The World Rugby global governing body for rugby union is in talks with producers over a potential behind-the-scenes docuseries, its chief executive Alan Gilpin has said.

Speaking on the House of Rugby podcast, produced by the Joe online news outlet, Gilpin acknowledged that rugby union could sometimes be inaccessible for people who haven't played it and don't watch it on a regular basis.

“When we think about rugby in new territories and globalizing the game, there's definitely things we can learn from other sports … Whether it's a lot more of The Last Dance (basketball) or Drive To Survive (motor racing), how do you use non-live action to really excite a younger generation, a younger audience? 

“One of the things we've got to do is give the players a better voice in that because the players are the stars of the show here and that's absolutely going to be the case as the women's game grows …

“That's what I think the younger generation of fans, who are following Drive To Survive or The Last Dance are really going for.”

The Netflix show Formula 1: Drive to Survive that Gilpin referenced was renewed for a fourth season last year having been credited with delivering increased TV viewing figures for the motor racing series by its chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

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 It and The Last Dance, a documentary about the basketball NBA great Michael Jordan, are among a host of recent successful sporting documentaries.

Another is Amazon’s All Or Nothing series, which has featured the likes of the New Zealand national rugby union team, soccer’s Brazilian national team and English club side Manchester City, and a number of teams from American football’s NFL.

These have caused other sporting bodies to sit up and take note, with the series potentially able to reach entirely new audience demographics.

The competitions that World Rugby organizes that could be the subject of a docuseries include the quadrennial Rugby World Cup and Rugby World Cup Sevens competitions and the annual World Rugby Sevens Series – all three of which have both men's and women's editions.

Asked if World Rugby had been approached by content giant Netflix about taking part in such a series, Gilpin said: “We've had a couple of conversations with some of the producers around some of those shows. Without sounding too dull and corporate about it, the challenge is always who owns the [intellectual property] around that? So, it's great we want to do that, [but] how do we get access to the players? How do we get access behind the scenes?

“The All or Nothing shows are a good example in American football, so much of what you see and what's compelling isn't the footage, it's what's happening in the family environment, it's the player who hasn't made the cut, it's the issues the players are going through the personal and human experiences they're going through.

“There are some good conversations taking place, there are a lot more conversations to take place, but ultimately it is going to be for us about bringing different groups together, and that's true whether we're talking about the behind-the-scenes docuseries or we're talking about [non-fungible tokens] and digital collectibles and all of those types of things that again are getting kids really excited about sport.”