The Rugby World Cup 2019 got underway today with hosts Japan taking on Russia as fans get ready for a feast of rugby over the next six weeks. 

We spoke with Billy Andrews, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate and now Media Logger at ITV Sport, to get his predictions and to hear about his role during the tournament...

Tell us about your role at ITV. How long have you been working there and what does your job entail?

My role at ITV Sport is Media Logger, which means that every game that happens this Rugby World Cup is logged by me and the team so that it's easier for producers and editors to find specific things like tries or the Haka. I've been here since the start of September, after spending most of the summer applying for jobs and going to interviews.

How did you get the role? Was there any particular experience or skills that stood out when you applied?

I found out about the role after one of my fellow UCFB students sent me a link to the application because be knew how much I love my rugby, which I can't thank him enough for.

In terms of skills that helped me get the job, previous experience with the software that ITV Sport uses was definitely a big plus in my favour, having previously used it when I had work experience with BT Sport's rugby team.

I had also done some player interviews for Harlequins Rugby Club during my third year at UCFB, add those to my already big passion for rugby and I feel that set me apart from others.

What are your predictions for the World Cup and why?

I think that New Zealand have a real shot of doing three in a row, but having lost the likes of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter after 2015, they haven't been the terrifying force they once were.

I wouldn't be an England fan if I didn't think we could win, especially after the lackluster performance at the home World Cup in 2015. There's a good mix of players at Eddie Jones' disposal, with the likes of 21-year-old Joe Cokanasiga, who has been likened to All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.

There's the possibility for some real upsets too. with Wales facing some potentially slippery games against Uruguay and Fiji.

Tell us about ITVs coverage and what your role will be during the tournament?

So ITV has full rights to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, which basically means that it's the only place to watch every single game. My role during this World Cup is to log the games as they happen. So I'll watch the games and any moments of interest, such as tries, good moments of play, big tackles and yellow/red cards, I'll log and then producers or editors will be able to find those specific moments quickly, rather than have to watch the whole game and skip through it.

Other responsibilities are clipping the highlights and sending them out to be displayed on big screens in cities like the one in Leicester Square, and helping restore the clips from the horse racing.

What are the challenges and opportunities with covering a tournament in Japan?

There are a few challenges that come up when playing in Japan; firstly, the weather, which this time of year is very humid and hot, making the playing conditions very slippery and increasing the chance of passing mistakes and slipping.

Second, the natural disasters that Japan is subject to, such as earthquakes and typhoons this time of year. World Rugby have put up details for fans traveling out there regarding what to do and who to contact in the event of one of these.

And from our perspective, the time difference can be a bit difficult, because some of the games kick off at 05:45 our time, so there's going to have to be someone in the office for those early games. Luckily it won't be me.

What skills have you been able to take into the workplace that you learnt during your time at UCFB?

I'd say that being able to work in a team has been vital, especially when starting at a new job. Having to work in groups for coursework is an important skill to have for work and life.

My experience at UCFB definitely helped with my confidence around people I don't know as well, which again, has helped me at my new job because I haven't kept to myself or been shy.

What made UCFB stand out for you when deciding on your choice for higher education?

UCFB stood out for me because of the location, the ability to be able to study in one of the most famous stadiums in the world.

The lectures that are industry professionals were absolutely incredible, to learn from them has set me up for one of the most competitive industries out there.

Can you tell us about some of the highlights and the things you enjoyed the most?

The guest speakers were definitely a highlight, listening to people like Gareth Southgate, Clarke Carlisle and Harry Redknapp were amazing. Hearing about their journey and experience's was something that few get the opportunity to do.

What advice would you give to other students planning to study at UCFB? What things should they do to make the most out of it?

The advice I'd give is to make the most of the time and people there. It's going to be difficult to get a job without experience so try and get some while you're studying. The lectures are connected, they know people and if you work hard they could possibly help you out.

I know most of the courses are football-based, and for good reason, but I'd recommend branching out from football and trying different sports because during my time at UCFB rugby clubs, particularly Harlequins Rugby Club, were very accommodating, especially for premiership clubs.