Melodie Robinson's crazy Rugby World Cup plans

Presenter Melody Robinson.
Lawrence Smith

Presenter Melody Robinson.

She might be left here in New Zealand to fill Jeff Wilson's shoes on Sky Sport's rugby magazine show The Breakdown while Goldie is in London to host Sky's Rugby World Cup coverage there, but sports presenter Melodie Robinson is not beset by jealousy.

In fact, she may well be attending the grand final as a spectator. "It's funny, because I'm a judge for World Rugby (formerly the IRB) for women's sevens and women's XV player of the year, and they've got their player awards the day after the final," explains Robinson. "They're flying me over for that and, just by chance, Sumo (Scotty Stevenson) is doing our final show in the studio, so me and my husband (top golfer Marcus Wheelhouse) are off to London for the final weekend of the Rugby World Cup."

But Robinson is still hedging her bets about attending the grand final. "I'll wait until I know who's in the final. Because there's quite a few tickets that go up for sale – some of the fans over there, if it's not their team in the final, they just put them up. So we'll make a late decision. I'm calling it a date weekend because up until that point I don't have any quality days with my husband, so he's coming over with me for a four-day date in London," laughs Robinson. "With rugby added in, so that's awesome – it's like the perfect date," she adds.

* Jeff Wilson's RWC predictions 
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By that stage Robinson and Marcus will deserve a bit of quality time together – the 42-year-old former rugby international, who has played in (and won) two World Cups, has worked out that over the next two months she will have only about five days off. "I've got The Breakdown on Wednesdays, pre and post on the All Black games with Scotty Stevenson – that will be at like 3.30 in the morning sometimes, so hideous, hideous hours – and then we've got ITM Cup on at the same time, so I call all the women's NPC and do sideline on the men's as well, and some build-up for the ITM Cup on Friday nights. I think I'll be living and breathing rugby pretty much."

But that's not a worry for Robinson. "I love it. Every day and every week rugby is basically my job, yet when you get to events like this – the Rugby World Cup – you can't help but be caught up in the whole euphoria and magic of the tournament. And it's great to see that we're a tiny wee country, yet we consistently compete at that level, so I'm be super-excited, just like everybody else. I'm going to record every game and I'm going to get up at 8.30 in the morning and I'm going to watch rugby all day. It's sick isn't it?"

Well, maybe just a little. And while those of us watching at home can slouch into the living room in our pyjamas at three in the morning, that isn't an option for Robinson – at least not for the All Blacks' games. "We've got a great makeup artist," she laughs, when asked how she handles appearing on TV in the wee small hours. "She's amazing, because I could not look good at 3.30 in the morning. And the lighting, that's the other thing. I call it the wrinkle-free lighting – takes away all the wrinkles. It's all fake, trust me. I don't look any good at that time in the morning. I have some coffee too, definitely. I used to drink Red Bull, but not any more because it makes you a little bit too all over the place. But definitely coffee – usually what I try to do is just be really, really healthy, and that means I can handle the hours."

Typically for Robinson, when it comes to rugby, even getting up at some horrendous hour of the morning is something to look forward to. "It will be cool if people get up at three in the morning and watch it like we used to," she says. "If that happens, it will be really cool, everybody sort of getting together as a nation to support the team – very nostalgic. And maybe some bacon and eggs at six in the morning while you're watching footy – that sounds perfect to me."

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