocuous looking grubber kick towards the Toulouse try line and the rest is history. Contributors include Lawrence Dallaglio, Tom Voyce and Rob Howley.
Leicester Tigers: "The Obsession" (on air 11 March)
Focussing on Leicester Tigers' first Heineken Cup triumph of the new millenium.
The episode looks back at Leicester's domination of English and European rugby, with old stories re-told as ex-players take us inside the Tigers dressing room.
Contributors include Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Tim Stimpson.
Harlequins: "Hell and Back" (on air 18 March)
Despite being one the oldest and most popular clubs in English rugby, Harlequins had never won English rugby's top prize.
All that changed in 2012 when they ended their long wait for domestic glory.
Contributors include Ugo Monye, Tom Williams and Conor O'Shea.
Exeter Chiefs: "Devon Double (on air 25 March)
Exeter Chiefs' rise to the top has been monumental. The club climbed the ladder in the late 90s but struggled for promotion into the top flight until 2010.
10 years after joining the top tier of English rugby, the ‘Exeter Project’ finally delivered under the guidance of long-time head coach Rob Baxter as the Chiefs won a domestic-European double in 2019/20.
Contributors include Rob Baxter, Jack Nowell and Joe Simmonds.
Bristol: "European Perfection (on air 1 April)
Now an established Premiership powerhouse, Bristol were once English rugby's ultimate yo-yo club, bouncing between the top flight and the Championship.
The Bears finally hit the big time just days after losing the Premiership semi-final to Wasps, Bristol claimed their first European trophy with the Challenge Cup, beating Toulon 32-19. Contributors include Pat Lam, Callum Sheedy and Dave Attwood
Saracens (on air 8 April)
When rugby turned professional in 1995, Saracens had just been promoted as champions of the second tier. Following key signings and relocations, domestic cup success came in the late 90s.
Following the move back to North London, they added another in 2015, But in 2015/16, Saracens reached new heights to be crowned 'Kings of Europe', beating Racing 92 in Lyon. Contributors include Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Will Fraser and Nigel Wray
Bath (on air 15 April)
The introduction of professionalism in rugby initially hit Bath hard. They lost their coach Jack Rowell to England in 1995 and with regular changes to playing and coaching staff they struggled to maintain consistency until the 1997/98 European Cup campaign.
In the final they would travel to Bordeaux to face Brive with a back line full of internationals, and an end to a game unlike any other. Contributors include Andy Nicol, Jon Callard and Richard Webster.
Gloucester (on air 22 April)
Gloucester is a hot bed of Rugby – but the Cherry and Whites have often been overshadowed by their West Country neighbours Bristol and Bath.
European glory had always proved elusive. That was until the 2005/06 season as Gloucester claimed their first piece of European silverware with a 36-34 win over London Irish at The Stoop. Contributors include Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and James Forrester.
London Irish (on air date 29 April)
Despite being one of the most venerable names in English club rugby, the trophy cupboard at London Irish has reamined somewhat bare. But all that changed with a team led by Brendan Venter on a sunny day in April 2002.
The 2001/02 Powergen Cup Final was on paper a simple equation. Northampton – complete with England internationals like Dawson, Grayson, Cohen and Thompson – would overpower the Irish and pick up the trophy, but the Exiles had other ideas.
Contributors include Barry Everitt, Paul Sackey and Chris Sheasby.
Northampton Saints: (on air 6 May)
Neighbours and bitter local rivals Leicester had eclipsed them in the past.
So when Saints got to the final of the 1999/00 Heineken Cup it was a chance to make history.
The final would come down to a straight kicking shootout between Paul Grayson for Saints, Ronan O’Gara for Munster, with the Englishman prevailing. Contributors include Paul Grayson, Matt Allen and Mattie Stewart.
Sale Sharks: (on air 13 May)
In 2006 Sale Sharks became the first team to top the Premiership table and then claim victory in the end of season play-off final, beating Leicester 45-20.
The victory meant Sale winger Jason Robinson became the first player to win a ‘Grand Final’ in both codes.
Contributors include Jason Robinson, Charlie Hodgson and Dean Schofield.
Worcester Warriors (on air date 20 May)
In 2003/04 Worcester won the National Championship with a perfect record of 26 out of 26. After three successive years of the heartbreak of finishing second, their reward was a place at English rugby's top table.
Wins against the likes of Harlequins, Leeds and Wasps followed, but a dip in form resulted in a ‘winner takes all’ final day show down with relegation rivals Northampton which they won. Contributors include Pat Sanderson, Tony Windo and Matt Powell.
Newcastle Falcons (on air date 27 May)
Newcastle Falcons were previously known as Newcastle Gosforth and under that guise they had mainly occupied the second tier of English rugby, but professionalism changed all that.
The Falcons, bankrolled by local businessman and owner of Newcastle United Sir John Hall, became arguably the first professional rugby union club in the world.
This team created history to become Premiership champions in 1997/98.
Contributors include Rob Andrew, Dean Ryan and Tony Underwood.
Customers can watch Rugby Stories in more ways than ever before, with the BT Sport App now available on a wide range of large screen devices and platforms including Samsung smart TVs, Now TV, Sony PlayStation, Xbox and Apple TV, as well as mobiles, tablets, BT TV, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.