Andrew Voss on calling the Broncos/Roosters clash for Fox League plus Fox Sports 1 USA

Andrew Voss

Las Vegas game sees this sports veteran just a little bit nervous: ‘The NRL is ready for this stage’

Fox League commentator Andrew Voss often catches the train when he can on NRL game days in Australia.

That’s not an option in Las Vegas where Voss is calling an NRL game Saturday night. There is a train line running through town, but it’s just for freight. (Fact: Vegas is the biggest metro city in the US without a passenger station. It’s coming though…but still a few years away.)

Voss has been walking a lot in Las Vegas, checking out locations for his Fox League show The Fan with co-host Lara Pitt. Those walking trips also provided Voss a great backdrop for crosses to his SEN 1170 Sydney breakfast show he co-hosts with Greg Alexander.

His one focus on the weekend though is Allegiant Stadium where he is calling the action for the Roosters v Broncos clash.

Allegiant Stadium on the eve of NRL game day

Injecting NRL history into game day

Voss has been calling games for Fox Sports on Foxtel and also Kayo Sports since 2014. In total 2024 is his 38th season of covering NRL for Nine and then Fox Sports.

“I’m very lucky to have served that long,” he told Mediaweek. We met at a restaurant inside the gigantic Hilton Hotel Grand Resorts complex in Las Vegas.

One of the attractions of a Voss NRL match is the historical perspective he manages to inject into the call. “Having seen so many things in those years things flashback to you during the commentary. The memory does need to be jolted at times. Sometimes I’ll see a clip of a game and think I don’t remember calling that. [Laughs]

The only regret I have during my entire career is that I didn’t keep a diary of all the games. I would love to have a journal detailing where I was on a particular weekend and the games I watched. Together with a few facts from each match. A few notes to reflect my life in rugby league media.”

Voss said one of the things he likes to do regularly is speak to players a get back stories. “You can lock away that bit of information and it may come out in commentary six months later. Filming for the Fox League series The Fan lets us interview players in a very relaxed environment. That player might score three tries later in the year and I might recall something he told me about his career or what he did in the off-season. I love those back stories and I think it is part of my job as a commentator to do more than call the action. We should tell the story of the game.”

See also: Fox Sports’ Steve Crawley in Las Vegas: Innovation, commentators, Kayo & telling the story

Voss continued, acknowledging this may not be how all commentators approach a game. “My job is two-fold. For the audience, I try and create a sense of anticipation at all times. Even if the game is a bludger! The next set might be when they score and start a comeback.

Andrew Voss: The commentator’s job

Primarily I am calling the game for the fans of every club other than the two playing. I know I have the engagement of the fans of the clubs playing. My job is to keep everyone else interested in the contest. They need a reason to watch as they might not be emotionally invested without their team playing.”

Even after all these years, Voss said he still doesn’t feel like the commentary is work. “Don’t tell the boss,” he whispered. “The work is the prep.

I am still old school and I use pen and paper and keep notes on every player. Maybe two to three hours prep on every game I call.”

Fox Sports offers great support for its call team during a game, said Voss. “It’s second to none. Our great resource is the Fox Sports Lab. We jokingly say they live in a dark room. Like The Gimp in Pulp Fiction. They are such positive contributors to the coverage. I will get their notes beforehand. My preparation by the time the game starts is a combination of two sets of research – mine and theirs.”

Las Vegas anticipation

Before calling the Broncos v Roosters clash, Voss said he felt a mixed set of emotions. It’s a coverage that not only goes to all the usual Fox Sports/Kayo Sports viewers in Australia and overseas. But also into the homes of US viewers to Fox Sports 1 on a Saturday night starting at 8.30pm Pacific.

Andrew Voss walking the Strip during a cross for SEN 1170 breakfast

‘The best kept secret in the sporting world’

“I’m a little anxious, keen for it to get underway. And maybe a little nervous too. There is a sense of responsibility to do the best job I’ve ever done on a game. So much work has gone into this weekend from not just Fox League, but also the NRL and the clubs. I feel like I’m representing the game this week, not just my employer.

“I realise some of the audience will be entirely new to NRL and there will be a tiny bit of explaining at times. Some things unique to rugby league will need some extra detail. These are not the usual games…we are in the USA at Allegiant Stadium.”

Voss acknowledged there might also be a bigger audience around Australia who may not usually watch NRL.

“This is bigger than just a rugby league event. This is five-star entertainment. The other entertainment options on Saturday night in Las Vegas include U2, Adele, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, magic shows, even Nascars which are in town this weekend.

NRL is going to ambush American television in primetime on a Saturday night on Fox Sports 1 for four hours. I feel the person who might take a glance at the game in a bar or somewhere else around the US might be hooked for more. We are the best kept secret in the sporting world. It’s ready for this stage. It has four teams loaded with star players and from a production point of view we will be proud to showcase the best of our production values.”

Lara Pitt and Vossy filming The Fan in Las Vegas

Co-hosting The Fan

“Lara probably thinks I’m a weirdo,” said Andrew Voss about his co-host on The Fan. Is she wrong? “No, not all.

Lara Pitt is as an accomplished performer as any other rugby league person as I have worked with over my time at Nine and Fox League. She’s passionate and professional. Always totally prepared. To put it in football terms: There’s never been a day when she hasn’t arrived with her boots on. I couldn’t imagine a better co-host and it’s a true collaboration.

“When she arrived she breathed new life into The Fan and brought a new perspective.”

Breakfast radio with Andrew Voss and Greg Alexander

In addition to his Fox League duties, Voss is into is third year as the breakfast co-host at SEN 1170. “There is no doubt it is hard. The hours are a slog. You have to push yourself sometimes to get up. But we love hosting a sports breakfast show and you do it for the listeners. We try to win them over one at a time.

“We make sure we go on air and be enthusiastic and bright. Friday might be hard after calling a game last on Thursday night. But I always come back to ‘How lucky am I? My life is always being able to talk sport.’

“I am never going to complain about that regardless of how challenging the hours might be.”

About his co-host Greg Alexander, Voss said: “There is no ego with Brandy. I was a fan of his when he was playing. He is an absolute superstar of the game.”

See also: Postcard from Las Vegas: Patrick Delany, Peter V’landys, Paul Kent, Webby and Weidler

To Top