broadcasting and journalism at Ballyfermot Senior College
|Employer||Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)|
|Title||Head of RTÉ Sport|
Ryle 'The Ryl Merchant' Nugent is an Irish sports broadcaster, reporter and Head of RTÉ Sport. Prior to his appointment, he was RTÉ's commissioning editor for sport primarily specialising in rugby union. He is the resident rugby union commentator for RTÉ's television coverage of international and club competitions, such as the Six Nations Championship, Heineken Cup and Rugby World Cup. Nugent sometimes serves as the presenter of highlights of previously broadcast rugby union events.
He has provided RTÉ commentary from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and presented sports programmes such as The Grip and Against the Head. Other more recent television appearances have included The Cafe and Dustin's Daily News.
Nugent has been an employee of Raidió Teilifís Éireann for many years, providing rugby union commentary since 1999 and is currently serving as the broadcaster's head of television sport. He transferred to RTÉ from his news desk position at Dublin radio station 98FM in 1995 to work as a sports presenter on the young people's television programme The Grip. Nugent went on to become the presenter of rugby union highlights for RTÉ Sport during the 1999 Rugby World Cup, when he heard that RTÉ were searching for younger talent to replace established names such as Jim Sherwin and George Hamilton. His live television commentary debut was the Georgia versus Romania match at the World Cup. He later reflected upon having drunk so much coffee before the game that he vomited. In 2000, he was reported as having described Ireland's rugby union player and future captain, Brian O'Driscoll, in the early part of his career at the time, as being "a hard tackler" with "great hands".
Nugent also covers other sports such as football and golf. He was dispatched by RTÉ as one of thirty-eight members of its staff to cover the Summer Olympic Games that year, and was described in his country's national media as "running all over Sydney". In October 2002, Nugent was announced as the presenter of a new production by RTÉ Sport, titled Against the Head, to begin airing in January 2003. The rugby union magazine style programme returned to Irish television screens in January 2004. That year also saw Nugent return to RTÉ's Olympic coverage, this time in Athens, Greece.
Other high-profile moments of rugby union commentary came during the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia and the 2006 Heineken Cup Final in which Munster beat Biarritz Olympique. He appeared on the children's entertainment show Dustin's Daily News on 12 February 2007. Nugent performed another return to Olympic broadcasting in 2008 when he provided commentary for RTÉ from Beijing, China. He provided commentary for all games in the 2009 Six Nations Championship, in which Ireland won the Grand Slam and Triple Crown for the first time since 1948, and appeared on The Cafe on 20 March just prior to this achievement. Before this, he described his commentary on the 2007 Ireland versus England Six Nations match at Croke Park in Dublin as the highlight of his career.
He was a guest on The Cafe on 12 March 2010. On October 8, 2011, Nugent did the commentary for Irelands Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match against Wales. Nugent replaced Hugh Cahill in the Commentary Box. It was a controversial decision, not alone due to Cahill being considered by many to be a far superior Commentator, but also because Cahill had commentated on the four previous Ireland games in the Competition, which had all resulted in Irish victories. Nugents commentary was considered by many to have had a negative effect on the karma of the Irish team, who disappointed in a 22-10 defeat to the Welsh. Many Irish Rugby fans publicly blamed Nugent for the defeat on social networking site such as Facebook and Twitter.
When the live televised France versus Ireland match in the 2012 Six Nations Championship was cancelled minutes prior to kick-off, prompting boos to ring out among disgruntled spectators inside a packed Stade de France, Nugent informed viewers from his Irish commentary box that "It is a dark day in the history of the Six Nations".
Nugent dresses in numerous layers to deliver his commentary, with The Irish Times once encountering him "wrapped in the sort of attire more accustomed to Johnny Fortycoats or an Arctic explorer, and with his sheepskin gloves holding onto his microphone for dear life". His delivery is one of "screeching anticipation" and, even when events are relatively calm, he has been known to "send dogs scurrying for cover". Nugent prepares for this delivery by arriving at the match ground two hours before kick-off to perform a sound check. He typically engages in conversation with the team doctor or other members of the backroom staff to ensure there is nothing new he has not been familiarised with regarding the players.
- Sarah O'Flaherty, who also presented The Grip
- "Splendid intro ends in video nasty". The Irish Times. 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Ryle Nugent named as Head of RTÉ Sport". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "View from the couch has its delights". The Irish Times. 2001-11-11. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "A talk in the park". The Irish Times. 2005-09-17. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- Barbara Harding (2008-02-21). "Play on words". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "Pundits pop their corks as Irish serve up special course". The Irish Times. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "TV blackout of Argentina tour". The Irish Times. 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "RTE best for Irish viewers". The Irish Times. 1999-09-09. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "Trying times in the life of Brian O'Driscoll". The Irish Times. 2000-04-01. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "RTE miss the cut at Augusta National". The Irish Times. 2002-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Insomniacs of the world unite". The Irish Times. 2000-09-13. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "RTE's Olympian effort". The Irish Times. 2000-09-27. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Planet Rugby". The Irish Times. 2002-10-21. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Planet Rugby". The Irish Times. 2004-01-12. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Synchronised watching far from a total flop". The Irish Times. 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Four legs good, two legs ...". The Irish Times. 2004-08-21. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- "Laments at the ready for last Rose of Cobh". The Irish Times. 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Back-up link
- DDN 12 February 2007. RTÉ. Accessed 14 November 2008.
- John O'Sullivan (2008-07-30). "RTÉ to provide over 1,500 hours of coverage". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- The Cafe – 20 March 2009. RTÉ. Accessed 27 February 2009.
- "Friday's The Café line-up announced". RTÉ. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- "Ireland match called off over frozen pitch". RTÉ News (RTÉ News). 12 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Whyatt, Chris (11 February 2012). "Six Nations: France v Ireland match called off at last minute". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Fanning, Evan (11 February 2012). "Six Nations 2012: France v Ireland - as it (very nearly) happened". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Cole, Brendan (11 February 2012). "As it Didn't Happen: France v Ireland". RTÉ Sport (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). Retrieved 11 February 2012.