‘Rugby needs all the help it can get’: sport hunts F1-style Netflix uplift | Andy Bull

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Big names prepare for their close-ups as Six Nations: Full Contact aims to take rugby union to whole new audience

It’s 7.50pm on a Monday in mid-January and at the premiere of Netflix’s rugby series – Six Nations: Full Contact – Marcus Smith is perched uneasily on the edge of a stool, addressing a huddle of rugby journalists. Smith is wearing a tux which makes him look like he’s off to his school prom. We’ve been told he has exactly seven minutes to spare for us. “Yeah, 100%, obviously …” Smith says in response to the very first question when he is interrupted. “GOOD EVENING EVERYONE! Please start making your way to your seats for the start of tonight’s event! I repeat, please start making your way to your seats!” The screening is about to begin.

Smith, who has a starring part in the first episode as well as the premiere, has spent the night being bustled from one camera to another. Truth is that he looks a lot more comfortable running a Test match than he does walking a red carpet. There must be more room in a midfield, too. Tonight he has an entourage of five, six, seven, people, handlers, agents, press officers, cameramen. Two of them are busy recording footage of it all on their phones. I ask them whether they’re with Netflix. “No,” they reply, “it’s for the socials.” In the time it takes them to say it Smith has already been hustled along on and the pair scurry off to catch up to him.

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Written by Andy Bull
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2024/jan/22/rugby-union-netflix-series-six-nations-full-contact-f1 under the title “‘Rugby needs all the help it can get’: sport hunts F1-style Netflix uplift | Andy Bull”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.