By Tony Collins
From the parable of William Webb Ellis to the dignity of the 2003 global Cup win, this e-book explores the social background of rugby union in England.
Ever seeing that Tom Brown’s Schooldays the game has visible itself because the mum or dad of conventional English middle-class values. during this interesting new background, major rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how those values have formed the English video game, from the general public faculties to mass spectator game, from strict amateurism to international professionalism.
Based on unheard of entry to the legitimate data of the Rugby soccer Union, and drawing on a magnificent array of assets from membership mins to non-public memoirs and modern literature, the e-book explores in shiny element the major occasions, personalities and gamers that experience made English rugby.
From an period of speedy progress on the finish of the 19th century, during the bad losses suffered throughout the First international battle and the next ‘rush to rugby’ within the public and grammar colleges, and into the sessions of disorientation and commercialisation within the Sixties via to the current day, the tale of English rugby union is additionally the tale of the making of contemporary England.
Like all of the best possible writers on activity, Tony Collins makes use of recreation as a prism wherein to higher comprehend either tradition and society. A ground-breaking paintings of either social heritage and game background, A Social background of English Rugby Union tells a desirable tale of carrying endeavour, masculine id, imperial ideology, social awareness and the character of Englishness.
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Additional info for A Social History of English Rugby Union
The split had a similar effect on the RFU’s membership. In 1895 the RFU had 416 adult clubs in membership, excluding schools, colleges and universities. Of these, 147 were in Yorkshire and 51 in Lancashire, almost 48 per cent of the total. But ten years later the number of adult clubs in England that belonged to the RFU had plummeted to just 155, of which a mere ﬁve were in Yorkshire and fourteen in Lancashire. 42 The decline would have been even greater were it not for the RFU’s newfound ﬂexibility of principle in the second half of the 1900s.
27 Not working distinguished the gentleman from the labourer or tradesman, an aristocratic impulse derived from classical Greek culture and something that would be commonplace to boys whose lessons were dominated by the classics. 28 Effortlessness of course implied a natural ability, and thus superiority over those who had to expend effort. The idea that there was a natural distinction between the tall, slender yet muscular amateur ‘body’ and that of the shorter, stockier professional was also widespread in the decades before the First World War.
When confronted with evidence that they had played for Hull Marlborough NU club, some members of the Hull and East Riding rugby union side simply denied any knowledge of NU rugby at all. 49 And there was also the generous expenses paid to RFU ofﬁcials. Members of the Yorkshire Rugby Union committee travelled to meetings by ﬁrst-class rail, a privilege refused to those who merely played the game. 51 41 THE AMATEUR GAME It was not simply a matter of dishonesty and double standards. The pursuit of amateurism necessarily produced a culture of cynicism in which expediency triumphed over principle.