Popular Fox Sports rugby host Nick McArdle has been sacked on the eve of the new Super Rugby season, amid further cuts to the broadcaster’s rugby programming.

Executives told McArdle he was no longer required on Wednesday, the day before Fox Sports and Rugby Australia were due to launch the new season together in Sydney. Wednesday marked his 13th year at the pay TV broadcaster.

Gone: Nick McArdle, right, has been the face of Fox Sports’ rugby programming for more than a decade. Credit:Helen Nezdropa

His departure is an ominous sign for the game, which is about to go to market for a broadcast partner for the next five years, and is part of a raft of cutbacks for the 2020 season.

Two sources told the Herald that executives briefed staff there would be no dedicated mid-week rugby shows and only a skeleton staff, including veteran commentator Greg Clark and former Wallabies Tim Horan, Phil Kearns, George Gregan and Rod Kafer would be retained on contract, to work across the weekend games.

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