Six Nations: Tadhg Furlong ‘itching’ to return but wary of Netflix’s rugby docuseries

Tadhg Furlong is keen to lace up his boots again this weekend in the Six Nations match against Wales and talks about the impact Netflix could have on the tournament.

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The world class tighthead prop hasn’t played rugby since early December, as a series of ankle, hamstring and calf injuries have sidelined him.

Now fit again, Furlong is raring to go for Ireland and admits he’s “itching” to play ahead of the clash at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

“I’m itching; I can’t wait,” he said.

“I think it’s a class tournament; it really stands on its own, like a pillar on its own. It’s a big deal, the Six Nations.”

Warren Gatland’s return

Warren Gatland returned to take charge of Wales once again before the tournament’s kick-off, and Furlong holds the New Zealander in high regard, having worked under him with the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and 2021.

“I loved him because he always picked me!” Furlong joked.

“He’s incredibly clued in. I suppose he was a hooker, so he takes a good interest in the scrums, but a lot of it is just on tactics, getting the motion of it right, framing the week – he does it very, very well.

“I know the Welsh lads have a huge amount of respect for him, and he really gets the most out of those Welsh players. They really buy in.

“The game, the week, being a rugby player is different [during the Lions tours], it’s totally different. The meetings are very short, keeping lads fresh, a lot more contact in training than we would do in Ireland. Double-days a lot, he works you very hard, so it’s different.”


Along with the coaching coaches in Wales and England, the 2023 Six Nations will have another new aspect, with Netflix cameras following the players throughout the tournament. The docuseries is set to launch next year.

Furlong says that the players have yet to be briefed on exactly how much access they will have and admitted to some hesitations about the prospect of cameras following the players.

“I’m not sure how much rugby IP I’d like to leak from the group, for normal reasons. I don’t know the full ins and outs of it. I couldn’t imagine it would be full open-door, I don’t see how that would work,” he said.

Netflix has requested that ‘feature players’ put themselves forward, but Furlong is not one of them.

“We’ve done it on Lions tours. The only danger with cameras is that you still want lads to be themselves and not have the cameras affect what goes on.

“I don’t know, I think there are a few feature players in it; they were looking for a few players to put their hand up. I don’t know who’s done it.

“I haven’t watched the tennis one, but I’ve watched Drive to Survive.

“You never know either, how much is it [insightful] actually? You don’t see them talking about engineering; you don’t see them talking about little pieces they put on their cars and why they did it this way.”

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