Earlier in January, it was confirmed that Netflix will release a documentary on the 2023 Six Nations championship which has just concluded with Ireland winning the Grand Slam. Super Saturday saw Ireland beat a 14-man England 26-14; France dominated Wales to win 41-28 and Scotland beating eventual Wooden Spoon winners Italy 26-14.
The Rugby docuseries will follow the likes of Formula 1’s Drive to Survive; Tennis’s Break Point and Golf’s Full Swing which have all been huge successes on the streaming service, with Drive to Survive recently releasing its fifth season.
Reportedly, Scotland and Italy have thrown open their doors to players’ meetings and dressing room chat to Netflix while others have been less welcoming. England’s Ellis Genge has said “one of our reservations around having the cameras in (was) that people could start playing up or go within themselves,” however his captain, Owen Farrell suggested “Look, there has always been cameras around here. We have our own stuff that goes out on social media. I don’t think it’ll make too much difference.”
Here is all that is known about the new Rugby docuseries...
When will the documentary be released?
At the moment, all that is known about the documentary is that it will come out in 2024. If it follows a similar pattern to Drive to Survive, Break Point or Full Swing, it is likely it will be released just before a big Rugby event such as next year’s Six Nations tournament.
What has Netflix said?
On Twitter, Netflix said: “Netflix will not only give you access to the biggest names in golf, tennis and racing - as well as the Invictus Games - but we are proud to announce three new docuseries as well. Get ready to go inside: The Tour de France, FIFA World Cup, Rugby’s Guinness Six Nations Championship.
“That’s right - rugby’s getting in on the act! We’ll follow all six teams through one of the most iconic and hard-fought competitions in the sport. Six Nations (working title) will feature the upcoming tournament and will launch in 2024.”
Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of unscripted and documentary series has said: “This eclectic group of new and returning series reinforces that we are committed to delivering the best sports stories to our fans. By going behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest sporting events with unprecedented access, we have a unique opportunity to share the triumphs, tribulations and drama of these iconic moments with our hundreds of millions of global members.”
What has the Rugby world said?
While many fans will be delighted to welcome a new Netflix docuseries, Wales head coach Warren Gatland has expressed concern about the project with fears that management will get a limited say in what makes the final cut - unlike the behind-the-scenes shows for the British and Irish Lions tours.
Gatland, who only returned to Wales before the Six Nations, has said: “I can tell you now that in a rugby environment, when you are talking about creating emotion, the language used isn’t always appropriate. Especially when you’re talking about nations playing each other.
“In the past when we’ve had the crews that have been involved with Lions and Wales, what’s been really important is their ability to create a relationship with the players and the coaching team, so it’s almost like they become an invisible part of it. There’s a few things that we need to be conscious of, and iron out. The last thing we need is to be bland in the way it comes across but I’m also conscious that we need to protect ourselves, too. That’s pretty important.”
Ireland’s Tadgh Furlong is another who has expressed his fears saying he does not wish to leak any tactics out into the world: “ You don’t see (Drive to Survive) talking about engineering, you don’t see them talking about little pieces they put on their cars, and why they did it. I know [Max] Verstappen knocked it out, he doesn’t fancy it. I’m not sure how much rugby intellectual property I’d like to leak from the group.”