Nematic droplets are droplets composed of elongated molecules that tend to point in the same direction but do not have any positional order. Such droplets are well known to adopt a spindle shape called tactoid. How such droplets condensate or melt and how the orientational symmetry is broken remains however unclear. Here we use a colloidal system composed of filamentous viruses as model rod-like colloids and pnipam microgel particles to induce thermo-sensitive depletion attraction between the rods. Microscopy experiments coupled to particle tracking reveal that the condensation of a nematic droplet is preceded by the formation of a new phase, an isotropic droplet. As the viruses constitute an excellent experimental realization of hard rods, it follows that the phenomenology we describe should be relevant to diverse micro- and nano-sized rods that interact through excluded volume interactions. This transition between isotropic and nematic droplets provides a new and reversible pathway to break the symmetry and order colloidal rods within a droplet with an external stimulus, and could constitute a benchmark experiment for a variety of technologies relying on reconfigurable control of rods.