• Exclusive Ref!Link technology provides a live feed from the ref’s mic directly to smartphones
  • Enjoy the amazing match experience at home
  • Sports insights for the nation’s ‘armchair officials’

O2, proud sponsor of the RFU and England Rugby today announces the launch of O2 Matchday, a new free app featuring Ref!Link that brings all the thrills and spills of England rugby action live from Twickenham, directly to fans’ phones across the UK.

Exclusive technology developed by O2 delivers a live feed from the referee’s microphone, providing a unique insight into international rugby. Fans get to know the most important man on the field, hearing each and every judgement call as it is made, while the match is being played.

Launched in the thick of the 2013 RBS 6 Nations, O2 Matchday with Ref!Link  is available for England v France on Saturday 23rd February, and when England play Italy at Twickenham on Sunday 10th March. 

O2 Matchday can also be used by rugby fans before each Test weekend to get a match preview, find out how the teams line up head to head, which players to watch out for, and to get more information on the man officiating.  Swot up on the referee before he’s even blown the first whistle, and then using Ref!Link hear every decision he makes.

Live text commentary is streamed in from Twickenham, providing an insightful and alternative view of the game from our man at the match, with a social feed that tracks what the rugby commentators have to say about the match in progress.

The app also holds a mirror up to one of the most difficult man management jobs in the world. Hearing a rugby referee at work will reveal the skills and tactics involved in co-ordinating the fairest and most entertaining game of rugby.

International referee Nigel Owens said: “O2 Matchday is a further example of the transparency that rugby champions, but it is also a brilliant way to show the skills involved in being a great facilitator. I’m excited that the challenges of getting the best out of 30 men will now be available to a bigger audience.”

Mark Stevenson, Head of Priority and Sponsorship at O2 comments: “O2 Matchday allows you about as close to the England rugby action as it’s possible to get. Any closer and you’d be on the pitch. We’ve developed the technology using fan feedback and it will continue to evolve throughout the RBS 6 Nations as rugby lovers put it through its paces. O2 has a strong heritage supporting England and the Ref!Link feature means those fans who can’t journey to Twickenham still get the amazing live stadium experience.”

Jonathan Downey, Ref!Link Director comments: “We’re delighted to be working with O2 to bring Ref!Link to those fans’ not fortunate enough to be at England games at Twickenham. O2 Matchday allows them to experience what thousands do inside the stadium, a live feed from the ref during the game. Delivering this service with O2 to smartphones is a logical next step and we’re really excited about the development.”

O2 Matchday is available now as a free download at http://o2lin.kr/o2matchday

The app is currently available on any iOS mobile handset in the UK, with Android version coming very soon. Wi Fi is recommended. Data usage will be charged at the standard rate according to customers’ data agreement or package. The Ref!Link feature will not work within Twickenham Stadium itself.

Fans attending the match at Twickenham can continue to get closer to the action on pitch by purchasing a Ref!Link from a Ref!Link kiosk at the ground.

– Ends –

 Notes to Editors

O2 Matchday was conceived and designed by VCCP and built by The Lab, O2’s digital innovation team.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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