James Bracey has an impeccable sports pedigree but it’s his love of the North Sydney Bears that he believes will stand him in good stead to handle the highly coveted position of host of Channel Nine’s NRL broadcasts.

“It probably makes me a better host because I’m not cheering. I’m probably just observing and then commenting so I’m as impartial as you possibly could be,’’ Bracey said.

“I’m confident that I can jump in there and make the most of it and really get the best out of those big names that Wide World of Sports have got sitting next to me.

“If you asked me if there was a job I wanted to go into, I wouldn’t have even thought this one was a chance so it’s the whole cliché of a dream come true.

“To go from a kid sitting on the hill watching his Bears, to actually being at the ground, being a part of the coverage and adding to the spectacle doesn’t get any better.”

Nine’s Director of Sport Tom Malone said Bracey, who will host games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights as well as The Sunday Footy Show, was an asset for the network.

“I’m delighted James is joining the Wide World of Sports family and the home of rugby league to host our NRL coverage in 2017,’’ Malone said.Bracey joins Nine after spending the last 13 years at Sky News where he covered three Summer Olympics (Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016), two Winter Olympics (Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014), the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

He has also hosted his own nightly sports program for the past four years, won the 2008 Swimming Australia Media award for his coverage at the Beijing Olympics, and the 2013 Logie award for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage at the London Olympics.

He said he was looking forward to working alongside some of the former superstars of the game and sharpest rugby league brains in the business in Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer.

“You look at the names on that list and it’s intimidating but it’s also exciting too,” Bracey said.

“To be able to sit on the same set as Joey, Freddy, Gus, Locky, Wally and Sterlo is pretty crazy for me.

“But that’s why it’s the number one gig. There is no better gig than this hosting the NRL coverage for Nine and Wide World of Sports.”

Bracey will start at Nine in January.

Original Source article: http://wwos.nine.com.au/2016/12/17/16/16/james-bracey-joins-channel-nine