Cooper Cronk's wife Tara Rushton joins The Sunday Project

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    The Sunday Project welcomed a glamorous new addition to the panel this weekend, following weeks of worrying ratings.  

    Sports presenter Tara Rushton, 37, was a breath of fresh air on Sunday’s broadcast, appearing as a guest panelists alongside regulars Rachel Corbett, Tommy Little, and Hamish Macdonald. 

    Tara, who is the wife of NRL great Cooper Cronk, joined Channel 10 earlier this year to lead the coverage of Australian soccer, but her appearance on The Project suggests her role at the network may be expanding.  

    New face: Sports presenter Tara Rushton, 37, (pictured) was a breath of fresh air on Sunday's broadcast, appearing as a guest panelists alongside regulars Rachel Corbett, Tommy Little, and Hamish Macdonald

    New face: Sports presenter Tara Rushton, 37, (pictured) was a breath of fresh air on Sunday’s broadcast, appearing as a guest panelists alongside regulars Rachel Corbett, Tommy Little, and Hamish Macdonald

    Fans were delighted to see Tara take the helm on Sunday, with one writing on Instagram: ‘Ray of sunshine. Loved it.’ 

    ‘Tara needs to be on The Project every night,’ another added. 

    The Sunday Project’s regular host Lisa Wilkinson was meanwhile absent during Tara’s debut, having taken a three-week break from on-air duties this month.   

    Audience favourite: Fans were delighted to see Tara take the helm on Sunday, with one writing on Instagram: 'Ray of sunshine. Loved it.' Pictured L-R: Tommy Little (on screen) Hamish Macdonald, Rachel Corbett, Tara Rushton

    Audience favourite: Fans were delighted to see Tara take the helm on Sunday, with one writing on Instagram: ‘Ray of sunshine. Loved it.’ Pictured L-R: Tommy Little (on screen) Hamish Macdonald, Rachel Corbett, Tara Rushton 

    Will she return? Tara, who is the wife of NRL great Cooper Cronk, joined Channel 10 earlier this year to lead the coverage of Australian soccer, but her appearance on The Project suggests her role at the network may be expanding

    Will she return? Tara, who is the wife of NRL great Cooper Cronk, joined Channel 10 earlier this year to lead the coverage of Australian soccer, but her appearance on The Project suggests her role at the network may be expanding

    Meanwhile, on Sunday, Tara uploaded a photo of herself and her fellow panelists to Instagram to celebrate her big debut on The Project, adding the caption: ‘Well that was fun!’ 

    The mother-of-two is an accomplished presenter and journalist, previously hosting sports programs in Singapore and the UK. 

    After spending four years abroad, she moved back home to Australia in 2013 and began working as a presenter for Fox Sports. 

    Absent: The Sunday Project's regular host Lisa Wilkinson was meanwhile absent during Tara's debut, having taken a three-week break from on-air duties this month

    Absent: The Sunday Project’s regular host Lisa Wilkinson was meanwhile absent during Tara’s debut, having taken a three-week break from on-air duties this month 

    Family: Tara began dating NRL star Cooper Cronk (right) in 2016. The couple were married a year later and are now parents to two sons - Lennox, three, and Harley, nine months

    Family: Tara began dating NRL star Cooper Cronk (right) in 2016. The couple were married a year later and are now parents to two sons – Lennox, three, and Harley, nine months 

    She announced her decision to leave Fox Sports in June, months before Ten Sports to lead coverage of Australian soccer. 

    Tara’s appearance on The Project comes amid the program’s sharp decline in ratings. 

    Various outlets including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, TV Blackbox and Daily Mail Australia ran stories last week about 10’s dwindling five-city metro audience, with a focus on The Project’s long-term decline since 2011. 

    Powering on: It comes after Channel 10 has confirmed The Project will return next year. The network on Friday issued a statement about the future of the current affairs show and its Sunday edition in response to reports about their worryingly low ratings. Pictured from left: The Project hosts Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson and Peter Helliar

    Powering on: It comes after Channel 10 has confirmed The Project will return next year. The network on Friday issued a statement about the future of the current affairs show and its Sunday edition in response to reports about their worryingly low ratings. Pictured from left: The Project hosts Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson and Peter Helliar

    Despite this, Channel Ten issued a statement on Friday confirming The Project and its Sunday edition will return next year. 

    A spokesperson for the ViacomCBS-owned station told podcast That’s Entertainment: ‘Recent media reports inferring that The Project will not be on 10 in 2022 are completely fabricated, false and misleading.

    ‘The Project has just celebrated its 12th birthday and is here to stay! At a time when information, context and understanding is more important than ever, The Project will continue to provide Australians with their dose of news delivered differently.’   

    The show will go on: After a week of bad press, a spokesperson for the ViacomCBS-owned station told podcast That's Entertainment: 'Recent media reports inferring that The Project will not be on 10 in 2022 are completely fabricated, false and misleading.' Pictured: Carrie Bickmore

    The show will go on: After a week of bad press, a spokesperson for the ViacomCBS-owned station told podcast That’s Entertainment: ‘Recent media reports inferring that The Project will not be on 10 in 2022 are completely fabricated, false and misleading.’ Pictured: Carrie Bickmore

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