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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 09/ 7/2007

Where to Find Props, Locks and Fly-Halfs

By Fritz Hahn

It may be the opening weekend for NFL football, but today is also the kickoff of the Rugby World Cup. The U.S. team gets underway on Saturday against England, but most eyes will be on tournament favorites New Zealand and South Africa. Most eyes, that is, that know where to find rugby on TV.

Unlike soccer's World Cup, you can't watch every live game for free. Irish broadcaster Setanta owns the rights to satellite transmissions and has designated some games -- like tomorrow's New Zealand-Italy and Australia-Japan matchups -- as "premium," so you'll pay a $20 cover to get into Fado, Summers or Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle. (Those bars have "exclusive rights" to show specific games, so while Finn Mac Cool's on Capitol Hill will show England-USA, for example, it can't show New Zealand or Australia.)

Thankfully, the number of premium games makes up just a fraction of the schedule, so you can show up for most matches without paying a cover. You just might want to check the Fado, Summers and Flanagan's Web sites first.

Besides Finn Mac Cool's, other bars showing most games live include Daniel O'Connell's and the Irish Channel. You'll find an Australian-leaning crowd in the bar attached to the Ralph Lauren Rugby store in Georgetown, which says it will be showing all the games -- though not all live.

Solly's Tavern, which is run by John Solomon, the manager of the Washington Irish Rugby Football Club, doesn't open until 5 p.m., so they will be showing most games on same-day tape delay. (Call the bar for a schedule.) One exception: this Saturday, they'll open at noon for the U.S. game.

France is the host country, so it's fitting that the Alliance Francaise will show a selection of games live on its big screen, including the final. A schedule is posted on the cultural institute's Web site. Admission is free, though reservations are required. Bring some cash to spend on wine and drinks at the bar.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | September 7, 2007; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Good stuff on where to watch RWC; it provides a useful service to the thousands of area rugby fans who might want to catch a particular match or more w/ kindred souls. However, I'd like to point out that O'Connell's, in Old Town, is showing all 48 RWC matches LIVE; owner/operator Mark Kirwan, Director of Rugby Development for Alexandria Rugby (AR), has made a significant investment to purchase the premium matches and is OPEN for all 48 matches. Also, the premium matches make up almost ½ the schedule--23 matches, including all 8 playoff matches, while the FREE matches number 25 (all 4 USA Pool matches included). Thanks for posting the RWC info, and keep up the good work.

Posted by: Murph | September 9, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

The Potomac Rugby Foundation will be hosting a Rugby World Cup LIVE viewing party at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, (at 2903 Columbia Pike Arlington, VA 703-486-2345) for the knockout rounds (Quarterfinals 10/6-7, the Semifinals 10/13-14, the 3rd Place match 10/19, and Final 10/20) along with a select number of pool matches TBA.
Go to or e-mail to for more information. If you are a member of a group and would like the full schedule, please send a request. The Drafthouse is a unique venue with full size movie screen and F&B table service. The Potomac Rugby Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit developing, promoting and preserving rugby in the metro area for more info, click to .

Posted by: Potomac Rugby Foundation | September 9, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

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