isolation nation

Isolation Nation: Sky Sport launch new rugby series

New Zealand's professional rugby players have combined to create a unique and entertaining new rugby series called Isolation Nation, which will screen twice weekly on Sky Sport.

View the teaser video here

Sky Sport's new show has been created in conjunction with New Zealand Rugby (NZR), the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA) and the country’s five Investec Super Rugby and goes to air on Wednesday, 1 April.

Hosted by 2011 Rugby World Cup winning All Black Israel ‘Izzy’ Dagg and rugby presenter Kirstie Stanway, Isolation Nation will screen on Sky Sport 1 and across Sky Sport’s social media channels on Wednesday and Sunday nights at 7.30pm.

Each episode will take sports fans into the homes and lives of New Zealand’s rugby stars as they join with the rest of Aotearoa in dealing with the national lockdown created by Covid-19.

Players from Investec Super Rugby teams the Highlanders, Crusaders, Hurricanes, Chiefs and Blues, as well as the Black Ferns, Black Ferns Sevens, and All Blacks Sevens will open their lives to New Zealanders.

Viewers will see everything from hobbies, hidden talents and how they are keeping their kids’ spirits up, through to exercise and training tips for footy and fitness in general. Exclusive interviews, inspiring stories, hilarious re-enactments and memorable moments will reveal the true personalities of rugby’s household names.

Sky kick off Isolation Nation with new Blues playmaker Beauden Barrett, Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith, Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara, All Blacks Sevens star Sione Molia, Black Ferns first five-eighth Chelsea Alley, Black Ferns Sevens maestro Ruby Tui, with more on way.

Tex Teixeira, Sky’s Chief Content Officer said: “We’ve all seen how talented these players are on the field and now we will get to see what makes them tick off it. They have a teeny bit of work to do to on their film technique to catch up to the likes of Taika Waititi, but these players are born entertainers.

“Like everyone else in Aotearoa they are keen to stay fit, healthy and motivated to get back in action as soon as we have Covid-19 licked, and they’re letting us in on how they are trying to do it.

“It’s great that we’re getting homemade vids from the biggest names in New Zealand rugby and we’ll share their stories on Sky Sport and our Sky Sport social channels. We’d also love Kiwis to tell us who they want to hear from, and we’ll do our very best to make that happen.”

NZR Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said:

It’s really important for New Zealand Rugby to stay connected with our fans and stakeholders. Isolation Nation provides an ideal way for us to do that during this unusual time.

“The way our players, the NZRPA, Sky and our Investec Super Rugby clubs have come together to reach out to New Zealanders is testament to the strength of our partnerships.”

New Zealand Rugby Players Association CEO Rob Nichol said:

“These are unique and challenging times that demand innovative ideas, and Isolation Nation is exactly that. The players have enjoyed working hands on with Sky to develop this show, and are looking forward to opening up, bringing something new to the mix and connecting with New Zealand. We hope everyone enjoys it”

Sky Sport is also taking requests for classic matches from the past and broadcasting these complete with new and modern commentary simultaneously on Instagram TV. Fans can request their favourite game on Sky Sport's Facebook Page.

The Breakdown rugby show will also going look a little different this week with panellists dialling in from their living rooms. The show airs tonight on Sky Sport 1 from 7.30pm.