As it has done with its Premier League football, Amazon has tried to make the coverage as familiar as possible: we sports fans fear change, and the reassuring sight of Logan and Douglas, as well as a similar format and feel, made this not discernibly different from BBC or ITV.
There was a short and sweet montage of children playing rugby intercut with the on-pitch heroes and, the highlight for this viewer, a mini feature about the Georgian sport of Lelo Burti, which looks a wildly exciting, bone-crunching affair in which entire villages try to push and shove a 20lb ball to one place or another. You can certainly see where the Georgian rugby team get their ethos.
The Amazon money had bought some behind-the-scenes Zoom access to the England stars, who – as Flatman fnarr-fnarred – “had allowed us to virtually penetrate their bubble”. He also asked of Ben Youngs if he was happy in his allocation of hotel room, sleeping “surrounded with big guys either side”, because as every proper rugby man knows, there is literally nothing funnier than men having sex with other men.
The only innovation trumpeted was “post cameras”, as in fixed on the uprights of the goals, which got a helpful view of one England score.
And, as is the 2020 way, there was fake crowd noise, whose timbre at the Stadio Artemio Franchi was set to “overexcited”. An Italian back half-broke a tackle in midfield and my iPad roared as if Gabriel Batistuta, once of that same parish, had scored a 40-yarder against Juventus. But other than that: no distinguishing remarks.
So, all in all, a new business venture for rugby, but on screen it was business as usual. You could tell they had hit the right areas: there were even some Scots online moaning there was too much focus on the England team.