James Bracey has established himself as one of the country’s most versatile sports presenters.

Since joining the Nine Network in 2016, James has anchored some of the network’s highest rating sports coverage including weekly coverage of the NRL, State of Origin and Grand Final, along with the popular Sports Sunday program. In 2019, James hosted The President’s Cup golf tournament and is also the primetime host of Nine’s coverage of the Australian Open tennis.

Following his graduation from the University of Newcastle in 2005, with a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), James joined Sky News as a sports reporter and presenter.

During his thirteen-year stint at Sky News, James hosted the very popular SportsNight evening show and covered three Summer Olympic Games (Beijing, London & Rio de Janeiro), two Winter Olympic Games (Vancouver & Sochi), the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Beyond television presenting, James is an experienced MC.

Originally from the Central Coast, James now resides on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with his wife Margot and their daughter, Matilda.

What drives your passion for the Bears?

My father, David, was born in Castlecrag. From a young age he’d catch the bus to Bears games every weekend they played at Bear Park. He’s always reminding me of the routine (and expense) – “5 cents on the bus, 5 cents to get in, 5 cents for an ice-cream on the hill, 5 cents to get home. Glorious!”

So needless to say his children were always going to be Bears fans. And that we were – making the journey down from the Central Coast for EVERY and I mean EVERY home game. My memories as a kid in the 90s mostly revolve around the Bears. I’ve still got 4 corner posts from Bears games in each corner of my garage. It was my mission in life to be the first kid over the fence in the Bob Stand corner at fulltime to snatch the corner post. I didn’t always win, but hey, that was nothing new being a Bears fan. I’ve still got my autograph books filled with Bears signatures – 6 of Flo in one book – and 5 of Jason Taylor in the other. I can still remember the particular smells in the air at the ground and even the feel of Barney’s hand as he’d hi-five us on one of his laps around the ground. Nothing sounded better than the band in full swing after a try. And the tune “We still haven’t found what we’re looking for” as we’d leave the ground after a match – win, lose or draw. Once a Bear, always a Bear. Being the host of Nine’s NRL coverage I often get asked, “Who’s your team?” The answer is simple – “The Bears!” And when they ask if I’ve adopted a team in the NRL, the answer again is always simple – “No.” Once a Bear, always a Bear.

How will you contribute to the growth of the North Sydney Bears?

Aside from genuine passion, I believe my connections within the rugby league and media industry could be of real value to the Bears. My job ensures my finger is always on the pulse of the current state of rugby league in Australia, NSW and Sydney in particular. I believe I can also represent the younger brigade of Bears fans – and there are plenty of them – who want to see the club succeed on and off the field. These fans, through social media etc, could prove the most valuable to continuing the Bears march back into the NRL.