The 2011 Rugby World Cup has officially kicked off across the Tasman. Yet actually watching the world’s premiere Rugby tournament is made difficult here in Australia thanks to the Foxtel/Channel 9 broadcast license combo. Fortunately, there’s a relatively easy and affordable workaround, by getting Foxtel through your Xbox 360.

Foxtel on Xbox has a dedicated channel devoted to the tournament, with all matches streamed live, plus on demand access to not only key matches of this tournament, but previous tournaments as well. The channel is included in the Sports add on package, which means you need to pay $30 per month to watch the World Cup.

That may sound expensive, but there are no lock in contracts (you’ll need to sign up for at least 12 months to get Foxtel the traditional way) and it’s much cheaper than the $50 a month you’d need to pay to get a similar package via Foxtel broadcasts.

Setting up to watch the World Cup via your Xbox is simple – just head to Foxtel’s Xbox sign up page and enter your details, opting for the basic and sports packages along the way. Then connect your Xbox and enter your code, and access is pretty much immediate.

The catch in using this option for streaming the game they play in heaven is that unless you’re a BigPond broadband customer, the data used to stream the video counts towards your monthly data allowance. If you don’t have a lot of data, there are three quality settings that can reduce the amount of data used to watch the game – the medium setting is perfectly good for watching the fast pace of the game, although low is a little blocky.