Six Nations to land second Netflix season of ‘Full Contact’

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony and Gareth Davies of Wales during the launch of the Six Nations
Netflix cameras followed the build-up to this year's Six Nations - Getty Images/Harry Murphy

Netflix is expected to officially confirm a second season of ‘Full Contact’, its documentary series following the Six Nations, after strong ratings among members of the streaming service.

The first season, comprising eight episodes, was released on Jan 24 and is believed to be on course for a high score according to internal tracking metrics. A well-placed source suggested that Netflix has now “greenlit” a second season, having kept camera crews embedded within the England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales squads during the build-up to this season’s Six Nations and over the first two rounds of matches.

Telegraph Sport understands that the priority for season two will be to “improve access and story-telling” with a view to growing the audience. ‘Drive to Survive’, a longer-standing Netflix series focusing on Formula One, has now reached its sixth season and has certainly delivered on the aim of increasing engagement with that sport. Insiders believe that ‘Full Contact’ is progressing at a quicker rate.

“Everyone has got it better and bought in,” a well-placed source said. “People have seen the show and that’s important because, when you can see it, you can be proud of it. In terms of access, more doors are open because of that. Every team has stepped up, and for a comparison of where it is after season one compared to ‘Drive to Survive’, a lot of people have said that it is ahead.”

Last month, Telegraph Sport disclosed that ‘Full Contact’ ended its first week on Netflix as one of the top three programmes for views on the platform. This would appear to be another boost for its prospects.

For cost reasons, a logical time to wrap up filming would have been during the first fallow week were Netflix to cancel the documentary. However, film crews from broadcast company Box to Box have remained with the teams in the build-up to round three. For instance, they captured England’s open training session at Twickenham on Friday and are in camp this week as preparations for the Calcutta Cup continue.

One challenge for season two of Full Contact would be to recentre the production around a new group of players. Although Finn Russell, who jokingly termed himself as the Lionel Messi of rugby union in season one, has remained a key figure for Scotland, other figureheads have become less prominent.

Seb Negri suffered a rib contusion against England in the first round, after being filmed in the lead-up to that fixture. Ellis Genge also pulled out of that game due to a foot issue. Marcus Smith is yet to feature in this year’s tournament because of a calf injury.

Louis Rees-Zammit left rugby union on the verge of the Six Nations for a crack at the NFL, while Antoine Dupont is absent on account of his sabbatical to sevens ahead of the Olympic Games. Dan Biggar has retired from the international game, with Owen Farrell taking an indefinite break.

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