Injured Brunt going to Euros ... as TV pundit

A bearded Chris Brunt appears in a lavish BBC trailer for its Euro 2016 coverage
A bearded Chris Brunt appears in a lavish BBC trailer for its Euro 2016 coverage

Chris Brunt has been snapped up by the BBC as a Euro 2016 pundit after injury forced him out of the tournament in France.

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder played an important role in getting Northern Ireland to the European Championship finals for the first time, but suffered a serious knee injury playing for his club earlier this year.

He will be joining star names such as Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Martin Keown, Gerry Armstrong and Kevin Kilbane in the commentary box when the tournament gets under way on June 10.

Northern Ireland’s first match is against Poland in Nice on Sunday, June 12.

Brunt, who has won 54 caps for his country, will be on TV duty for both the Poland and Germany games, but has been invited by manager Michael O’Neill to attend the match against Ukraine in Lyon on June 16.

The long-serving international said supporting the team is the “next best thing” to playing.

“Apart from being a fan this summer, I’m also delighted to be taking my first steps into the media at Northern Ireland’s first major tournament in 30 years,” he told SunSport.

“If I can’t play, the next best thing is to be there to cheer the lads on with the thousands of fans who will make their way to France.

“Nothing beats playing but joining the lads for the Ukraine game, being around the camp and having a bit of craic will go some way to making up for the disappointment.

“It won’t compare to what I can only imagine it would have been like to represent my country on the biggest stage but as second prizes go, it’s pretty good.”