EXCLUSIVE: It isn’t quite “could Batman beat up Superman?” but it’s close. English Rugby legend Clive Woodward is partnering with Sharp Entertainment to settle one of the all-time great hypothetical sports fights with Football V Rugby, a hybrid documentary series and global live event that will see whether American footballers can defeat pro Rugby Union players at their own sport.
Conceived of as part social experiment and part athletic contest, Football V Rugby will begin with a docu-series following a group of former NFL players as they’re trained to play Rugby by Woodward, the player-turn-coach who managed the English National Team to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The series will culminate with a live televised rugby match between the Americans and a team of current professional rugby players. In the beginning stages of development, a full episode count and broadcast partners will be announced later.
“American football players are some of the best power athletes in the world,” said Woodward about the matchup. “I’m fascinated to see, with the right training, if can they dominate another adjacent sport.”
Woodward played rugby from 1979-1985 when the sport was still an amateur game by policy, which included four years as part of England’s national team. He was coach of the English National Rugby Team from 1997-2004, and served from 2006-2012 as director of sport at the British Olympic Association. Woodward will be providing commentary for the BBC during the 2016 Rio Olympics, which sees the return of rugby as an Olympic sport after a 90-year absence.
A division of Core Media Group, Manhattan-based Sharp Entertainment has also produced Man V. Food, 90 Day Fiance, Doomsday Preppers and Extreme Couponing. Sharp as well as Football V Rugby are repped by CAA.