Sky Sport gives veteran commentator the boot

BY STEVE KILGALLON
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2010

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Sky Tv has dropped league commentator Peter Ropati, known as Ropo, after 15 seasons fronting its NRL coverage.

Ropati has not been replaced, with a reshuffle of the Sky team giving more senior roles to former Kiwi internationals Daryl Halligan, Richie Barnett and Awen Guttenbeil.

Ropati had already been dropped from Sky's league magazine show, 40-20, and his long-time broadcast partner Stephen McIvor will now be the main frontman. Halligan will share matchday presenting with McIvor and commentary duties with Jason Costigan and Guttenbeil, and Barnett will lead coverage of the under-20 competition.

Sky's league producer Dean Pooley said: "We've just decided to institute a change for this year, to bring some of the other guys through." Asked if Ropati was finished with the station, Pooley said: "He's weighing up a couple of things. That's where it officially is."

McIvor said: "After so many years together, I will miss Peter."

One of seven famous league-playing brothers, Ropati represented Auckland and played in England for Leigh. He owns a wine import-export company.

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