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By Tony Collins

From the parable of William Webb Ellis to the dignity of the 2003 global Cup win, this ebook explores the social heritage of rugby union in England.

Ever given that Tom Brown’s Schooldays the game has visible itself because the father or mother of conventional English middle-class values. during this attention-grabbing new historical past, top rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how those values have formed the English online game, from the general public faculties to mass spectator game, from strict amateurism to worldwide professionalism.

Based on remarkable entry to the reputable records of the Rugby soccer Union, and drawing on a powerful array of assets from membership mins to private memoirs and modern literature, the booklet explores in shiny element the major occasions, personalities and avid gamers that experience made English rugby.

From an period of speedy development on the finish of the 19th century, throughout the poor losses suffered throughout the First international battle and the next ‘rush to rugby’ within the public and grammar faculties, and into the sessions of disorientation and commercialisation within the Nineteen Sixties via to the current day, the tale of English rugby union is additionally the tale of the making of recent England.

Like the entire absolute best writers on recreation, Tony Collins makes use of recreation as a prism by which to higher comprehend either tradition and society. A ground-breaking paintings of either social background and recreation historical past, A Social background of English Rugby Union tells a desirable tale of carrying endeavour, masculine identification, imperial ideology, social attention and the character of Englishness.

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A Social History of English Rugby Union

From the parable of William Webb Ellis to the honour of the 2003 international Cup win, this ebook explores the social historical past of rugby union in England.

Ever on the grounds that Tom Brown’s Schooldays the game has visible itself because the dad or mum of conventional English middle-class values. during this attention-grabbing new historical past, top rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how those values have formed the English online game, from the general public colleges to mass spectator recreation, from strict amateurism to worldwide professionalism.

Based on unparalleled entry to the reliable records of the Rugby soccer Union, and drawing on a powerful array of resources from membership mins to non-public memoirs and modern literature, the publication explores in vibrant element the most important occasions, personalities and avid gamers that experience made English rugby.

From an period of quick development on the finish of the 19th century, during the negative losses suffered throughout the First international struggle and the following ‘rush to rugby’ within the public and grammar faculties, and into the sessions of disorientation and commercialisation within the Sixties via to the current day, the tale of English rugby union is usually the tale of the making of contemporary England.

Like all of the best possible writers on game, Tony Collins makes use of activity as a prism during which to raised comprehend either tradition and society. A ground-breaking paintings of either social heritage and game heritage, A Social historical past of English Rugby Union tells a desirable tale of carrying endeavour, masculine id, imperial ideology, social cognizance and the character of Englishness.

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Soccer wins the code war However, the winner of the battle for rugby’s soul was neither the fifteen-aside nor the thirteen-a-side code, but the eleven-a-side round ball game. As we have seen, until the early 1880s soccer trailed rugby for popularity. 52 Although this was not an accurate assessment of the two codes nationally, to find itself in such a position was uncomfortable for the RFU. Its fear of mass, commercial spectator sport had led it to consistently oppose calls for a national rugby knock-out cup, along the lines of the FA Cup.

Hudson looked back fondly at a Leeds versus Manchester match of 1865, which consisted largely of ‘a good set-to at each other’s shins in mid-field’. The Clifton versus Marlborough school match of 1868 was so violent that the fixture was not played again for another twenty-three years. The first Roses rugby match in 1870 was marked by the Lancashire players’ keenness to indulge in hacking their opponents. 24 On their 1885 tour of Scotland, Bradford’s game against Edinburgh Academicals witnessed ‘some of the foulest play ever perpetrated’ by the Scotsmen, which sent four Bradford players to hospital.

Sewell was forced to admit that the payment of travel expenses was a well-known means of providing ‘men of higher social standing [with] a free Easter or Christmas holiday’. G. 19 The offering of inducements to switch clubs, often cited by supporters of the RFU as a primary evil in the north before the split and a focus for numerous investigations, was no less an issue among the socially elite clubs in London than it was for those lower down the social ladder. As early as 1890, complaints had surfaced about the recruitment activities of Blackheath, who had managed to recruit an array of talented players from their rivals in London.

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