LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: A general view during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Nine has reached an in-principle agreement to sign a long-term deal with Rugby Australia.

The broadcaster also announced the launch of Stan Sport, a live and on-demand streaming service, where they will broadcast rugby going forward.

The three-year deal comes with an option for a further two years, includes free-to-air and ad-free subscription coverage of rugby union.

The deal will cover all Bledisloe Cup matches, the Rugby Championship, Wallaroos games and Super Rugby.

Rugby fans will also have access to some of the games most historic moments, via an extensive library of on-demand games on Stan.

Nine will broadcast all Wallabies Test matches played in Australia and New Zealand, plus a selection of Super Rugby matches during the season.

“The launch of Stan Sport is a bold expansion for Mike Sneesby and the team at Stan, to sit alongside our hugely successful Stan entertainment offering,” said Nine boss Hugh Marks.

“We will bring all our collective expertise from decades of experience in live sport broadcasting to deliver the best possible outcomes for viewers, rights holders, and the growth ambitions of the sports we partner with.

“At Stan, we are focused on bringing Australians the best local, international and original programming, which has seen our audience reach significant scale.

“Today’s announcement will see us extend that offering through the launch of our live streaming capability, bringing live sport to Stan in 2021 and opening up a range of new programming opportunities. Our partnership with Rugby Australia is the perfect place to start this new business.”

Rugby Australia boss Rob Clarke said the game looks forward to a new era with Nine.

“Rugby Australia is very excited about our new partnership with Nine Entertainment Co. and what’s in store for our great game over the next three years and beyond,” he said.

“Rugby has found its new home on Stan and the Nine Network, with broad reach on free-to-air as well as ad-free, extensive access on the Stan platform.

“The fantasy has become a reality for the Australian rugby community. This is a landmark deal that includes everything in the showbag, and it gives more Australians more access to more rugby than ever before.

“Australian rugby is transforming with an exciting future ahead, and this innovative deal enables us to fast-track that growth from the bottom-up.

“We’re thrilled to partner with streaming service Stan, who now boast more than two million Australian subscribers and are growing at a rapid rate. We’ve recognised that the broadcast landscape has changed, and we’re changing with it.

“Nine and Stan have also made a commitment to our women’s game, both at a domestic and international level. Rugby Australia is passionate about the growth of the women’s game in Australia and we look forward to working closely with them showcase our competitions and talented players as well as encouraging more women and girls to pick up a rugby ball.”